The northern state Kedah is famed for being the jelapang padi of Malaysia. However, aside from this, Kedah is also known for the various nasi kandar stalls and restaurants that, over the years, have garnered their own loyal fans, be they among the state citizens themselves or outsiders who fell in love with the nasi kandar taste during a visit to Kedah. Trying to list the 5 must-try nasi kandar places in Kedah sounds like an unachievable feat. There are just way too many of them. Therefore instead, here is a list of 5 must-try nasi kandar—not in any particular order—if you ever find yourself in Alor Setar.
1. Nasi Tomato Majeed
This restaurant is only open for breakfast until lunch. Even so, it is unadvisable to go late since the dishes tend to get sold out pretty early. As with its name, the rice served here is of the nasi tomato variety. Coupled with its fish or chicken curry and papadam, you will understand why people willingly separate themselves from their comfy beds to flock to Majeed’s restaurant early each morning.
2. Nasi Lemak Royale (Anak Bukit)
There are so many branches of this brand of nasi kandar all over Malaysia now—admittedly with varying degrees of quality—so it feels like a travesty not to mention this restaurant when the original hails from Alor Setar itself. It is said to have received its name due to it being a favourite dish of a late Kedah royalty, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah. The bright yellow rice and the spiced kuah campur banjir is guaranteed to make you crave for more as soon as you finish a plate.
3. Nasi Kandar Hieshani
This stall is open starting from afternoons up until nighttime. The line of people waiting to be served can feel a bit intimidating sometimes but the nasi kandar is without a doubt worth all the wait. My personal favourite dish at this particular stall is its squids plus some kuah campur on the rice.
4. Nasi Kandar Yasmeen
Another legendary nasi kandar spot in Alor Setar, this restaurant boasts a lot of loyal fans. If you have any Alor Setar friends, I’m pretty sure there’s an 85% chance that the person is familiar and loves the food served at this restaurant. This spot does get busier at night so if you prefer less crowds and lines, consider visiting a little earlier in the afternoon.
5. Mohd Raffik Nasi Lemak Pokok Sena
Here is another nasi kandar stall for breakfast. You have to be willing to come here early because the longer you wait, the lesser dishes that remain. I bet now you can understand better why the saying “Sacrifice for the greater good” is a thing, right? Back to the topic, the price is affordable and the food is great. For recommendations, try its rice along with the beef dish and fried chicken. You won’t regret it.
These are the 5 must-try nasi kandar in Alor Setar. Of course, there are other legendary restaurants and stalls that are not in the list but these five are the ones that I personally think should be tried if you ever visit Alor Setar and want to try some of its nasi kandar. Time to take a break from your work and go Cuti-cuti Malaysia to Kedah!