Nasi Kandar Line Clear

nasi kandar line clear

I’ve heard a lot about this extremely popular nasi kandar place in Penang. Nasi Kandar Line Clear is located at Lorong Line Clear (which is probably where it got it’s name) and it’s open 24 hours. I hear peak hours are crazy – long queues are to be expected.

nasi kandar line clear alley

It’s quite easy to find but there are a lot of nasi kandar places around the area so be sure you get the right one. The entrance is through a small and narrow alley and you’re apt to miss it if you get distracted by the other signages.

nasi kandar queue

We went just before 6 pm and even then, the tables are packed with people. It operates just like what you’ll expect – line up and you’ll be presented with a plate of steamed rice to which you can choose a variety of meat, vegetables and seafood to go with it.

huge fish head

There’s even curry fish head the size of your palm if you like that kind of thing.

line clear people

I was initially surprised by the popularity of Nasi Kandar Line Clear. There is only a very modest variety of dishes to choose from. I’ve seen much larger nasi kandar operations with triple the number of dishes. However, it soon became apparent that they specialize in dishes they are great at.

nasi kandar line clear offerings

I ordered nasi kandar with a fried chicken drumstick and beef cooked in a sticky sweet black sauce. The nasi kandar here gives you “kuah campur” (also called tsunami, an ironic name for the state) by default. This means that they will give you a bit of gravy from every single dish to create a gooey mass of delicious mixed gravy on top of the rice.

nasi kandar gravy

This is my nasi kandar for RM 8. It also comes with raw okra and cucumbers as a standard feature. The hot gravy warms up the raw lady fingers enough so by the time you eat it, it’s soft and juicy.

raw okra

The rice is also piping hot, which is a plus point. A lot of nasi kandar places serve semi warm or downright cold rice. The kuah campur (mixed gravy) does a lot to the dish – mixed in with the rice, you get notes of fish curry, beef rendang, squid curry, ayam masak merah (a sweet chicken dish) and lots more, so it’s very, very flavorful.

kuah campur

I think that’s what makes Nasi Kandar Line Clear so popular – the dishes might be limited, but what they have is delicious and the mixed gravy is simply orgasmic.

line clear gallery

…and it looks like I’m not the only one who thinks this place is the bomb. :D

line clear

We thoroughly enjoyed it and the people who went after us in the wee hours of the morning agrees!

nasi kandar line clear rat

However, since Nasi Kandar Line Clear is located in an alley, you probably should be prepared to dine with unexpected companions of the furry kind.

RM 32 nasi kandar

rm 32

My girlfriend is always getting fleeced by the nasi kandar people. I have a very strong suspicion they don’t like her very much. ;) She got charged RM 32 for this:

rm 32 nasi kandar

Nasi briyani (a type of flavored rice)
Ayam goreng (fried chicken – drumstick)
Sotong goreng (fried squid)
Daging lembu rendang (beef rendang)
Telur (hard boiled egg)
Sayur (vegetables)

I order the same stuff (with kuah campur – mixed gravy) and I get it for RM 13.50 – RM 15 depending on who’s serving the stuff. There this guy who’s fascinated by my surface bar piercings and tends to charges me less.

The pricing of nasi kandar here is so arbitrary sometimes…

Guess the price of my nasi campur (photo included)

guess_nasi_campur.jpg

Guess how much this combination of nasi campur costs? There’s more
sotong pieces than meets the eye, some of it is obscured by the chicken
drumstick. No, I didn’t play “Hide the sotong” intentionally, it was
due to the real estate on the styrofoam packs. By the way, “Hide the
(most expensive item)” is a technique where you cover up a more
expensive item with a less expensive one – like covering a drumstick
with cabbages. This is an extreme example, it’s just to illustrate the
point. I’ve never done that intentionally though, not for any moral or
personal reasons, it’s just coz I don’t bother.

The way things work over here is like this – you get handed a plate
or take away pack filled with rice and you choose whatever you want
from the array of dishes displayed. You can opt to have as many items
as you want and the portions you choose is up to you. The price (which
can vary depending on time of the day, whether you’re a regular, as
well as many other factors) is tallied up when you’re done, based on
your choices. However, “Hide the xxx” doesn’t work all that well
nowadays, because the proprietors usually check underneath due to the
popularity of this method.

Back to the post, my lunch has a drumstick, sotong and chili covered
brinjals. You don’t eat for a couple of days and then you feel hungry
enough to eat a horse. ;) Anyway, guess how much this nasi campur pack
costs?

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