Did you know that Nasi Kandar was introduced by the Indian Muslim immigrant community here in Penang? Nasi Kandar means "rice carried on the shoulder" as the dish used to be transported in big pots balanced on two ends of a long pole carried over the shoulder. This week, I decided to try Nasi Kandar Haleem, a popular spot among Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) students as it's only located 2 minutes from the Engineering Campus. The shop looks like your regular neighbourhood mamak - large and brightly lit. My grumbling tummy was glad that there wasn't a queue on a Sunday morning....let's makan!
Nasi & Vegetables (5/5)
Kuah campur banjir (to flood with a mixture of sauces) is the best way to savour all the delicious curries with the piping hot rice. The cabbage and okra added some good crunch to the meal.
Ayam Goreng - Fried Chicken (5/5)
A staple when eating Nasi Kandar. Hot from the wok, their crispy fried chicken was very juicy and aromatic. Enjoyable!
Ayam Tiga Rasa - "Three-flavour" Chicken (4.5/5)
Fried chicken cooked in a sweet, sour & spicy sauce. Not a common Nasi Kandar dish but the waiter highly recommended it. The chicken was tender and absorbed a ton of flavours from the pandan leaves and spice mix. No wonder it's one of their best sellers!
Kari Ayam - Chicken Curry (4/5)
While the curry had enough lemak (creaminess) and the chicken was moist, I felt that it was slightly forgettable without any outstanding flavours. A basic dish that can be found at most makan places.
Kari Sotong - Squid Curry (3/5)
The squid was fresh and was complemented well by the aromatic curry. A shame that the squid was overcooked and slightly rubbery to chew.
Kari Ikan - Fish Curry (5/5)
An extremely well-cooked piece of black pomfret. The freshness of the fish added so much sweetness to the robust curry. Highly recommended!
Overall, it was a tasty Nasi Kandar meal at affordable prices. Apart from the dishes featured, they also offer a myriad of other curries to try. The restaurant is clean and large enough to provide a comfortable dine-in environment. If possible, do try to avoid lunch and dinner times as a snaking queue can form during peak dining hours.
Sabbylicious Makan Rating
Food : 4.5/5
Price : 5/5
Environment : 4/5
Service : 4/5
Must order : Nasi Kandar with Ayam Goreng, Ayam Tiga Rasa and Kari Ikan
Operating Hours Daily (10:30 am–10:30 pm).
Restoran Nasi Kandar Haleem
81, Jalan Pekaka, Taman Pekaka, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang.