GEORGE TOWN, June 29 — Their own spicy combination of curry and a variety of dishes piled on top of a steaming plate of rice is something that has attracted droves of patrons to the Line Clear Nasi Kandar outlet in George Town for decades.
The stall, situated in a narrow alleyway on Jalan Penang, has been around since the 1930s and is famous for its spicy squid’s eggs, succulent tiger prawns curry and curry fish head.
Its legion of fans come from all over Malaysia and even as far away as Singapore. But soon KL-ites don’t have to drive all the way up north to get their Line Clear nasi kandar fix.
The iconic nasi kandar stall is going to open its first outlet outside of Penang in Kuala Lumpur as a first step towards expanding the outlet’s famous brand of Penang nasi kandar in Malaysia.
Four descendants of Line Clear’s founders have taken up a shoplot at 133, Jalan Raja Abdullah in Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur for its Kuala Lumpur outpost.
The four cousins — Lokman Madinah, Salim Madinah, Zainul Alam Abd Hamid and Mohd Faisal Akhbar Ali — have big plans for the Line Clear brand.
“This will be our first outlet outside Penang but we are not stopping there as we are also considering opening another outlet in another state after Kuala Lumpur,” Lokman said.
Currently, renovation is underway at the new outlet in Kampung Baru and the menu will almost be similar to the one at its Penang Road outlet.
“We will definitely have our popular fish head curry, squid’s eggs and tiger prawns along with some special menu items especially for the Kuala Lumpur outlet,” he said.
The new outlet is expected to open in September and the cousins are still deciding whether to open the outlet for just 16 hours or go the full 24 hours like they do in Penang.
Line Clear is not the only iconic nasi kandar stall to expand outside of Penang because the 109-year-old Hameediyah Restaurant is also planning to open an outlet in Kota Damansara.
It is not their first time venturing outside of Penang though as it opened an outlet in Putrajaya in 2010 but according to one of the brothers manning the restaurant, Syed Ibrahim Abdul Sukkoor, they had issues managing it.
“It was a problem managing between that outlet and this one here so in the end, we handed over the outlet to another restaurant in 2011,” he said.
This time around, Syed Ibrahim said they are prepared to go all out and make the outlet in Kota Damansara a success as it is their first step towards franchising Hameediyah Restaurant.
The Kota Damansara outlet is a joint venture with other shareholders, said Syed Ibrahim, who co-owns the restaurant with his brother Ahamad Seen Pakir.
“If the outlet is a success, we will eventually look into expanding further to other states and come up with a franchise model because the original taste and flavour of our nasi kandar is something that should be spread throughout the whole country for all to enjoy,” he said.
Hameediyah’s loyal customers in KL will be glad to know they can get their fix of mutton mysore — a tender minced mutton dish — duck curry, mutton kurma, beef rendang, chicken captain and most definitely, their popular murtabak without having to travel to Penang.
“Our recipes are from our ancestors direct from India, we are Indian Muslims or as locals call us, mamaks, so we will be getting more Indian Muslims from India, most of whom are our relatives, to cook and manage the Kota Damansara outlet,” Syed Ibrahim said.
Nasi kandar from iconic outlets will now be joining other famous name-brand hawker fare from Penang that have already made their way south. More than 15 years ago, the Lorong Seratus Tahun Penang Curry Mee opened its first outlet in Petaling Jaya and now, it has several outlets in Kuala Lumpur including at Old Klang Road.
In more recent times, the Penang Road Famous Teochew Chendul also expanded into a franchise system and they now have numerous outlets in malls in Penang, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Johor.