Last week, enroute to visiting our Haj buddies Abang Mat and his wife Kak Nor in Kampung Sri Kundang, Kuala Selangor, we spied this nondescript kedai makan simply named "Restoran Nasi Padang".
It is located on the main road in Paya Jaras, just a few metres after the town mosque and medan rakyat, a cluster of shophouses fronting a small square.
It goes without saying that we both love nasi padang, but finding a decent Minang eatery in KL has never been easy.
Besides one that serves truly glorious Minang fare in Kampung Pandan, and another in TTDI (with a pricey tag too), I don't know of others.
Of course, there's the famous "Restoran Sambal Hijau" in Sg Penchala, but the fare's not bona fide Minang; rather, it's a mishmash of Indonesian, Kelantanese and Thai.
We told ourselves we would try this Paya Jaras one out, and today we did. It was worth the drive (fortunately not very far, only 20 minutes from TTDI, taking the Sg Buloh route).
The lauk was genuine Padang; ayam berempah, gulai tunjang, tempe goreng, masak lemak, begedel, ikan goreng cili, not to mention a very delicious rendang daging/limpa/hati (or as Pak Abu calls it, kerisik daging). The beef was cooked so tender that it 'melted' at the touch.
Choices for the vegetable dishes were meagre and non-fussy. Of sambal, there was only one type (sambal hijau wasn't on the menu today). We had masak lemak pucuk with pisang and anchovies.
The bill came to a decent RM25, for the both of us and a tapau pack for Ann at home, for seven different types of lauk (we had four types for lunch and packed three for takeaway).
This restaurant opened two years ago and is family-owned; its owner-operator a pleasant young man in his thirties and I think it was his wife who manned the drink station.
Pak Abu primed his ears to catch snippets of conversation to determine if these folks hailed from his Kampar roots in Sumatera, but they were assimilated enough to speak standard Malay all the way.
We later asked the young man, and he told us his family originated from Sumatera (in fact he named the place but I can't recall it now).
Good food, decent price, courteous service. Rest assured, we'd be back for more...