Nasi lemak is, alongside the humble satay, probably the most identifiable dish from Malaysian cuisine. When I long for a taste of home, it is, more often than not, this dish that I crave for. Needless to say, there are nasi lemak stalls and restaurants aplenty in Malaysia, and everyone has their favourite; the "best nasi lemak in the world" in their eyes. My loyalties, after years of searching, now lie firmly with Village Park in Damansara Uptown.
Actually run by Chinese owners (nasi lemak is a native Malay dish), of Islamic faith, the restaurant is extremely popular, especially in the mornings - nasi lemak is eaten throughout the day, but is traditionally a breakfast dish - so be prepared to queue. Or takeaway.
You can order a basic nasi lemak with sambal and the usual condiments, or add various extras - on this occasion I went for the basic, plus the fried chicken, and beef rendang. The rice was moist, bouncy and fragrant, and the sambal, which is the undoubted secret to Village Park's success and popularity, was sensational as always. I also get the fried chicken every time on account of it being just superb - crisp and crunchy with a hint of sweetness and spice. The third item is usually a toss-up between the beef rendang and the squid sambal. On this occasion, the rendang had a lovely flavour, but the meat wasn't quite as tender as could be.
In a nutshell...
I have eaten countless nasi lemak meals and I often enjoy even pedestrian versions, so much do I like the dish. Village Park's is anything but a run-of-the-mill rendition - in fact it is, without any doubt, the best nasi lemak I have ever had. My only regret is that it is located in PJ - not difficult at all to get to from my home in a KL suburb, but a bit of a distance to travel for people asking me for restaurant recommendations, who are visiting and staying in a hotel in the heart of KL.
5 Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Average Price: RM10