Sometimes it’s not only about the food, but about the entire experience.
At Nasi Dagang Pak Malau, a small neighborhood countryside restaurant in Langkawi, the food was spectacular.
But the friendly owner, and the view overlooking the rice fields with the highest mountain on the island in the background, is what made it even better.
In this blog post, I’ll cover one of the best meals I ate when I was in Langkawi.
The first thing you’ll notice as soon as you arrive to Nasi Dagang Pak Malau is the picture perfect setting.
There are two different areas you can sit, right underneath the thatch roof of the restaurant (which is open air), or you can grab one of the yellow tables set up right on the edge of the rice field.
If it’s early enough in the day, or if there’s shade, a table on the edge of the rice field with a view of Gunung Raya (the tallest mountain in Langkawi) is definitely supreme.
The curries all sit at the front of the restaurant, but rather than being served in big metal square containers as is usually the case at rice and curry restaurants throughout this region, each curry was neatly displayed in a glass bowl.
Just from the color of the curries, the oil content, and the aroma of the curries, I could immediately tell a difference in the quality of their cooking.
Once you go to the front of the restaurant, you can pick and choose the curry, or variety of curries, you’d like, and they will be served on your plate, and then you can find a seat.
What is nasi dagang?
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“Traditionally nasi dagang is only rice and fish curry, but since we have many variably tastes here in Langkawi, we also choose to serve a few different extra curries as well,” said the owner.
At Nasi Dagang Pak Malau, you’ll not only find the traditionally fish curry, but there was also chicken curry, beef rendang, mutton korma, and a few others to choose from – I’m definitely not complaining about that!
I knew I needed to try the traditional nasi dagang plate of fish curry and rice, topped with a scoop of pickled cucumbers and carrots, but also, not for the first time in my life, I just could not resist getting a piece of mutton korma on the side.
The rice was fragrantly cooked with onions, ginger, and something called halba, which I didn’t know until looking it up afterwards, is fenugreek seeds. The rice had a nice aroma to it.
The fish curry was among the finest versions of fish curry I had eaten in a long time.
The curry was rich with spices, creamy from coconut milk, yet not overly rich, and the fish, which was a type of tuna, was meaty and dense.
The mutton korma was also delicious.
The meat was tender and juicy, and the sauce was a rich and buttery tasting – not nearly as spicious (that’s one of my favorite words) as the fish curry, but more rich and creamy.
Both the fish curry and mutton korma went extremely well together.
The pickled cucumbers, carrots, and onions, had a wonderful crispness to them, and they were just slightly sour and sweet.
Another additional ingredient that enhanced the nasi dagang even further was a bowl of green chilies sitting on the side.
While eating this incredible meal of nasi dagang, the owner handed me an extra bowl of fish curry sauce, which I proceeded to drown my rice in, and loved every single bite.
Ying, my wife, decided to get a portion of chicken curry and a piece of beef rendang, which I had the pleasure of tasting.
Both dishes she ordered were equally delicious, it was some of the best beef rendang I had ever had – a nice fragrance of dried chillies and that toasted coconut (kerisik).
Sometimes rendang curry can be a little on the sweet side for me, but this time it was perfect.
The spices and coconut were caked up on the sides of the meat, and it was just embedded with flavor. The beef also had an excellent natural flavor to it, not too tender, and not tough either.
Here’s the extent of the menu… I think.
You really actually don’t need a menu to eat at Nasi Dagang Pak Malau, you just show up, choose your dishes, and you will be taken care of.
The view, the food, the friendliness of the owners and the entire environment, makes Nasi Dagang Pak Malau in Langkawi a legendary restaurant.
If you have a few minutes, be sure to watch the video above, for the full meal experience and the atmosphere.
(If you can’t see the video, watch it on YouTube here)
When I was in Langkawi, one morning for breakfast we went to a restaurant called Nasi Dagang Pak Malau to eat a Malaysian dish of rice and fish curry known as nasi dagang.
Along with feasting at a Malaysian wedding, sitting on the edge of the rice field eating one of the finest fish curries I’d eaten in a long time, paired with the natural beauty and the exceptionally kind and gracious owners of the restaurant, made it one of the top meals I had during my time in Langkawi.
If you visit Langkawi and love delicious food, make it a point to get to Nasi Dagang Pak Malau.
Nasi Dagang Pak Malau
Address: Jalan Makam Mahsuri, Mukim Ulu Melaka, Kuah, Kedah, Langkawi, Malaysia
Open hours: I think they are open from Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday and Sunday (closed on Friday and Monday), and they are open from about 8 am – 2 pm or until they sell out, best to go for breakfast
Prices: A plate of food with just one curry will cost about 6 MYR and with two curries like I got it cost 7.50 MYR
How to get there: The restaurant is located just off Jalan Makam Mahsuri (where the museum is located). As for what I know, you need to either have your own transportation, or arrange transportation (like a taxi) to get there.
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