PUCHONG, Sept 10 — It is an irresistible combination of fluffy hot-from-the-steamer rice drizzled with gulai ayam and served with easy-to-eat pieces of juicy fried turmeric chicken and burn-your-tongue-off sambal belacan that draws people to Warung Cikgu in Puchong.
Started in May 2005, the eatery was set up by Kelantan native Ariff Suqimi and managing the two outlets is Ariff’s primary school friend and fellow Kelantanese, Nik Mohd Faiz, 28.
The name of the place pays tribute to Ariff’s father who is popularly known as Cikgu Karim, a nod to his profession. This January, they expanded and opened another outlet in USJ1’s Regalia Business Centre.
What they serve here is nasi Mmanggey which is actually different from the other Kelantanese favourite nasi Kak Wok. Confused because both dishes look identical? Can’t say we blame you as they are both feature fried chicken.
Nik Mohd Faiz tells us there are slight differences between the two rice dishes that trace their origins back to Kelantan. He adds, “The concept is the same but the taste is different.”
For nasi Mmanggey, the fried chicken is marinated with turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt while the nasi Kak Wok chicken uses a marinade made from fresh turmeric. In terms of spice levels for the sambal belacan accompanying the rice, Nik Mohd Faiz explains to us that they increased the spiciness.
In Kelantan, nasi Mmanggey (RM5.50) is usually eaten for breakfast and lunch. At Warung Cikgu, you get to satisfy your cravings for the rice dish throughout the day.
Accompany your meal with their kelapa baldi (RM4.20) or fresh coconut water served in a small bucket. Nik Mohd Faiz tells us the coconuts are sourced from Bagan Datoh in Perak.
You also have Shake!Gu (RM3.70), their version of coconut shake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The word gu is Kelantanese slang for buddy.
If you’re early, look for their breakfast items which are available till 10am. A must-try is the nasi lemak biasa (RM2.70). Simple but satisfying; the fluffy rice is delicious when paired with the fragrant, not too spicy sambal and crunchy deep fried ikan bilis.
Nik Mohd Faiz tells us they use top grade ikan bilis for this dish; each small fish packs a flavourful punch. For a more substantial meal, you can ask for the dish to be accompanied with fried chicken. At their USJ1 branch, they serve the nasi lemak the whole day.
For a classic Kelantanese breakfast, there’s the nasi berlauk ikan tongkol (RM4.80) — a simple but tasty combination of turmeric flavoured gulai with a piece of fish, steamed rice and a spicy, tangy chilli vinegar sambal.
The crowd swells during lunch, starting from 12.30pm onwards. On weekends, some customers even pop over from Nilai or Senawang to get their rice fix. In the future, Nik Mohd Faiz hopes to introduce ikan singgang, another popular Kelatanese dish. It’s simple but satisfying food — fish cut into pieces accompanied with a clear soup made from garlic, ginger and pieces of asam keping.
1 Jalan BP 6/7
Bandar Bukit Puchong
Open: 7am to 10pm