Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Johor Bahru Nasi Ambang

Originally from Java, Indonesia, Nasi Ambang (pronounced um-bng) is very popular in Johor (and Singapore). I love nasi ambang because I love it's many colours, textures, flavours and aromas, all in one dish.

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

Nasi ambang is served at kenduris (traditional village festive gatherings), restaurants and also road side stalls. I love them all ;-D

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

The composition of nasi ambang vary from restaurant to restaurant, stall to stall. I enjoy trying nasi ambang from eatery to eatery as I am thrilled by the surprising twists that I might find inside the dish.

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

I love eating nasi ambang from road side stalls which sells the dish in little conical banana leaf packets. (Back in old Java, husbands bring home leftovers from kenduris in little packets to prove to their wives that they were indeed at a village gathering, and not somewhere else ;-p ).

I have tasted only a few street nasi ambang in Johor Bahru, so far. I am searching for more as there are many that I do not know about yet. If you know good nasi ambang stalls, please let me know by leaving a comment ;-D

Here are some of the best in JB that I've tried so far. If you are looking for nasi ambang in JB, you can give these a try ;-D

Zai Catering

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

Nasi ambang from Zai Catering, a little stall at the MasLee wet market in Taman Setia Indah.

White rice, fried yellow noodles, rendang chicken, lightly stir fried vegetables, fried grated coconut, salted fish, fried tempe, a splash of coconut rich, creamy curry all wrapped in fragrant fresh banana leaf.

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

Nothing fancy.

But, it's my little heaven wrapped in a RM4 taste grenade.

Restaurant name: Zai Catering (click for more details)

Address: Jalan Setia 3/7, Taman Setia Indah, Johor Bahru, Malaysia (beside the MasLee market) 
Map: http://bit.ly/ZaiCatering 
Hours: 5:00am to 5:00pm (closed on Monday)

Nasi Ambang Mak Ana

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

Mak Ana's nasi ambang has everything from curry chicken, fried beef liver, fried vegetables, noodles, potato cutlet, fried shredded coconut, salted fish, curry gravy and sambal chili. Mak Ana's nasi ambang is the most loaded street side one that I know in JB, at the moment.

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

I like Mak Ana's rendang chicken and her fresh pulpy spicy sambal chili.

Restaurant name: Nasi Ambang Mak Ana - street side stall (click for details)
Address: Along Jalan Padi Ria (beside the Petronas station), Bandar Baru Uda, Johor Bahru, Malaysia 
Map: http://bit.ly/MakAnaNasi 
Hours: 11:30am to sold out (usually by 1:30pm) Closed on Saturday

A.B. Rahmat Stall

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

A.B. Rahmat stall at Sri Tebrau market and food centre sells nasi ambang only on Weds lunch. There is always a long queue on Weds ;-D  The nasi ambang here has all the usual components but doesn't have fried noodles.

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

Unlike the usual hard and very salty fish (which I don't quite enjoy), A.B. Rahmat serves this sweet savoury crispy fish. This small fried fish is what keeps me and many fans coming back to A.B. Rahmat.

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

A.B. Rahmat's sambal chili is a balanced blend of sweet, savoury and spicy. Hot enough but not too overwhelming.

Restaurant name:  A. B. Rahmat Stall (click for more details)

Address: Taman Sri Tebrau Hawker Centre, Jalan Keris, Taman Sri Tebrau, Johor Bahru  
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/E0X3Q  
GPS: 1.487056,103.768063  
Hours: 11:00am to 2:00pm (nasi ambang on Weds only)

Cendol House

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

Cendol House's nasi ambang comes pre-packed in little cones of banana leaf and brown paper. Everything is inside this little volcano.

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

Packed full of flavour and aroma. Very tasty though a tad on the greasy side.

I like pre-packed banana leaf nasi ambang as somehow the flavours blend and fuse together in magical ways that erupt when we unwrap the packet.

Restaurant name: Cendol House (click for more details)
Address: Along Jalan Rahmat near the junction of Jalan Merdeka and Jalan Berlian 
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/cKPPp 
GPS: 1.510579,103.753273 
Hours: 11:00am to 7:00pm (Closed on Monday)

Mat Corner (stall in Selera Masuri)

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

Mat Corner is one of the best known nasi ambang stalls in JB. It has all the usual components of fried chicken, tempe, salted fish, fried vegetables and coconut shreds. However, it does not have that signature clump of fried noodles of nasi ambang. The fried chicken also tend to be a bit dry and stiff.

Johor-Bahru-Nasi-Ambang

The spicy splash of curry gravy and sambal chili are Mat Corner's main selling points. The sambal chili has a sharp sting and distinct lemon grass aroma. The curry gravy is spicy, sweet and nutty.

Restaurant name: Mat Corner - stall in Selera Masuri (click for more details)
Address: Off Jalan Padi Mahsuri (opposite SMK Bandar Baru Uda), Bandar Baru Uda 
Map: http://g.co/maps/evjbm 
GPS: 1.494920,103.718823 
Hours: 11:30am to 3:00pm

There you have it; these are just some of the best street nasi ambang in Johor Bahru.

Please give me tips to help me add to and improve this list of nasi ambang in JB ;-D

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I firmly believe that taste is subjective and so, warmly welcome differing viewpoints :-D But, I disapprove negative comments that are anonymous or hide behind fake identities. I feel that that is the same as speaking ill of others behind their backs. I look forward to all your comments :-D Thank you. (Date: 18 Dec 2015)

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