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After much persuasion, our Makan Kaki Juwanda Hassim (The Fabulous Baker Boy) finally revealed his favourite stall for Lontong & Nasi Sambal Goreng. But I had to really dig it out of him! You know when there’s that one place you love and prefer to keep to yourself because it’s just so good? This is it for Juwanda. Never have I heard such passion, pride and devotion to these traditional Malay dishes – Juwanda’s love for the food served at this stall in ABC Brickworks Food Centre is unparalleled. Here’s why: The lady who cooks and serves does it just like Mum – no holds barred, with the same love, care, attention to detail and best of all, with a big smile.
Let’s start with her Lontong – you can have it as Lontong Kering, which is dry, or with the gravy. Definitely go with the gravy version because you don’t want to miss out on its full-on flavour- all the better to soak into the tender, home-made lontong (rice cakes). It’s just the right consistency – thick, rich, redolent with spices with that perfect balance of Serai, Ginger, and all the the other ingredients. Together with veggies, heaps and heaps of Serunding (spicy fried coconut) and the sambal which has been cooked slowly for hours over a fire, this dish is absolutely irresistible. Juwanda wonders why Lotong isn’t a Malay National dish! It’s so good, that in his words, “it makes you want to cry, because you long for these flavours, because you don’t find it very often anymore.”
Next, move on to the Nasi Sambal Goreng. First and foremost, the rice is of really high quality. Be sure to order it either with sambal sotong (squid) or ayam goreng (fried chicken). Again, both have full-on flavour and are completely delicious. It’s these dishes he feels are more than worth preserving and documenting and it’s these dishes that make him so very proud of his Malay cuisine. So hurry, get in line and grab your Lontong & Nasi Sambal Goreng to-go or eat there! You’ll find Nusa & Tara in the 3rd section (halal) of ABC Market, at the end, just opposite the Kueh Moi stall.
Nusa & Tara
ABC Brickworks Food Centre
Blk 6 Jalan Bukit Merah
Open: 5.30am – 1.30pm