I absolutely adore nasi lemak— it’s one of the very few dishes you can’t get wrong. But the main problem with this widely-loved dish is that you rarely get to enjoy it at night. So, when I heard about Nasi Lemak Burung Hantu selling nasi lemak until 3am, I was thrilled.
I made my way to TTDI and my worst nightmare came true… there was no parking spot to be found. I suppose everyone decided to visit this restaurant that night because I spent 15 minutes trying to secure a spot. Every time I passed the eatery, the line kept getting longer. And my stomach? It kept grumbling.
That being said, a long line should never scare off a foodie, so I spent another 15 minutes queuing up. As I inched closer to the front of the line, the aroma of freshly-fried chicken engulfed me. Watching the chefs cook the fried chicken behind the counter made my mouth water, as they scooped piles of delicious fried chicken onto a gigantic banana leaf platter.
I noticed that the seating area inside the restaurant was somewhat limited and it felt slightly stuffy. However, additional seating is available in front of other shops within the same lot. Please be considerate and ensure to clean up after yourselves, and keep your voices down, taking into account the proximity to a residential area.
What I tried at Nasi Lemak Burung Hantu
Although I arrived at 8.30pm, most of the lauk was finished. I cried on the inside because I was ready to add the sambal sotong as a side dish. Instead, I ordered the usual Nasi Lemak Ayam Berempah (RM12.50).
The mouthwatering plate of nasi lemak featured fragrant coconut rice, roasted peanuts, fried anchovies, cucumber slices, succulent fried chicken, a perfectly fried egg, and sambal. I could tell that the egg was freshly fried from the still runny yolk.
After giving the rice, egg yolk, and sambal a good mix, I cut a piece of chicken and took a bite. I was speechless— this tasted incredible! What intrigued me most was the sambal. It was sweet at first, then a wave of spiciness came after, like a delayed punch, but in a good way. Bonus points for the sambal because it wasn’t too oily and it also had a thick consistency, which I personally like.
A good sambal should serve the right balance between sweet, spicy, and oiliness, which lends to so many nasi lemak sellers having mixed reputations for their sambal. For this restaurant, the rave reviews about its sambal being better than Village Park Restaurant is now tried and tested as true.
I shifted my focus to the fried chicken for further review. Freshly cooked, with steam emanating from the chicken thigh, I knew I was in for a treat. The chicken itself was savoury, juicy and well-marinated, tender against my teeth but not stringy after biting in.
The generous size made my wallet sigh in relief, and I was able to finish the rice before the chicken, allowing myself a few luxurious second helpings of just the chicken meat.
Despite these ravings, the main star was the skin. Now, I know there are mixed opinions on chicken skin, with some foodies opting out of chicken skin, but in my books, it’s an absolute must. It was crunchy, juicy, and not too oily. With each chicken thigh seared and fried to perfection before being served on the plate, each serving of chicken thigh is sure to be encased in crispy perfection.
Nasi Lemak Burung Hantu is unquestionably my top choice for enjoying nasi lemak. Is it better than the one served at Village Park? In my opinion, yes. The sambal took the whole dish to another level (nasi lemak heaven), and the chicken was warm and juicy. The dish ticked all the boxes for a perfect plate of nasi lemak!
It’s advisable to plan your visit accordingly, as most of the side dishes tend to sell out early. For those who prefer chicken breast or chicken wings, I regret to inform you that only chicken thigh is available.
Expected damage: RM13 – RM20 per pax