Sunday, September 7, 2008

Kaki Lima

In spite of the wet and dreary weather, lill' sis, H and myself decided to head to Kingsford for some Malaysian "road side" fare (Kaki Lima = road side). We each ordered the Nasi Lemak. Nasi Lemak is typical malay fare which consist of coconut rice, half a boiled egg, deep fried anchovies, fried ground peanuts, cucumber and sambal (a type of chilli paste). The more lavish varieties also includes meat and seafood alternatives.

Kaki Lima had a variety of meat and seafood choices to spice up your nasi lemak. There was a choice of chicken curry, beef rendang, chicken rendang and sambal sotong (squid cooked in sambal). H and I went for the chicken rendang and lill' sis had the curry chicken. When we received our plates of steaming nasi lemak, I was really looking forward to a dose of good old Malaysian fare. However, my expectations were shattered upon the first bite. The coconut rice wasn't rich and creamy as coconut rice should be (I could have made better coconut rice!). It tasted just like normal rice cooked in pandan leaves and salt. The chicken rendang tasted and looked watered down. Furthermore, some bits of the chicken were very dry, like when you microwave chicken too many times over!
Nasi Lemak with Chicken Rendang

We also ordered the beef martabak; cooked beef mince added to the inside of roti prata (asian pancake) and I thought to myself, OK, hopefully this will be much better and more authentic. But compared to past martabaks we've had at Kaki Lima, this was a big let down as well. The martabak had really little beef mince in it and the mince was tasteless! The prata was just ordinary and the dhal (lentil curry) that comes with it was also ordinary.
Beef Martabak

I am truly disappointed with Kaki Lima as it seems to have really fallen short of what it used to be.

Kaki Lima
3/343 Anzac Parade
Kingsford, NSW, 2000


Anonymous said...

Surely, as a Malaysian, you would know that kaki lima means "five feet" not "road side" and comes from the shape of the hawker carts?

foodie-central said...

Hi Anon - Thanks for your comment. I did not know that kaki lima came from the shape of the hawker carts. (You learn something new everday!) But after some googling it seems that this meaning originated from Indonesia instead of Malaysia.

Although the direct translation of the word kaki lima is five feet I've always associated and used this word to convey sidewalk / road side in daily banter. And as the above link states, the term also does refer to the sidewalk pavement which is five feet wide.