Feeling blue? Kerabu! Nasi kerabu, a popular Malay meal, is a beautiful bluecoloured rice dish served with dried fish, fried chicken or grilled beef (or all three) along with keropok (deep-fried crackers), telur masin (salted duck egg), and vegetables such as cabbage, long beans and beansprouts. The famous colour comes from the petals of the butterfly-pea flowers used in the preparation of the dish, and it is as delicious as it is dazzling.
Particularly popular in Kelatan and Terangganu (and southern Thailand, where it is known as khao yam), the radiant rice can be found all over Kuala Lumpur too. It was a tough (but tasty) task to narrow it down, but we’ve picked out three of our personal favourite places to eat nasi kerabu in KL.
Patatimo appeared on TV3 a few years ago, but this isn’t a “fifteen minutes of fame” story – their street cred has stuck ever since. Serving Kelantanese cuisine into the early hours of the morning, the customers keep coming back for their generous portions of vegetables and a tasty topping of shaved coconut. Try some soup on
the side; Patatimo serves signature Kelantan soups such as sup tulang (bone soup) and laksa (spicy noodle soup).
D’Wangsa, 11, Jalan Wangsa Delima 10, Wangsa Maju, 53300 Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
Serving the traditional tastes of the east coast (down to the roadside stall-style wax paper wrap) in a contemporary café setting, Kesom is run by a Kelantanese native who has brought authentic nasi kerabu to the Klang Valley. Using fluffy blue basmati rice as the base, the nasi kerabu here comes with all the classic side dishes and some house specialties too. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the famous khao jam; the Thai version of nasi kerabu with green-coloured rice (from the aromatic wild jungle herbs used in cooking). The only thing better than the variety here is the value; Kesom is brilliantly budget-friendly, and RM10-20 will fill your plate and your stomach.
40, Jalan PJU 1/43, Aman Suria, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Deliberately avoiding urban development, Kampung Baru is a quiet slice of traditional Malay life in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, preferring to keep a calm head against the otherwise rampant construction ongoing in the city. It’s a street food paradise, all sizzling satay and aromatic rice dishes. Nasi campur (mixed rice) is king, and Chunburi is the king’s court; despite the serving table running the length of the restaurants are half-empty by early evening – a sure stamp of the locals’ approval of their home-style fare. The nasi kerabu comes with a plentiful portion of roast beef.
Chunburi Seafood, 7 Jalan Raja Muda Musa, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.