“When I come to Al Ehsan with my friends, sometimes we have competitions to see who can eat the most Nasi Lemak,” says Afiq Ibrahim, a local lawyer from Kuala Lumpur. “There are times I’ve eaten two or three plates in one sitting!”
Regarded by diners as Malaysia’s crowning food glory, you can’t really go wrong with Nasi Lemak. Coconut rice, hotsambal, peanuts, dried anchovies and a boiled egg, accompanied by a flexible meat side (think fried chicken, rendang or stew), it’s calorific, comforting and oh-so-very delicious.
Restoran Al Ehsan sits on a buzzing street in Petaling Jaya (PJ), lit up along a row of mamaks, motorbikes and plastic chairs. Clued-up locals from KL and its surrounding townships travel here especially for the Nasi Lemak; a tasty number, classic enough to keep loyalists happy but different enough to make it special.
A huge grill and serving station mark the entrance to Al Ehsan, manned by an indefatigable cook who effortlessly plates up rows of food. A long line of steel trays is dotted by a garden of Nasi Lemak. Whites, reds and crispy browns set as offerings to customers.
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