Monday, February 14, 2011

Warong M. Nasir: Malay or Indonesian food?

Malay food is something quite special here. I have some favourites, but most of them, when you trace them to the roots are more Indonesian than truly Malay. Nasi Padang...or rice from Padang (a town in Indonesia) is a top favourite amongst devotees of Malay food here. And while I am not an expert in the historical and culinary aspects, I do love the hot, spicy food, and indeed this aspect, when fused with Chinese cooking form the basis for Peranakan. I am not quite certain if Warong M. Nasir I am reviewing here is more Malay or Indonesian, but I am certain I do like the food quite a lot!

This restaurant shophouse right next door to the famous, original Killiney Kopi Tiam, right in Killeney Road is an old guard. Quirky, it plays jazz music almost all day long, and the high ceilings inside gives the dining area an airy, relaxed atmosphere. Their walls are decorated by contemporary artists, and often as cameo introductions for these painters.

Inside airwell, airy atmosphtere at Warong M. Nasir

The food is certainly not laid back. Offering quite a large variety, from traditional Malay to those which are a bit more Indonesian in origins. I highlight a few of my favourites.

The absolute must have here is the beef rendang.

aromatic, spicy, rich beef rendang at Warong M. Nasir

The dish uses the traditional tough cut of beef...typically the shin or rump...and cooked with spices till it is so tender that it almost disintegrates at the prodding of a fork. The coconut milk is all but infused within the sinews of the beef, and the fragrant, smooth, rich spices smother the meat. Sometimes parts of the brisket is served...these are smooth, collagen, and almost melt in the mouth. Sometimes, the tough sinews are offered...and these need some measure of teasing...making a ragout on your own...generously mixing the sinews with the rempah (gravy - the thick sauce which clings to the meat). Ummph!

I also am partial to the sayur lodeh:

sayur lodeh at Warong M. Nasir

Long beans, cabbage, carrots are stewed in a coconut gravy for a long time...till the vegetables are super tender. And large cuts of bean curd taukwa is added. The spicy dish is a favourite of mine. And the Warong's creation is one of the better ones around.

I also love their pergedil

pergedil at Warong M. Nasir

This is probably an Indonesian influenced dish...the pergedil is a potato cutlet - potatoes mixed with beef, onions, spices and deep fried. Excellent. Tasty.

Overall, I like the atmosphere at Warong M. Nasir very much, and the food is quite excellent too...particularly the 3 dishes I highlight here. They do a very nice, rich dessert selection of kuihs as well.

Warong M. Nasir
69 Killiney Road
Tel: 6734-6228
Open daily 11.30am - 9.30pm
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