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Thursday 26 December 2013

Warong Norazila

Lot 2230, Jalan Sultan Mahmud
Kuala Ibai
20400 Kuala Terengganu
(Coordinates: E103° 10' 6.8" N5° 17' 7.5")

Being a fully-bred Terengganu boy it is my assertion that the Terengganu 1Nasi Dagang is the one true king, while all other variants mere pretenders to the throne. Excuse me for waxing lyrical about my favourite Terengganu dish but a visit to Warong Norazila will surely convert all detractors, will it not?

1rice steamed in coconut milk

I grew up on a lot of things, but the one dish that I identify the most with my childhood is Nasi Dagang. In my prepubescent days I only need to head to the local market for my regular fix; any roadside stall worth its salt will serve the Nasi Dagang (wrapped in banana leaf) on any given morning.

Later in life the Nasi Dagang was not so plentiful, and I would usually head to Simpang Tokku to a shop located directly opposite the Shell petrol station for my fix. The Nasi Dagang stall that I frequented was run by a pair of sisters with identical protruding front teeth (the sisters were however, not identical twins. They were not even twins, come to think of it.)

We moved to Kuala Lumpur in 2002 and came back every now and then, and each time we made sure Simpang Tokku was high in our list of places of interest. Then a few years ago the unimaginable happened; the sisters stopped selling their Nasi Dagang at Simpang Tokku!

Faced with the prospect of going through life devoid of my Nasi Dagang I began an earnest search for the sisters with the protruding teeth. Searching long and hard (bless the internet) yielded several clues and clear indications, and on our very next trip to Kuala Terengganu we found Warong Norazila. After interviewing the personnel manning the Nasi Dagang stall, I was satisfied that we had the correct version. Apparently the sisters ran both the Simpang Tokku and Kuala Ibai stalls up until a few years ago and have since retired. They let go of the Simpang Tokku stall and left the Kuala Ibai stall in the hands of their successors (nieces and other assortment of relatives).

yes, your eyes do not deceive you
nasi minyak
nasi kunyit
nasi kerabu
various pots of gulai

Phew! Now on with the dishes available at Warong Norazila. Apart from the Nasi Dagang themed stall; this almost food-court type eatery boasts a wide variety of other dishes including Black Pepper Steak!

We began by ordering the Nasi Dagang with 2Gulai Ikan Tongkol (Tuna) for me; Brendan had the Nasi Minyak with 2Gulai Daging (Beef) while Cat had the 3Nasi Himpit. By way of beverages, I had freshly squeezed Apple juice while Brendan and Cat both had the freshly squeezed Dragon Fruit juice. Just so you know, Ikan Tongkol (Tuna) is called Ikan Aye (pronounced Ah-Yer) in Terengganu.

2rich, spicy and succulent curry-like sauce
3glutinous compressed rice cooked in palm leaves

Brendan's nasi minyak with gulai daging
my nasi dagang with gulai ikan tongkol
Cat's nasi himpit
bon appetit
multi coloured juices

Hold up, hold up... I then had the Nasi Kunyit (Pulut Kuning) with 2Gulai Ikan Tongkol (Tuna) while Cat was enticed with what Brendan had and promptly ordered her own Nasi Minyak with 2Gulai Daging.

yup, it's round two
my  nasi kunyit with gulai ikan tongkol

Suffice to say we thoroughly and completely enjoyed our meal(s) and there will be no further word on that. And here’s the pièce de résistance: with all that we ordered plus the various freshly squeezed fruit juices the total came to... wait for it... drum roll please... RM22!

So for anyone with any lingering doubts about whether Terengganu has the best Nasi Dagang, please punch in the coordinates provided above, order yourselves a plate and prepare to be converted.

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