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Five Malaysian chefs reveal their go-to spots for the national dish

If there's one thing Malaysians can agree on, it is that any time is a good time for nasi lemak. Though commonly regarded as a breakfast staple, nasi lemak is also perfect for lunch, dinner and, yes, even supper!

Being a national dish, there are plenty of nasi lemak options all around us. Here to guide us to the best nasi lemak in the country are five Malaysian chefs.

See also: Editor's Picks: The Best Nasi Lemak In The Klang Valley

1. Addin "Dean" Kamil, head chef of BAC

"Warong Mama Corner Masakan Kampung Melaka or simply Warung Mama when you search on Google and Waze, is a humble stall located right opposite UTC Sentul. It serves the real deal. It’s been awhile since I’ve had that wow moment when it comes to nasi lemak. The sambal is what makes it; I like it more spicy than sweet. The best part is when the grains of rice absorb all of it up. The peanuts are not overly toasted, the anchovies crispy, and the cucumbers fresh and crunchy. Nasi lemak varies from places to places, but at the end of the day there’s just something about a RM2 plain nasi lemak made by a makcik that warms my heart."

Warung Mama | Jalan 3/48a Bandar Baru Sentul, Sentul, 51000 Kuala Lumpur | +6011 3331 0627 | Saturday-Thursday, 10am-8pm; Friday, 9am-8pm

2. Kalidevan “Chef Dave” Murugaya, founder of D’Vegan Academy and PB Kitchen 

"This was a recent experience where my non-vegan friend Elvin surprised me with a vegan place called Hungry Tapir. Its nasi lemak and rendang absolutely delicious."

The Hungry Tapir | 135, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur | +603 2022 2137 | Sunday-Thursday, 12pm-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 12pm-12am; Closed Mondays

See also: 6 Women-Owned F&B Businesses We Love in Malaysia

3. Daniel Yap, head chef of Gooddam

"I love Ali Food Corner's spicy sambal, and is especially good when paired with its their fried-to-order chicken. I always add on the fried bits from the chicken spices to my nasi lemak."

Ali Food Corner | 10, Jalan 21/1, Sea Park, 46300 Petaling Jaya | +6014 620 7970 | Monday-Sunday, 5am-3am

See also: The Top 20 Restaurants in Malaysia in 2022

4. Otto Tay, award-winning pastry chef

"I'm not usually a fan of nasi lemak because I had it for breakfast every morning during my kindergarten days and it got kind of boring for me. Then a friend introduced me to Village Park’s nasi lemak and I will say the very best I’ve had so far. The fragrant fried chicken is very good and very crispy. The rice is just nice as a lot of other places I’ve tried had very dry rice. And the sambal has the right amount of spiciness."

Village Park Restaurant | 5, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya | +6012 273 8438 | Monday-Sunday, 6:30am-5:30pm

See also: 10 Famous Malaysian Street Foods Craved Worldwide

5. Mandy Goh, executive chef of The St. Regis Langkawi

"One of my favourite go-to dishes is nasi lemak. There are so many varieties of condiments to discover, and it is truly a heartwarming dish that fuels me. Not to be bias, but truly one of my favourites in Langkawi is the nasi lemak at The St. Regis Langkawi. It is a secret recipe by one of our chefs who keeps it traditional and authentic with a twist through refined presentation and quality ingredients. It's the best of both worlds."

L'Orangerie | Ground Floor, The St. Regis Langkawi, Jalan Pantai Beringin, 07000 Langkawi | +604 960 6666 | Monday-Sunday, 7am-10pm

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