KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — I relish any opportunity to shovel down plates of rice for breakfast — especially when East Coast specialities like nasi kerabu and nasi dagang are on the cards.

A recent visit to Bok’s Kito, located right next to the TTDI Fire and Rescue Station, provided just that.

The place is pleasant enough on a Saturday morning and filled with people from the neighbourhood, and a busker out front meant the experience was easy on the ears, despite the occasional blare of the fire truck horn.

As is often the case with places like this, the counter is absolutely filled with food, among which massive bowls of ulam, gulai and fried chicken stand out.

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I counted at least four rice cookers in the back, and a tall plastic container filled with keropok.

The menu offers familiar items, including nasi lemak, roti canai and nasi berlauk, as well as specialities like laksam and mee celop.

The spread at the counter where you order.
The spread at the counter where you order.

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However, it’s undeniable that nasi kerabu and nasi dagang are the signatures here, and rightfully the centre of attention.

I opted for Nasi Kerabu Ayam Percik (RM15.90) and threw in a single Ikan Goreng Tepung (RM7.50) for good measure because the fish willed me to, beckoning toward me as I gazed longingly into its flour-battered eyes.

Inside Bok’s Kito, where the outside wall of the long side is completely open.
Inside Bok’s Kito, where the outside wall of the long side is completely open.

And yet, despite the fish initially wooing me with its light, golden and crispy coating, I was eventually won over by the chicken, instead.

The inside was tender and moist while the exterior tasted of a myriad of spices, smoke and most notably, gula Melaka.

The latter lends a rich, complex sweetness that is simply divine, and the resulting caramelisation leaves the leg beautifully bronzed.

Nasi Kerabu Daging Bakar needs a little 'kuah' to help it go down easier.
Nasi Kerabu Daging Bakar needs a little 'kuah' to help it go down easier.

The rice and ulam are more than willing vessels of flavour, helped significantly by budu that’s funkier than it is fishy, and a sambal that is best described as simply syiok.

For the same price, daging bakar is another option, and while the tasty pieces of meat were neither hard nor dry, it meant the nasi kerabu needed some kind of kuah to help it all go down easier.

Nasi Dagang Daging Kerutup (RM14.50) caught me by surprise, as I’m normally partial to nasi kerabu, but this ended up as my favourite.

My favourite here: Nasi Dagang Daging Kerutup and 'gulai ikan'.
My favourite here: Nasi Dagang Daging Kerutup and 'gulai ikan'.

The rich gravy sports a dark, caramelised chocolatey hue, and the soft cubes of beef add to the already luxurious mouthfeel.

With the addition of gulai ikan (RM8.90), it cemented itself in my memory as a delightful gravy-laden affair.

The strong fishy flavour of ikan tongkol is wrapped up in a savoury, creamy and mildly spicy blanket which contains notes of lemongrass, turmeric, galangal and more.

The front of Bok’s Kito.
The front of Bok’s Kito.

Spoonfuls of rice and kuah are improved only with a crunchy and refreshing acar timun, and the punchy hot sambal rounds out a perfect dish. I foresee myself coming back many times over for this alone.

Washed down with an ice-cold glass of Teh Ais Madu Leleh (RM8), I can think of few better ways to start the weekend. I’ll be thinking of the nasi dagang and gulai ikan for weeks to come.

Restoran Bok's Kito

38G, Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur

Open, 8am-5pm (Monday to Thursday, Saturday and Sunday)

Closed regular hours on Fridays, but open 5pm-10.30pm, serving tomyam

Tel: 03-7732 6339

Facebook: @restoranbokskito.ttdi

Instagram: @bokskito

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