Much has been written about Penang’s iconic dish, the nasi kandar, of Indian-Muslim (called “mamak” locally) origins. One can find nasi kandar as far afield as KL or Singapore, but nasi kandar connoiseurs would all agree that for the best rendition of the dish, one still has to go to Penang. The most popular nasi kandar spot in Penang at the moment is, of course, Deen Maju at Jalan Gurdwara ([Penang, Malaysia] Deen Maju Nasi Kandar at Jln Gurdwara (Brick Kiln Road).).
Nasi Kandar Pokok Ketapang is another one of the better-known nasi kandar spots on the island. Founded in 1959 by a Mr Othman Gani, it’s currently run by his grandson, Omar Farook Mohamed Jameel. The nasi kandar spot got its name as it started off as a stall underneath the shade of a large, local deciduous “ketapang” tree. The tree itself was felled in 2000, and a hotel was constructed on the site.
Nasi Kandar Pokok Ketapang itself, however, continued on in a location nearby, serving out its plethora of curry dishes.
My lunch plate today consisted of steamed rice, with Pokok Ketapang’s signature fried chicken, with boiled okra (another nasi kandar must-have side-dish), hard-boiled egg, curried fish-roe (my personal fave), and the typical lashings of various types of curry sauces that’s typical of a plate of nasi kandar.
Nasi Kandar Pokok Ketapang
38, Hutton Lane (Lorong Hutton)
10050 George Town, Penang
Tel: +6011-1448 4164
Opening hours: 7am to 8pm daily