Asian food is my go to after a long stint on site. This time around, I organised a meet up with my fellow Hatchies at Nasi Lemak Korner. Located on the ever evolving eating scene on Preston Street, this Malaysian joint has been around for awhile now. At least a year! Maybe even two. Having heard numerous reviews regarding its pricing has held me back a bit, but that’s alright I am finally here.
Looking at the menu, you get all the local favourites like Beef Rendang, Chicken Curry, Ayam Masak Merah and other Malaysian goodies. Amongst the table of four, we ordered to share;
3 Nasi Lemak
The basics were really the basics. As you would expect, you get a perfectly steamed rice with no “over” or “under”-cooked bull crap here. Just good old, fluffy coconut rice served with its traditional accompaniments of hard-boiled eggs, peanuts, anchovies, cucumber and sambal (sauteed chilli paste). While it was a decent bite I would have loved some blanched “kangkung” or water morning glory. To go with the Nasi Lemak we had the Beef Rendang and Sambal Chicken.
A whole serve of Beef Rendang (~$16)
These tender beef pieces are a trademark accompaniment of Nasi Lemak. Slow cooked in coconut milk for hours, these tenders chunk of meat will fall apart effortlessly in your mouth. While the grated coconut help made the sauce the real deal, I could not help but wonder whether the chefs might want to turn their salt level down one notch. Also, while it was fragrant I like mine with more finely sliced up kaffir lime leaf which gives any Malaysian Beef Rendang that final kick of flavour.
A whole serve of Sambal Chicken (~$16).
Another classic Malaysian dish that truly makes any rice dish go up one notch in flavour. Tender chicken sauteed in caramelised onions in a rich tomato chilli blend. Absolutely delicious. It's balanced dish. Slightly sweet due to the tomatoes but not too sweet, the heat mild and the flavour of the dish really went well with the Nasi Lemak.
Last but not least, Mamak Mee Goreng. While the Nasi Lemak served was pretty good, it was the Mamak Mee Goreng that got my tongue wagging. This more-ish dish of noodles was cooked to perfection. Its recipe stayed true to the original recipe with little pieces of fried batter, beancurd and potato cooked together with the egg noodle!
It's savoury almost tangy flavours were reminiscent of the good old Malaysian noodles typically served by the road side stalls. It reminded me of my childhood days when dad used to go out and pack fried noodles for my sister and I from an Indian restaurant not too far from the beach resort we used to go to in Malaysia. Even more impressive was the wok fried flavours that is rarely present in the Australian Hawker food scene.
Over all, I was sufficiently impressed by the quality of food at Nasi Lemak Korner and that made me wonder; why is the rating for Nasi Lemak Korner so low on Zomato? Sure the price range was not the cheapest and neither was it easy to get a table, but the food was sufficiently satisfying! By comparison, the popular Pappa Rich charges some $15.90 for a miserable plate of Nasi Lemak and parking in Northbridge is now $4 an hour. That's a big step up from the $13 Pappa Rich’s started on. Other popular options in town for me are Old Cathay and Sarapan. Both of which are nice with the latter having a consistency issue.