Nasi 7 Benua – Koo Boo Cafe

written by Sarah Michael Griffin December 18, 2017

Nasi 7 Benua, the name itself means Rices from the 7 Continents. These are medleys of the type of rice cooked among the Malay folks throughout Malaysia. The owner got the idea when they decided to change the shop’s menu. Before this they were serving Chicken Rice and other to-be-cooked-upon order foods. FYI- the name of the dish is patented. The rices are what traditional Malay folks cooks commonly among their family members, most of them slowly extincting especially Nasi Lemuni.

Nasi Putih – the normal white rice cooked in rice cooker. Goes along with any dishes and curries.

Nasi Minyak  -usually served in Malay Weddings.  Translates to English as Oil Rice, since Minyak means Oil. The oil part comes from the Ghee or Margarine that they use to make this rice. Sometimes few types of nuts like almonds or cashews are used along with raisins. The fragrance comes from the spices that they use , especially cardamom and cinnamon.

Nasi Kacang – literally translates to English as Nuts Rice, but in this rice, dhall is used. In Malay the word ‘kacang’ represents both legumes and nuts. This rice is packed in flavour. You can always eat it on its own. Nasi Kacang originated from Penang, Malaysia.

Nasi Lemak Pandan – The recipe for the rice follows as same as the Nasi Lemak rice with one exception. Where the Pandan/Screwpine leaves are blended and added into the rice before cooking them. This which gives the rice its green colour and a sweet and appetizing aroma.

Nasi Tomato -known as Tomato Rice. Cooked with Tomato Paste and Tomato Puree and with a chockful of other spices,  its usually served in Malay Weddings, or in any of their festivals or feasts. Nasi Tomato is common among the Pahang State. Its best accompaniments are Ayam Masak Merah- Chicken in Red Sauce, or any Kurmas with some Acar- made of cucumber, pineapples, onions, chilies and ground peanuts.

Nasi Hujan Panas -Nasi Hujan Panas, is cooked with three differently coloured- red, green and yellow. Its base is almost like Nasi Minyak. Nasi Hujan Panas, got its name from the formation of a rainbow. Rainbows only happens when it rains during bright sunlight- hence the name “Hujan Panas”- Hot Rain.

Nasi Lemuni – Nasi Lemuni is rice cooked with the Lemuni leaves. It is almost grayish to black in colour and has some herby taste to it. Commonly found in Penang, but originated from Perak Nasi Lemuni is fading away as not many people serves them nowadays. Lemuni herb has its own benefits, especially aiding in reducing fever and expelling phelgms, plus, can be used as mosquito repellent.

The shop has been opened since few years back, but introduced its Nasi 7 Benua about past two years. Yes, we are late in joining the bandwagon, always planned but never get to go there. This time we just find a way to squeeze our agenda into our schedule. If you are like us, coming from SPICE Arena, then head on straight till the second traffic and do a U-Turn there to Jalan Tun Dr.Awang. Slightly hidden I would say for the inexperienced eye. It was by the road side, but the size of it made me wonder how it caters to throngs of people who hordes it, especially on school holidays. Better get the Waze for an accurate direction.

 

 

Parking isn’t that easy to get, and we have to park our car further up around the tennis court area. Some constructions were going on, as we came across huge piles of sands and stones. I hope it is temporary.

 

Lining up, waiting for their rice to be served.

 

Upon entering we headed to the counter where they served the rice. Apart from the Nasi 7 Benua platter, we can also opt to have any of the seven types of the cooked rice for RM1.50 each plate. We made our pick-the Nasi 7 Benua.

 

Guess which one we picked? That Eggs kurma is irresistible..

 

Right after getting our rice, we can help ourselves to the side dishes and curries there. Using the Nasi Ekonomi/Nasi Kandar concept, we pick what we want. Please do not forget to check in at the cashier after picking up the side dishes for the billing and ordering drinks. Now you are free to pick anywhere you want to sit, but hey, it is based on the amount of people crowding in and the available seats.

Stir-fried vegetables to pick from- Cabbages, Bean Sprouts and Chives, Cucumber and lastly Water Convolvulus Fried with Fermented Shrimp Paste

Sambal Sotong and Curries

 

 

We opt for the open space by the road, enjoying the view and watching all the people getting in and out of the store.

Seating spaces are many, but we chose to bask in the sun, and do some people watching while indulging ourselves.

 

Sarah’s Pick: Halved Salted Chicken Egg, Tofu Sambal, A Little Cucumber slices with Lettuce, the ever so irisistable Dried Anchovies Sambal and lastly Bean Sprouts with Chives

 

My Pick : Egg Kurma- guess she gave in to her temptation and banjir-ed the plate, spinach, shimp paste sambal, and halved salted chicken egg.. the last two is a must in any Malay Cooking.

 

Our personal favourite would be Nasi Lemuni(Mine) and Nasi Kacang(My friend’s) respectively and Nasi Lemak Pandan. We truly enjoyed them, and found that we don’t have anything that we didn’t like. The Egg Kurma was just nice, without any over-powering spices in it. Mellow and yet, flavourful. The Sambal Belacan has the right amount of heat and sourness from the lime which balances it off perfectly, and goes absolutely well with the rice and Telur Masin. Both the vegetable dishes that we picked – the Spinach and Bean Sprout with Chives were just nice and not soggy, because most stalls over cook their vegetables and this one didn’t. We love the Anchovy Sambal, spicy and subtly sweet, its anchovies still retains its crunchiness.

We were tempted to mix up all the rice together, but refrained since we wanted to taste how each rice tasted respectively. We would definitely be returning here for lunch soon. It isn’t just the medley of rices that got us hooked but their side dishes and curries too. A must try!

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