If you walk past Botak Nasi Lemak located in SS3 Petaling Jaya, you won’t be able to miss a sign at the front of the restaurant which screams, ‘Second best nasi lemak in Petaling Jaya’.
Curious, I looked it up and found out that this was the restaurant’s tagline. Interesting. Time to put their words to the test.
Their SS3 outlet is their OG, but they have a second outlet located in Sea Park. The one at SS3 closes by 3pm, so if you’re hankering for some nasi lemak for dinner, you can head to their Sea Park outlet as it operates up to 12am.
You have a choice between the small and large version of nasi lemak. The Small Nasi Lemak (RM2.50) is basically the quintessential nasi lemak bungkus that we all know and love. It consists of a hard-boiled egg, peanuts, ikan bilis with sambal and fragrant rice wrapped in banana leaf and paper.
The Large Nasi Lemak (RM5.50) comes with a choice of fried egg or hard-boiled egg. You can opt to add on your choice of protein: fried chicken, curry chicken, sotong sambal, or a combination of proteins. Not in the mood for nasi lemak? You can go for a noodle dish instead like their Mee Siam (RM4.50) or Mee Goreng (RM4.50).
Botak Nasi Lemak practices self-service— place your order at the counter and in less than 30 seconds, your order will be on the counter.
What I tried at Botak Nasi Lemak
I decided on the Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng (RM11.50) along with a small plate of Sotong Sambal (RM6). My Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng was rather an impressive sight: a huge pile of rice cooked in coconut milk, sambal, fried chicken, a smattering of battered fried onions, fried peanuts, and a fried egg.
Hold up, fried egg?
I’m a nasi lemak purist and an avid fan of hard boiled eggs. So naturally, I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of disappointment. I later discovered that you had to request for a hard boiled egg if you wanted one, otherwise you’ll end up frowning at the sight of a fried egg. Oh well, some things in life are meant to be learned the hard way.
The first taste-test: the sambal. I closed my eyes and whispered a silent prayer in hopes that there would be a hint of spice before I scooped up a spoonful of sambal.
Immediately, a delicious spicy kick hit my taste buds and a wide smile spread across my face. Having eaten at the likes of Village Park Restaurant and Nasi Lemak Wanjo Kg Baru where the sambal has always been on the sweeter side, this was a really refreshing change. I also noticed that the sambal is more akin to sambal bawang, with its heavy use of onions.
The combination of the spicy sambal, rice, crunchy anchovies and egg was positively smashing. I could see myself coming back for the small packet of nasi lemak.
The fried chicken, however, was rather underwhelming. The battered fried onions sprinkled on the top were cold and the batter was thick. There was no exciting crunch to look forward to. The saving grace was that the chicken itself was juicy and tender.
Finally, I took a shot at the Sambal Sotong which I was rather apprehensive about. I’ve had many versions of Sambal Sotong and most of the time, it’s a chewy, disappointing affair. So you can imagine the joy I felt when the thick slices of squid were actually tender!
Yes folks, it was so tender that I could not believe my eyes (or rather my tongue) and had to reach for more. I have to admit that the squid was the truly underdog dish of the meal. I was blown away. Seafood lovers, you have to try this!
So, is Botak Nasi Lemak the ‘second best nasi lemak in Petaling Jaya’?
Fried chicken aside, they serve a pretty mean plate of nasi lemak. The portion size is generous and you will get a good bang for the buck. I’ll be back for their nasi lemak that’s for sure— that addictive spicy sambal has got me hooked!
However I wouldn’t say it’s the second best, but it’s pretty decent if you’re craving a plate of nasi lemak. Do try it and judge for yourself!
Expected damage: RM3 – RM15 per pax
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