I had thrown this question to many of my friends on how to find great food in Penang. Towards the end of the day, the most frequent answer would be, “If you see a long waiting line or a crowded eatery, you can be assured of the best food.” Well, that would not be true always as there are many different types of patrons with different urges, needs and budget. Let’s have a study on one of the more famous eateries in Penang – the Nasi Kandar Beratur who has been operating at the present premises since 1943. Do you have the patience to queue up for hours just to have your plate of rice with your selected curry dishes? Do you consider them as one of the best in Penang in terms of taste and price?
With more than 6 decades of experiences and a claim of having the most original taste amongst the rest of the Nasi Kandar restaurants in Penang, indeed the ingredients used were freshly grinded and tasteful. As for price wise, it was quite standard in Penang, nevertheless cheaper than those from other states. Just for comparison, a plate of rice (RM1) with onion omelette (RM1), a full drumstick (RM4.50), a piece of beef (RM1.50) and 2 steamed lady fingers (60sen) would cost you RM8.60. On the other hand, a plate of rice (RM1), 3 pieces of beef (RM4.50), onion omelette (RM1) plus 2 steamed lady fingers (60sen) would come up to RM7.10. The beverages available here were quite standard in terms of price. You can check the price list for the dishes here.
I’m sure you would like to know my verdict here. Due to the food server’s experience and skill in combining the right curries for your plate of Nasi Kandar, the overall taste was good. The onion omelette was very tasty and flavorful just like what you would get in a murtabak. The beef slices were tender but was a rather small cut. Somehow, I felt that the beef was either imported frozen ones or over simmered during the process of cooking. It lacked the beefy taste and was rather bland to my liking. The taste for the Ayam Ros was good too but unfortunately my meat was rather over fried, thus loosing the juiciness within the meat. Unless I have a lot of time to spare, I find queuing up for such a long time was a waste of precious time, especially when one has to bear with a growling tummy. I wondered why after so many decades, they still have only one person to serve you food? They could have many servers just like the rest, thus shortening the waiting time. Is it because of maintaining the name of “Queuing Nasi Kandar”? I won’t know for sure. What would your verdict be then?
Finding the stall won’t be hard as it is situated just next to the heritage Masjid Kapitan Keling along Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (formerly Pitt Street). You sure won’t miss it as there would be a long queue slightly before the start of their business at 10.00pm. Parking could be quite tough here as it’s located along a heavy trafficked road.
Name: NASI KANDAR BERATUR @ RESTORAN LIYAQAT ALI
98 Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, 10200 Penang, Malaysia. (next to Kapitan Keling Mosque)
Opening Hours: 10.00pm-9.00am
GPS: 5.416815, 100.337582
Ambience: 6/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 classy)
Food Choices: 7/10 (1-4 limited, 5-7 average, 8-10 many choices)
Taste: 7.5/10 (1-4 tasteless, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)
Pricing: 7.5/10 (1-4 cheap, 5-7 average, 8-10 expensive)
Service: 6/10 (1-4 bad, 5-7 average, 8-10 excellent)