PETALING JAYA, April 9 — Once in a while, you come across a place that just delivers flavour in spades. That's how I feel with Rumah Makan Bu Leha.
Tucked in NZX Commercial Centre (behind Segi Fresh), it's not a fancy spot but just a normal shoplot that you would have easily walked by.
For a month or so, it's been popping up on social media with incredibly good recommendations. I finally made it there for dinner.
Maybe because it was the weekend some things had sold out by the evening but whatever I had — which was their sate Madura and nasi kuning — was tasty enough to make me order more the following week.
Previously a stall, they have been selling their sate Madura for 15 years in Ara Damansara. At this place, the menu has expanded to include ayam penyet, bakso, nasi rawon, gulai kambing and so forth.
In the morning from 10am onwards, they serve nasi kuning, bakso and ayam penyet. From 4pm onwards, they start serving their sate Madura.
You can either dine in or takeaway via FoodPanda under their old name, Warung Sate Bu Leha. For the nasi kuning, it is available under Nasi Kuning Judes on FoodPanda and Grab Food.
If you're not within the delivery area, you can also call or WhatsApp them to arrange for a third party delivery company to send it to you.
During Ramadan, they will be open from 2pm onwards. They will be serving the whole menu which includes sate Madura.
For their sate Madura, you have a choice of chicken, beef or mutton. The highlight is their chicken satay — juicy, tender meat — paired with a robust dark brown sauce made from peanut paste, onions, garlic and kicap manis ABC.
There's also a chilli sauce that is mild-tasting so combine both for a tickling of spiciness. Their beef satay is served with the same sauce. However be warned that the meat can be a little tough so stick to the chicken satay if you're not keen on exercising your jaw.
The mutton version is served with kicap manis ABC topped with cut onions and chillies. While it may not be super tender, just take your time to chew the pieces and you will be rewarded with a rich taste of the juices from the smoky meat that seems to be enhanced with that sweet soy sauce.
You have a choice of a plate of rice or lontong to accompany your satay. The lontong is nice with a softer bite compared to the usual ketupat served for our local satay. Perfect for mopping up that deeply satisfying sauce.
The chicken satay is 90 sen per stick while the beef satay is RM1 and the mutton is RM1.20. The lontong is RM2.
The other highlight here is the Nasi Kuning Judes, based on a Surabaya recipe. It seems the Judes stands for "jujur pedas' which means honestly spicy.
You can order their set meals that are priced at RM8 each. They offer a choice of ayam bakar, paru (cow's lungs) balado or ikan cakalang (or what we know as ikan tongkol). Each set is served with the yellow rice, shredded omelette, tempe and vegetables.
If you prefer to curate your own selection, there's an assortment of cooked dishes at the counter. Start from the rice that is RM2 and add on various items like chicken, beef, fish, prawns, sotong or paru with prices that range from RM3 to RM8. You can also add tempe, vegetables and an egg.
I had ordered the ayam bakar set (RM8) and each element was delicious. The rice tinged with turmeric and cooked with coconut milk is the highlight as it was packed with flavour and aromatic.
The grilled chicken is juicy with a nice, mild taste of coconut milk. This paired well with the crunchy tempe and peanuts.
As there weren't any more vegetables, I got the diced potatoes which I enjoyed as they were soft and cooked through. Usually it's served with a spicy sambal but my takeaway came with a sambal balado instead with roughly chopped green chillies. This was addictive as it wasn't too spicy but incredibly tasty.
Even their ayam penyet (RM8) is good with a tasty sambal to pair with their crispy fried chicken and fried tempe. I also like their bakso (RM6) served with unusual blue coloured glass noodles!
The bowl also has another type of noodles that resemble instant ones, giving you a nice contrast of textures. The clear broth is light tasting. You get four small meatballs and one gigantic one. Texture wise, the meatballs were bouncy and nice.
There's also stuffed beancurd too. Dip the meatballs in the thick kicap sauce laced with ketchup. They also give you a super spicy chilli sauce if you find the broth too mild tasting.
They also offer bebek (duck) pedas, gulai kambing, rawon, soto and mie goreng, which I want to try for my next visit.
Rumah Makan Bu Leha, J-G-05 (at the back of Segi Fresh), NZX Commercial Centre, Jalan PJU 1A/41B, Ara Damansara, Petaling Jaya. Open: 10am to 10pm (Tuesday to Sunday). Closed on Monday. Tel:019-9375066. Facebook: @rmbuleha