KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Walking into a Minang eatery is like entering a food paradise. Especially if it's Kedai Makan Minang Salero.

This eatery, with more than 40 years' history, is on a different level.

Sure, you can find typical Minang dishes like rendang, gulai ayam, tempe, dendeng, ikan bakar and so forth.

But as your eyes rove around the vast selection of dishes, you will realise that Kedai Makan Minang Salero isn't your cookie cutter Minang eatery.

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You get the usual items like 'ikan bakar' and many others here.
You get the usual items like 'ikan bakar' and many others here.

How about some cow's brains and 'begedil' lwith your lunch?
How about some cow's brains and 'begedil' lwith your lunch?

What sets them apart is the emphasis on the cow's offal from head to feet. There's also various ingredients and food items, specially brought in from Sumatra.

I was recommended this eatery by our Malay Mail photographer Shafwan Zaidon. When he told me there's a great Minang place in Sentul, I was flabbergasted.

My image of Sentul is a place for Indian and Chinese food. Occasionally, there's Malay food, found in say the area near the UTC. Who knew it also hid this food gem.

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Just further down the Sentul market, you will discover Kedai Makan Minang Salero in a row of shops. It's that same row of shops where the Jalan Sentul Chinese nasi lemak stall is located, which opens in the evening.

'Gulai tunjang' is a mix of tendons with cow feet cooked in a creamy 'gulai' (left). It's not every day you see 'tembusu' or stuffed cow intestine in the spread of dishes (right).
'Gulai tunjang' is a mix of tendons with cow feet cooked in a creamy 'gulai' (left). It's not every day you see 'tembusu' or stuffed cow intestine in the spread of dishes (right).

A mixture of beaten egg is poured inside the cow intestine (left). Tiny salted 'ikan danau' in small plates ready for diners to grab with their lunch (right).
A mixture of beaten egg is poured inside the cow intestine (left). Tiny salted 'ikan danau' in small plates ready for diners to grab with their lunch (right).

If you drive behind the shop, they have an empty lot for parking. Since we parked at the back, we walked through the kitchen.

You know how those stories talk about how to assess the food from the kitchen... well, this one was spotless. All we saw were these two men cleaning the siput sedut, one of the dishes served there.

From what I read, the owner hails from Bukittinggi, Sumatra. His son, Romy Iskandar runs the front of the house.

Fans of all parts of the cow will be happy. You can score cow brains and stomachs, cooked in gulai. Or even cow feet. Usually, restaurants only serve the tendons but here, you get the feet.with the tendons.

Curly smoked baby eels anyone? It's not for an episode of 'Fear Factor' but just a traditional Minang ingredient.
Curly smoked baby eels anyone? It's not for an episode of 'Fear Factor' but just a traditional Minang ingredient.

Crunch down on this Dendeng Balado.
Crunch down on this Dendeng Balado.

And there's tembusu or stuffed cow's intestine. This is cleaned thoroughly and a beaten egg mixture is poured inside it. We managed to witness how that was prepared, as we walked through the kitchen.

I am admittedly not a fan of all those spare parts but I do like tunjang hence I tried the cow's feet which were soft and gelatinous.

What I was drawn to were the fascinating deep fried smoked baby eels or belut. They come tied in a bunch, dotted with red chillies. It tasted like crunchy fries with more depth of taste.

There's various other fishes, like a smoked ikan sapek (sepat) or a flat fish. Again, you enjoy the whole piece with the fine bones. It's got a nice smoky, savoury flavour that complements the rice. A portion of the eels and the flat fish is RM10.

Not a fan of crunchy 'dendeng'? Here's an alternative, the Dendeng Lambok.
Not a fan of crunchy 'dendeng'? Here's an alternative, the Dendeng Lambok.

Chunks of 'rendang daging' with the deep tasting gravy is a must-eat.
Chunks of 'rendang daging' with the deep tasting gravy is a must-eat.

You can spy various saucers of tiny fish known as ikan danau with a dollop of red chillies and peas. These are salted.

Of course, one must get the rendang daging. This version is a chunk of meat coated with the cooked down coconut milk rich gravy with herbs and spices. There's also rendang limpa and chicken too.

If you're not a fan of chunky meat, go for the gulai daging cincang, where minced beef is paired with creamy gravy.

Dendeng is a must for any Minang meal. Here you get two varieties. There's the crispy type or dendeng balado with a dollop of red chillies. This is usually the default dendeng everywhere. Sometimes, it can be hard, rather than crunchy.

Grab a big spoonful of 'sambal' from the counter.
Grab a big spoonful of 'sambal' from the counter.

One can get incredibly greedy here and pile up the dishes with your rice till it's almost covered.
One can get incredibly greedy here and pile up the dishes with your rice till it's almost covered.

The more unusual one is dendeng lambok. This pounded beef is softer, more palatable and is served with green chillies. The dendeng is RM5 per piece.

Tempeh is a must too and you will find it paired with potato strips. There's also another Minang must-eat which is jering. The flat seeds aren't everyone's favourite due to its pungent after effects, where you will detect a sulphuric odour in your breath and urine. Here, they cook it two ways, one in gulai and another dish is sambalado style.

For vegetables, there's brinjal with creamy flesh doused with red chillies, or just go for the stir fried green beans.

Once you're done with your dishes, make sure you add a dollop of the sambals from the bowls placed there. Here, the red sambal has a mild spiciness. My preference is always the green version since it's milder and tangy.

Cool down with a tall glass of Apokat.
Cool down with a tall glass of Apokat.

The eatery offers a pleasant dining experience during the weekend.
The eatery offers a pleasant dining experience during the weekend.

Depending on what you select, prices for a single person's portion can range from RM12 to RM20.

For refreshments, go for their Apokat (RM6) or creamy avocado with chocolate syrup. It's the perfect antidote to beat the hot weather and any burning tongues.

I also spied two unusual drinks on a poster. This is Teh Telor Biasa and Teh Telor Pindang. Apparently these are popular drinks from Indonesia that are said to boost your stamina.

An egg yolk is beaten with sugar till it becomes a thick custard, which floats to the top when brewed tea is added to a glass. There's also another type using telur pindang or eggs boiled with herbs and spices.

Located along Jalan Sentul, it's near the famous Chinese 'nasi lemak' stall that opens at night.
Located along Jalan Sentul, it's near the famous Chinese 'nasi lemak' stall that opens at night.

At the counter, you will also find desserts like wajik bandung where it's wrapped in clear paper and banana leaf wrapped lepat nagasari with bananas. There's also bubur kampiun or a sweet glutinous rice porridge usually eaten for breakfast.

Kedai Makan Minang Salero, No. 1088 (Ground Floor), Jalan Sentul Pasar, Kuala Lumpur. Open daily: 7.30am to 6.30pm. Tel:016-2843666. Facebook:@KedaiMakanMinangSalero Instagram: @minang_salero

*This is an independent review where the writer paid for the meal.

*Follow us on Instagram @eatdrinkmm for more food gems.