Nasi Lemak Naga Liar…it’s no Proboscis monkey!

joyce yong

I headed down to check out this legendary Chinese style nasi lemak establishment with Joyce during my last day in Miri. Joyce is a regular dining companion of ours during my fortnight over there. We usually have breakfast or lunch together and on the last day I realized something…I’ve never actually taken a photo with her! I thought I have coz we’ve been eating together almost every day but I don’t have a picture of her.

naga liar

Thus, we went down to Nasi Lemak NagaLiar for their acclaimed…er, nasi lemak. smirk I have no idea what the tagline is supposed to convey. However, the history behind this super packed establishment is rather interesting – almost a rags to riches success story.

nasi lemak miri

Nasi Lemak Naga Liar only serves nasi lemak and it sells out really fast. I think we went there at around 1 pm and the nasi lemak special is gone – only the regular ones remain. :x I could see a lot of people ordering packets to go – it seems to serve mainly office workers but it wasn’t always so.

naga liar nasi lemak

According to Joyce, the humble beginnings of NagaLiar Nasi Lemak started with a husband and wife team delivering nasi lemak to schools using a motorcycle (!!!). The proprietor used to go around the schools and sell the nasi lemak to students during recess. It became very popular but they didn’t open a brick and mortar shop until recently.

naga liar interior

I ordered Nasi Lemak Regular (RM 4) – it’s a pretty basic Chinese style version of the dish. There’s sambal, peanuts, anchovies, cool cucumber slices, an egg, a piece of fried chicken and of course, the santan (coconut milk) infused rice.

nasi lemak regular

The nasi lemak from Naga Liar comes with fried chicken by default but you can also order…

naga liar curry drumstick

…a side of curry chicken drumstick (RM 3). I like the curry chicken, but it’s also cooked Chinese style – it’s not as rich and has a distinctive taste like the curry chicken you get from chap fan places. The fried chicken is pretty good though – it’s dipped into a flavorful savory batter and deep fried. Delicious!

nasi lemak naga liar

Naga Liar’s nasi lemak is practically an institution for the people my age in Miri, who grew up eating this during high school. However, I didn’t find it to be particularly outstanding. It’s good, but falls short of greatness. I’m comparing it to Village Park nasi lemak in Damansara Uptown though so that might not be a fair gauge.


I’ll say that it’s good nasi lemak by Miri standards. More importantly, it was great to have lunch with Joyce before leaving Miri again. :D

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36 thoughts on “Nasi Lemak Naga Liar…it’s no Proboscis monkey!

    • Yeah it’s pretty good! Unfortunately I don’t like breast meat. I’m not a lean meat kinda person. :x

      I like drums and thighs, and that’s about it. I would eat wings but I avoid breast meat if at all possible.

      We went there too late so all the drums and thighs were sold out. It would have been even better if the fried chicken came in the form of a drum. :)

  1. hey! so surprised to see someone actually blog about nagaliar.. haha! i’m from miri myself. i used to eat this quite often last time until i became bored of it. =S LOL! i prefer the curry chicken over the usual nasi lemak.. hehe..

    • Hello Jovis! :)

      Yeah, I like the curry chicken. I suspect it’s coz it’s a drum instead of breast meat. I don’t like lean meat – I want my meat to be fat and full of cholestrol. :D

      Oh ya, I hear it’s quite popular in Miri. Personally, I’ve had much better (in KL) but it’s pretty good. There’s this place in Sibu that serves pretty good nasi lemak too but it can’t compare to the authentic stuff over here.

      I love the van that comes at 7 am to Pusat Bandar Damansara – the first one opposite McDonald’s – they have really good nasi lemak. :)

      • haha.. yeahhh!! i dislike breast meat so much! yes.. nagaliar is very popular in miri.. btw, did u try out the kolok mee at the night market? a few old men make their own noodles and sell.. it goes best with their steam chicken.. only can get at night.. it’s SOOOO GOOD!everytime i go back to miri, i must tapau back here to kl.. lol..

        • Me too! It’s just too lean for my tastes. :)

          Ya, NagaLiar seems quite popular eh…

          Hmm…I’ve had a lot of good food in Miri. I don’t think I went to the kolo mee place at the night market though but I’ve had other stuff there. :D

          I shall check it out next time!

          Cheers Jovis! :)

    • I love all kinds bro! :)

      The Chinese style curries is watery and kinda bland but it has its charms. I like thick curry and rendang in Malay cuisine and I love Indian curries too. :D

      I’m a big fan of spicy food – it makes everything appetizing.

      I drool when I think of biting into a raw chilli. :)

    • Hmm…you’re right!

      I thought it was quite cheap at RM 4 considering the nasi lemak I order here can cost upwards of RM 6 with chicken rendang drumsticks, two fried eggs, extra sambal siham, liver rendang etc. It has the works and it’s full of cholestrol. Heh! The van I go to at first though I was eating for two.

      …but yeah, I agree, when you consider the regular one is already RM 4 and you add RM 3 for just another drumstick it’s not cheap compared to my usual haunts in KL. It’s pretty good nasi lemak for Miri though, kinda like how that place behind SMK Methodist serves up a mean dish of nasi lemak (for Sibu anyway) too. :D

      I didn’t see any wellness centers. Maybe it closed down? :)

      • Heh! I reckon anon was making a jibe about the name. Now that I think of it it can work three ways:

        1. Naga Liar – lying dragon
        2. Naga Liar – wild dragon
        3. Naga Lair – dragon’s lair

        …and all with NL for Nasi Lemak. :)

    • anon: Haha! That’s a good one. :D

      It’s Naga Liar as in “wild dragon” but I guess Naga Lair works too – “dragon’s lair”.

