Eat: Kelantan Delights, Sooka Sentral

I love eating local Malaysian cuisine, I mean it's only natural for myself being a Malaysian (almost, true blue one) to love all these amazing local food. We have the Nasi Lemak, Mee Rebus and and I would never be able finish this post if I went ahead to list down all the food I could think of. So, last weekend, I was at the first ever Tastebuddies by Nuffnang gathering and we were invited to Kelantan Delights.

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I must confess that I know nuts of what Kelantanese food are, so I had no expectation of any sort and I was pretty much excited to know how different Kelantanese food were. So, anyway we started off with appetizers first.

IMG_8443 Sirih Daun Kaduk | Fried popiah skin and daun sirih, filled with dried shrimps, roasted peanuts and chili padi in special sauce.

My first thought when I saw this was, do I eat the leaf too? It’s a pretty much abuden, but I have never tried eating leaves before. Somehow I have this impression that they taste mighty awful, only to be proven wrong after I had my first taste of this. It didn’t smell too leafy, probably masked by the special ingredients. The sauce, the peanuts and the shrimps blended well with the daun sirih and I really liked it.

IMG_8445Tomyam Kelapa Muda | Tomyam soup with prawns and coconut flesh.

My favorite soup! What is there not to love about Tom Yam soup? ‘nuff said. (Except that in Kelantan Delights, there is an added twist because coconut flesh is served along with the soup). The soup has a tangy sourish spicy taste. It was served in shot glass which makes me want to gulp it down in one shot. :p

After the appetizers, there was an option to choose either Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik or Nasi Dagang Gulai Ikan. Seeing that I just had Nasi Kerabu the day before that, I decided to choose the Nasi Dagang instead.

IMG_8454 Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik | Ayam percik, with ulam, salted egg and keropok ikan

IMG_8449 Nasi Dagang Gulai Ikan | Nasi dagang with gulai ikan tongkol, acar timun and egg

Compared to the Nasi Kerabu, I have to admit that this looks rather plain. The rice was rather hard, (I’m pretty sure it shouldn’t be like that) and the gulai ikan was just okay. There wasn’t enough gravy for me, because I like to eat my rice with more gravy. When I asked for more gravy, I was given chicken gravy. Which I then said my dish was gulai ikan and the waitress simply said, it works for both. erm, okay. =.= Needless to say, I didn’t like the Nasi Dagang one bit.

I managed to try the Nasi Kerabu, and my, that was like a gazilion times better than the Nasi Dagang. The portion of the ayam percik is rather huge, so it’s best to share the dish. Taste wise, it was good but not the best I have ever tried.

IMG_8457 Nasi Tumpang | :) I love how unique the Nasi Tumpang dish is and there is a story behind it.

In Kelantan Delights, a fried chicken is served along with the Nasi Tumpang. I'd welcome this with my whole heart (or appetite would be a better word to say it). You can never go wrong with a well marinated fried chicken, crispy on the outside and still juicy inside. Because of how tedious the process of making this dish (approx. 3 hours.), only 18 pieces are made.

IMG_8462Nasi Tumpang | This is how it looks unwrapped.

Back in those days, farmers would be hard at work in the paddy fields for the whole day. The wife would pack food for them in these banana leaf coned shaped package. The cone shape allows it to have different layers, and it was to be eaten from the top much like the Wall's Cornetto ice cream cone. The top layer is filled with shredded egg with rice. This is breakfast. Then, there's Gulai Ikan and Sambal Prawn in the second layer. Again, this whole Nasi Tumpang is filled with rice all over. Lastly, there would be Serunding and that's for tea! What a novel idea it was to have 3 meals packed into a humble cone. The banana leaf would allow the food to be kept for hours long.

By the time Nasi Tumpang was served, I was practically stuffed to the brim. I just ate bits of it but I do love the novelty of the dish and I would definitely come back just to try this again, with an appetite of course.

IMG_8464 Laksam | Noodles in fish gravy with chicken floss.

Another dish I love from the menu is the Laksam, where flat noodles (almost similar to the Chinese Chee Cheong Fun) is served with blended fish and herbs gravy. It was a rather plain looking dish, lacking interesting colour to add attitude to the dish. One bite into this, I can immediately imagine how this is comfort food for me. And for all I care, my comfort food can be rainbow in colour I would still eat it because it makes me feel good.

IMG_8467 Laksam | Closer look on the noodles.

And finally, desserts! Dessert was Ketupat Sotong and Lompat Tikam, when we first read that on the menu, we all went what is Lompat and Tikam? Jump and stab? Such a weird name for a dessert. I really couldn’t wait to see what it looks like, and ta-da…

IMG_8469Ketupat Sotong and Lompat Tikam | :)

So, the brown stuff with tentacles is the Ketupat Sotong and the contrasting green kuih and pink rice ball is the Lompat Tikam. When I asked about the history of the name, apparently that was how the Kelantanese call it. But I’m pretty sure there’s a history to it. If you do know, please tell me cause I’m curious how a name like this came about. Honestly I didn’t like either the dessert. The squid was weird to eat with ketupat and it was also sweet. The Lompat Tikam was pretty much kuih and glutinous rice. Not exactly my type of dessert.

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Here is the address for the restaurant if you’re planning to visit;

1-5, Level 1, Sooka Sentral, Jalan Stesen Sentral, 50470 Kuala Lumpur [03 2785 1945]

Note: It’s closed on Saturday and Sunday. You can visit the Subang Jaya branch on weekends.

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