Besides being an ideal destination for quick weekend getaway from Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan is a land of gastronomic delights. This Peninsular Malaysia west coast state located south of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Selangor offers a wide range of spicy, tangy and sweet local specialties, particularly those served in Kuala Pilah and Seremban. For travellers who are pressed for time when exploring Negeri Sembilan, we make life easier by listing down selected food that travellers should experience over a weekend!
1.Sambal Ikan Sembilang (spicy catfish) at Makan Berselo, Muzium Negeri Sembilan
The first thing that surely strikes patrons when dining at Muzium Negeri Sembilan is how the setting looks nostalgically kampung-like. Dining in a small, local Malay kampung house with shady trees lining the front of the house reminds many Malaysians of their grandparents’ home. Besides the house, the food is authentically traditional! The dining spread includes the glorious sambal ikan sembilang dish, which is absolutely delicious, tender and perfectly cooked spicy catfish dish. I could just have a plate of this with plain rice alone and die happy.
2.Sambal Gesek (spicy condiment) at Makan Berselo, Muzium Negeri Sembilan
Sambal Gesek is Negeri Sembilan’s condiment made from ingredients like bird’s eye chili, lime, onions and fried anchovies ground together until they become a paste using rudimentary lesung batu (mortar and pestle). This condiment is typically enjoyed with ulam-ulaman (raw greens and salad), salted eggs, bread or rice. For those who has a knack for spicy and sour taste, this is the right condiment for them.
3. Belut Goreng (fried eel) at Benteng Walk, Seremban
Malaysians love their night market. It is the place to source for a wide range of snacks, beverages, toys and apparels. Benteng Walk is a typical Malaysian night market on a long stretch of Jalan Dato Abdul Rahman in Seremban. Those looking for something to munch can try fried eel (belut goreng), which is famous at this particular night market. At first glance, the crispy snack looks like baby snakes but many of my travelling companions said they taste like chicken. The seasoned eels have saltwater sweetness and taste delicious.
Kuey teow is undoubtedly one of Malaysia’s most favourite street food. Some people prefer their kuey teow dry, some like them generously covered in gravy. Thank God, most of our travel companions love the latter, which made our next eating adventure even more pleasurable. Adwa Char Kuey Teow has charms of its own: this eatery’s version of char kuey teow is darker and wetter with burnt taste coupled with prawns plus a giant squid on top. Every bite of the gratifying kuey teow with fresh seafood gives off lip-smacking flavour. Adwa Char Kuey Teow distinguishes themselves by incorporating two types of soya sauce that turn the gravy extra special. Oh, even writing about this make me salivate!
5.Crab dishes at The Street Crab & Lala Restaurant
This Chinese seafood restaurant is the place to have fresh seafood in Seremban. Diners can choose a wide range of selection of seafood cooked in different styles. We savoured stir-fried garlic clam with curry leaf, sweet and sour crab and black pepper with fresh milk cheesy crab. Most mums would say that cooking crabs are a challenge because it is no fun to wrestle with live crabs but the chefs here made it look effortless. The crab meat is sweet since only fresh crabs are used. The restaurant certainly lives up to expectations because we surely cleaned our plates!
6.Stir fried garlic clam with curry leaf at The Street Crab & Lala Restaurant
If you are craving a good clam then this is the dish for you. The clams are so fresh that they open up when cooked. The dish uses garlic and ginger to make the clams taste more appetising and fragrant. Every piece of small treats from the ocean is covered with delicious gravy. The seafood restaurant also serves other kinds of clam dishes like bean sauce clam, sambal belacan clam and sea salt clam.
7. Gulai Daging Salai at Kak Lang D’ Rimba
Hailed for its traditional family recipes, Kak Lang runs a restaurant that serves the original taste of Negeri Sembilan dishes, and gulai daging salai is one of them. The meat is thin and tender while the gravy is savoury, recommended for those could withstand spicy food. Kak Lang D’ Rimba is famous among locals and become crowded during lunch time. Alternatively, the restaurant serves other sinfully rich home cooked dishes that satisfy those craving for spicy dishes like ikan masak sambal and sambal ikan bilis. For those craving for kampung style dish for iftar, visit their stall at Bazaar Ramadhan Pilah Perdana.