Wednesday, July 19, 2017

YummY! - Penang Nasi Kandar Deen Maju

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Penang Nasi Kandar Deen Maju
George Town, Penang, Malaysia - July 2017
Penang is renown for it's wide range of food, especially it's street food. In fact, the state has been rated as one of the best places in the world to have gastronomical delights, including CNN, Forbes, Saveur. It's renown street food, Penang Laksa has also been rated as one of the best food in the world by CNN Travel.
One of those nice food is Nasi Kandar, a Northern Malaya dish that originated from Penang. It is a meal of steamed rice which can be plain or mildly flavored, and served with a variety of delicious curries and side dishes. The name nasi kandar came about from a time when nasi (rice) hawkers or vendors would balance a kandar pole on their shoulder with two huge containers of rice meals as they ply the streets for customers.
These days there are so many Nasi Kandar stalls and shops in George Town. Forget about Line Clear and Nasi Kandar Beratur; for me the best Nasi Kandar in Penang is served by Deen Maju, located at the fringe of the city's core zone.

It is so good that there are long queues of people waiting patiently to be serve. The queue is at times so long that it turns back on itself.

But no worries, service here is fast. I was in #30 in the queue but was served within fifteen minutes. Here's a view of the serving counter with pots and trays of curries all smelling good. To one side is a kitchen staff frying chicken. This fried chicken is not to be missed!

The servery is so busy that I did not have chance to take proper photos of the food. Here's Curry Fish Head, very suitable for those coming in groups.

And this odd looking curry is one sinful food that should also not be missed - it's squid (sotong) eggs. Unlike other stalls that serve larger and drier squid eggs, Deen Maju's ones are smaller, softer and juicier.

My Nasi Kandar meal - Spicy Fried Chicken, Fish Curry, Ladies' Fingers, and squid eggs (those round things up front).
- The Spicy Fried Chicken was well seasoned with spices (don't ask me what, it's their trade secret) to give it a rather exotic flavor AND the skin was super crispy!
- the Curry Fish had fish that was super fresh with the spicy (by spicy I mean a good mix of spices) that made it have that oomph without being overly chilly hot.
- the boiled Ladies' Fingers were well chosen, soft and tender.
- what can I say about the Squid Eggs, they are the best I have taken; soft to bite into, juicy with a powdery consistency, just perfect from what one would expect of sotong eggs.

With each mouth, I could feel the essence of the spices within. I bite into something harder, was that cumin? A mouthful of rice titillated me with the rich aroma of clove & cassia bark. With another mouthful I detected a whiff of something.... what was that? I am lost, but happily & tastefully lost!

Deen Maju occupies two shop-lots, one can eat Al-fresco or eat indoors. These two shop-lots were former colonial Chinese Houses; they have maintained the original facades, thus amplifying the melding cross-cultures of George Town. Just imagine an Indian Curry House located in an antiquated Chinese house!
By the way, please excuse the bicycle in the photo; I had flown in from Kuala Lumpur and cycled down from the airport to head towards Tanjung Tokong when I was diverted by the long queue.

I had no regrets eating here, as Deen Maju:
- had a wide range of curries, one of the better tasting ones.
- reasonably priced.
- is clean, unlike many other Nasi Kandar outlets in town.

- takes payment after you eat; this is probably their sales strategy - if one haven't paid then there is a likelihood that one would go for more, OR they are confident that they food are so good that there would not be any unsatisfied customer unwilling to pay.
- Go there earlier to avoid longer queues, around 5-00 to 5-30pm would be good for an early dinner.

170, Jalan C.Y. Choy (Jalan Gurdwara), George Town, 10300 George Town, Penang, Malaysia.
Hours: 2:30pm to 11:00pm (Monday-Friday)     | 12:00pm to 9pm (Saturday & Sunday)
(Opening hours could be later during Ramadan)
GPS & Directions Map : 3.043088, 101.448826

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