Beratur Nasi Kandar, Pitt Street, George Town (15 September 2012)
Beratur Nasi Kandar (GPS: 5.4168, 100.33763) is a famous nasi kandar shop along Pitt Street, George Town, Penang. (It actually has an official name, which is Restoran Liyaqatali, but I don't think anybody knows it by that name!) Beratur Nasi Kandar claims a history going back to 1943, when nasi kandar means what it says - rice sold by itinerant hawkers and carried around on a pole, or kandar. Since then, Beratur Nasi Kandar has established its station in a niche beside the Kapitan Keling Mosque. It has also taken up two shophouses on that stretch, namely 96 & 98 Pitt Street.
Business as Beratur Nasi Kandar starts in the evening. The sign at the shop says business starts at 10:00 am, but usually the stall has started selling earlier than that. The crowd begins to build up into the night, so that eventually the stall lives up to its name - beratur means queuing. Quite often the queue at Beratur would snake its way all over the Pitt Street sidewalk.
During the day, you will find that Beratur Nasi Kandar is also open for business, but strangely devoid of the crowds.
Beratur Nasi Kandar stall (14 March, 2014)
Beratur Nasi Kandar Food Review
After seeing it for a long time, I finally had a chance to try out the Beratur Nasi Kandar for the first time ever on Friday, 14 March, 2014. My wife and I came at 7:00 pm in the evening. During that time, there was no queue at all, so we could straight away place our order. My wife ordered chicken in dark curry, fried egg and ladies' fingers, while I ordered half of a salted egg, beef, curry fish and ladies' fingers. For drinks, she had iced lemon while I had iced tea. The service was fast and acceptably friendly.
Despite the popularity of Beratur Nasi Kandar, after I have taken it, I have to say that it does not rank among my favorite nasi kandar stalls. I find the taste simly below my expectation. I like other nasi kandar places where the combination of gravy is more complete. I find my rice a bit whitish although I have specified that I want it wet. I also prefer my fish to have more thoroughly absorbed the gravy. The beef is nothing to shout about. I specified that I want it soft, but it wasn't as soft as beef I have had at other nasi kandar stalls. I also prefer my ladies' fingers to be cooked in the curry, but boiled ones were the only ones they have (when I was there).
On the whole, my first (and having tied it) and only time of eating Beratur Nasi Kandar did not make me want to return to it any time soon. Having said that, I would nonetheless remind you to take my opinion with a grain of salt, and to try the nasi kandar yourself, so that you can judge it based on your own preference.
I find the price a bit high for two plates of nasi kandar and two drinks. For the items we ordered, we paid RM17.70, which works out to be RM8.85 per person. I have had nasi kandar in many other places, and I can easily order the same items (and they probably taste better too) at quite a number of less popular nasi kandar stalls in Penang for less.
Update I am told that the "real" Beratur Nasi Kandar only starts selling at 10:00 pm. I look forward to trying it again in the future, with the hope that it will impress me.
Timothy Tye at Beratur Nasi Kandar (14 March, 2014)
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