      Nice wordplay. :)

  2. this used to be a staple for me back when i was staying in miri… it was sold in curtin cafeteria and heaps better than the rest of the food there AND i loved the fried chicken! for awhile i was hooked on this. however, i think the nasi lemak sold just below balcony is much better – you should give that a shot the next time you’re in miri.

    • Hello Irene!

      Oh, you mean the husband and wife team brought it to Curtin university to sell themselves? Or do they make it and leave it there e,g, an agreement with the Curtin administration?

      Yup the fried chicken is quite good eh!

      Okay, will visit that place next time I’m there. I was living very close to Balcony (and very close to Jo’s house too). :)

      • haha when i was in miri they were already a pretty successful business, and had the shop up and running already! i think they had an agreement with the lady running that particular stall in curtin – but if not mistaken it was discontinued after awhile, to my disappointment.

        don’t think the balcony nasi lemak can compare with some of the better kl ones, but the rice is rich and the sambal is pretty spicy, not too bad by miri standards i guess, and definitely better than nagaliar’s!

        yeap, jo lives VERY near the clubbing area hahaha. she could walk to balcony if she wanted to =P

        • Interesting! I see, I don’t know why it’s so popular, perhaps it’s one of the best in Miri but yeah it can’t compare to KL ones. :)

          I love spicy sambals! I bet I’ll love the one below Balcony better, unfortunately, I haven’t tried it.


          Yeah, I think she could. I think I can walk back if I wanted to back when I was there too. Heh! :)

    • Yeah! It’s like the plates we used to use as kids at home when grandma cooked. Heh! Remember those plates? It’s white though, not brown. :)

    • Yeah, I like the van that used to park outside Dataran Prima condo – I don’t know if they still operate over there. Now one of my favorites is the one that comes at 7 am in the morning in Pusat Bandar Damansara – also a van, unloads onto 3 tables on the sidewalk, great nasi lemak and good kueh too.

      They have this Jello type kueh which is kinda firm but jelly-like – it’s neon red and rolled in shaved coconut. Great stuff.

      Anyway, there’s a lot of nasi lemak places in KL so naturally the quality is better over here (also taking into consideration cultural and demographic stats). :)

      This nasi lemak is pretty good for Miri. :D

  3. $3 for a piece of chicken? wow, times have changed in M’sia. soon I can’t afford to buy kolo mee liaw.

    how come no picture of the missus? wah, you in big trouble liaw. ha ha ha

    • Yeah mate, that’s pretty much the standard price now. Hey, even kolo mee prices have gone up, much like kampua, there’s nothing under RM 2 anymore.

      Oh, she was the one who took the photo – there’s too many people there to get others to do it for us. :)

    • Haha! Good one Eiling!

      …but then they’ll have trouble figuring out what Naga is. :D

      I’m wondering about their signboard too – why proboscis monkey? What’s the link? Hmm…

  4. I find Nagaliar’s nasi lemak to be simple yet, delicious! Though I don’t go there very often, it’s Miri’s most popular spot for nasi lemak, considering we don’t really have many of these kind of shops there. Miri is packed with chinese shops all around!

    I love Madam Kwan’s nasi lemak. Have yet to try the Village’s one in Damansara. Perhaps, I should try it out when I get back. =P

    • Hello Lynthia! :)

      Yeah, it seems to be very popular in Miri and I’ve heard a lot about it. Yup, Miri is a lot like Sibu in that regard, but I had nasi lalapan that’s really good over there too. There’s this chain of shops called Ayam Penyet over here, seems to be something similar but from different areas of Indonesia and slight variences.

      Oh, the Village Park nasi lemak is THE BEST! :D

      Yeah, you must try it! Give me a call when you’re here and we can go have lunch together! :)

      • Awesome! Will do.

        Btw, I’m quite bad when it comes to food especially in Miri. I don’t know much though I have been staying there for more than 10 years. Lol. Shall try the nasi lalapan when I get back.

        And, if you happen to fly to Miri again, must try the best laksa at Pulau Melayu in Miri. My sister who is a laksa freak claims that it’s the best laksa in town. =P

        • Heh! Yeah, I can understand that. New places crop up all the time and a lot of them go out of business after a short time, to be replaced by another and the cycle repeats.

          Not a lot of F&B outlets make it big, it’s a highly competitive industry.

          Oh, I think I know which laksa you’re talking about! I ate there, if I’m not mistaken. I shall double check. :)

          It’ll be great! Just email me or text me at 016 888 2069 if you’re in town. You must eat probably the best nasi lemak in the world – Village Park. :D

          • Sure, thanks!

            Oh btw, I do know one popular and successful chain of stores in Miri, Kokoberry, the bubble tea drink shop. =P It’s all around Miri and I think they have it in Sibu too. =P

            • Oh ya I went to that one too! The Kokoberry in the mall where the only cinema in Miri is at. :)

              Yup, there’s a Kokoberry in Sibu too, it’s at Delta Mall. A friend of mine called Mary owns it.

              She’s coincidentally in Miri now too! :)

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