Nasi Kandar


Nasi Kandar is a popular Malaysian dish, said to originate from Penang. It is a meal of steamed rice which can be plain or mildly flavoured, and served with a variety of curries and side dishes.

It can be equated to the Chinese version of ‘Economy Rice’, where one gets to choose from a selection of dishes; the difference being that the dishes offered in a Nasi Kandar outlet are mostly curries.

The word ‘Nasi Kandar’ came about from a time when nasi [rice] vendors would kandar [balance] a pole on the shoulder with two huge containers of rice meals. The name has remained and today the word Nasi Kandar is seen on most Tamil Muslim or “Malaysian Mamak” restaurants and stalls.

The rice for a nasi kandar dish is typically accompanied by side dishes such as fried chicken, curried mutton or beef, fried fish, prawns or squid. The vegetable dish would usually be brinjal (aubergine), okra (lady fingers or “bendi”) or bitter gourd. A mixture of curry sauces is then poured on the rice. This is also called ‘banjir’ (flooding) and imparts a diverse taste to the rice.

Places to try:

Nasi Kandar Ayam Merah
Yong Suan Restoran, 2, Jalan Yang Kalsom, 30250 Ipoh.
Business Hours: 10.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. daily
RM4.20 for rice with a piece of fried chicken, one lady’s finger, some cucumber, sambal & gravy.

Gerai Makanan Dan Minuman Rahamath
Jalan Dato Sagor, 30000 Ipoh.
Business Hours: Opens for lunch only
Closed on Sundays, first Saturday of the month, and public holidays.
RM4.30 for rice with a piece of fried chicken, vegetables, sambal & gravy.

Nasi Kandar Pelita
TESCO Ipoh 2 Jalan Jambu, Ipoh
Business Hours: 8.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. daily
RM5.10 for rice with a piece of fried chicken, vegetables & gravy.

Nasi Kandar A.K.
No. 6 Jalan Labrooy, 30100 Ipoh
Business Hours: 7.00 a.m. – 11.00 p.m. daily
RM4.90  for rice with a piece of fried chicken, vegetables & gravy.