Friday, 6 March 2015

Nasi Ambang in Johor Bahru JB Taman Setia Indah by Zai Catering

Today, we drove around the Taman Setia Indah area and stumbled upon Zai Catering stall just beside the MasLee wet market.

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Zai Catering is a small stall shaded by umbrellas facing Jalan Setia 3/7; it was right under the large Pasaraya MasLee sign.

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When we saw that Zai Catering was serving nasi ambang, we immediately decided to give it a try.

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As Zai Catering serves only takeaways, we took our packets of food to the food court just behind Zai Catering stall. The food court was very comfortable and we can get our drinks as well as additional food here.

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My breakfast in traditional banana leaf wrap.

Just a packet of nasi ambang and a glass of hot frothy milk tea (teh tarik). Total RM5 (SGD1.90) for everything together. Humble but satisfying brekky that makes me blissfully happy.

Michelin Stars not required for a great meal ;-D

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Nasi Ambang with chicken rendang RM4 (SGD1.50).

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Nasi Ambang with beef rendang RM4 (SGD1.50).

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The nasi ambang were served with a handful of stir fried mixed vegetables which were fresh and crunchy.

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There was also a clump of stir fried savoury sweet noodles and bean sprouts. There was a bit of serundeng (fried shredded coconut) buried under the noodles.

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Each packet of nasi ambang comes with a couple of this small salted fish. The salted fish was quite hard and very salty.

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The sambal chili at Zai Catering was a blend of sweet, savoury and spicy. The sambal chili was quite sweet and only mildly spicy.

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Mid way through our meal, I popped back to the stall to ask for a little bit more sambal chili. The cheerful lady scooped us a small bagful of sambal chili.

Such is the generosity of everyday folks which I encountered frequently in JB.

I liked both the beef rendang and chicken rendang versions of nasi ambang, but my favourite was the chicken rendang.

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The rendang beef diced into small cubes was well infused with aromatic herbs and spices. The meat was tender but slightly fibrous.

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The chicken was cooked just right, so the meat was tender and juicy. The chicken was blanketed with a rich and creamy curry gravy which was mildly spicy with the pleasant taste of herbs and spices. The flavour of the creamy coconut milk was strong.

I love this.

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After our enjoyable meal, we spoke a while with the friendly stall holders.

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Pak Mus was busy cooking sambal chili at the stall.

Pak Mus runs the stall with wife Mak Zai and their daughters.

The family is at the stall at 2:00am and is ready at 5:00am to serve packets of nasi ambeng and nasi lemak to the workers who work in Singapore. The hardworking workers commute daily between JB and Singapore. The workers swing by at Mak Zai's stall on their bikes and pick up their packets of breakfast and lunch on the way to Singapore.

If you want to try nasi ambang, you can get it at Zai Catering. Next time, I will remember to ask for a big splash of gravy with the chicken rendang as I love the gravy's creaminess, aromas and flavours.

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Restaurant name: Zai Catering

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

Date visited: 5 Mar 2015


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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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