Del’s Kitchen Cafe, PJ – Nasi Ambang, Laksa Johor, Lontong, Kacang Pol

My big bro shared on his FB that he has finally found the best lontong in KL and I texted him immediately ” So that’s our lunch tomorrow right?” ūüôā

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Del’s Kitchen started in RH Plaza in Kuching and was operational for about 2 decades before it ceased business. Their latest outlet is conveniently located here in PJ, Dataran¬†3 Two Square, on the same row as Pappa Rich. A family run business, it labeled itself a¬†Johorean food specialist and its menu is peppered with some Johorean specialties as well as our local favourites of nasi lemak, roti jala and chicken rice. Snacks includes pastries, toast & eggs as well as house-made cakes. If you’re into western delights such as chicken chop, grilled lamb, etc that’s available too so there’s something for everyone here!

Flipping through the basic printed paper and clipboard menu, the Kacang Pol (RM7.90) caught my eye and became my starter for the day.

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Traditionally served with toast, a fried egg and a squeeze of lime juice, the Kacang Pol here was presented in a similar manner. How faithful it remained to¬†the original recipe I won’t know but I can assure you that it is tasty! A quick search online revealed that the main ingredient is “foul medammas”, some spices and oil. Any Johorean here care to shed some light on this?

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Texture-wise it was a pleasant balance of smooth and coarse consistency. I loved it and prompted labeled it the “Malaysian Hummus”. My big bro approves! ūüôā

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Next on my highly recommended list is the Nasi Ambang. Traditionally a communal dish, the original Nasi Ambang is of Javanese origin and is meant for sharing. In recent times and for convenience/practicality, this signature dish can now be enjoyed as a single portion on a plate. The meal is made up of steamed white rice, fried noodles and condiments.

The usual condiments are¬†serunding kelapa, sambal goreng with peanuts, mee goreng, salted fish and meat which could be chicken or beef. Here at¬†Del’s Kitchen it was made more luxurious with many more condiments though the fried noodles is¬†conspicuously missing. We have added beef rendang, begedil (potato cake), paru (cow lung), tempeh (fermented soy cake), tauhu (bean curd), chicken and fried long beans with more tempeh.

1st visit. 

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On my first trip the beef rendang was marvelously tender but the sambal with peanuts was too salty.

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On a re-visit 3 days later our Nasi Ambang beef rendang and chicken was tough as hell. Everything else remained more or less similar. I guess consistency can be a bit off here at times.

2nd visit. 

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A noteworthy mention here is the quality of rice used; whole, firm and fluffy.

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Another marvel is the Tauhu Telur (RM7.00), a tower of airy, puffy fried egg with shredded fresh cucumbers, carrots and bean sprouts in their special sweet soy sauce ( I believe it’s kicap manis).

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The cook’s frying skill is exceptional as the eggs wasn’t greasy at all though it was deep fried.

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But the cook’s skill in making Roti Jala (RM6.90)¬†(presumably it’s the same person) is obviously shaky still. According to my big bro, the Roti Jala he had a day ago wasn’t as thick nor as¬†vermilion¬†as this.

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In fact, this was more of a crepe than roti jala!

I had it sent back into the kitchen but when it returned looking and tasting the same as the previous plate, we just gave up and enjoyed it as it is.

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The accompany chicken curry wasn’t too bad though a thicker consistency would have been more satisfying.

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The last addition of the 1st visit was the Lontong, a rich creamy coconut based vegetable curry with compressed rice cakes. Our order came with serunding and sambal on the side, of which we are supposed to add it all in just prior to consumption.

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The vegetables are fresh and the soup aromatic enough to satisfy. But I somewhat prefer my vegetables in the lontong to be cooked longer so it is softer.

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For RM7, it was chockful of ingredients, but all vegetarian.

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Moving on to my 2nd visit, this time with Rainier who was back from Singapore for Chinese New Year. He ordered the Mee Siam Kuah¬†was basically rice vermicelli, bean curd and bean sprouts. He said the¬†vermicelli noodles were nicely done, and didn’t disintegrate easily which gave it a good bite. Soup-wise it was a good balance of piquancy and sweetness at first, but with progressive bites Rainier started to find it a bit too sweet and thick for his liking. He gave up two-thirds of the way. I personally won’t order it as I felt it lacked any substantial ingredients of any sort.

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I ordered the Kacang Pol (RM7.90) AGAIN. I’m officially addicted.

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Well, at least the Kacang Pol is consistent.

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What’s Johor food without Johor Laksa? My big bro highly recommended it so it must be good.

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And yes it was! Their Laksa Johor is served with spaghetti and a thick, fish based coconut gravy with condiments of bean sprouts, shredded cucumber, onions, thai basil leaves as well as laksa leaves. Add a squeeze of the lime provided and mix it up with the sambal belacan just before tucking in. I guarantee you Johor Laksa satisfaction!

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The ice lemon tea that comes with the sets are fine, but the Nescafe Tarik Rainier ordered that day is terribly diluted. As usual I requested for a change, but the 2nd glass was just as bad.

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Other than a new “coffee maker”, I think they need a new pastry chef too.

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But all that minor nit-picking aside, Del’s Kitchen serves really good Johorean specialties in the convenient location of PJ. I’m so happy to be able to get my lontong, kacang pol, laksa johor fix so easily now! For more of their menu, opening hours and any other info, check out their FB page:¬†www.facebook.com/DelsKitchenCafe.

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PS: Do note that I’m no expert on Johorean delicacies and cuisine so I do appreciate any feedback from the experts. If you have recommendations of anywhere that’s better, do leave me a comment! Likewise, if you have visited Del’s Kitchen and have some thoughts to share, I’ll love to hear from you too! :DD

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