The chokingly bad haze in Malaysia has gotten hold of me! I was walking home from work yesterday with a running nose, feeling sorry for myself when I caught sight of the snack van parked nearby. It's a white van ran by 3 Malay men selling various local delicacies and a big basket of nasi lemak packets.
For the uninitiated, nasi lemak literally means "rich/fatty rice" and is rice cooked in thick coconut milk to give it a rich, soft and fluffy texture. The basic nasi lemak is normally served with chilli sambal, fried anchovies, cucumber and sometimes egg and is wrapped up in a banana leaf for added fragrance. But it can get very elaborate with chicken, squid, beef and cockles as add-ons for a filling and satisfying meal! It's a very common breakfast or dinner meal for Malaysians and small stalls selling nasi lemak can often be found dotted around the streets. It's fast and convenient too, with all necessary food groups wrapped up in its own take-away packet!
I had bought 2 packets the day before, intending to blog about how cheap it was. A packet like the picture up there only costed RM0.50! These days, with rising petrol prices and inflation, RM0.50 things are not easy to find anymore! But to my dismay, when I took it home, the rice was sticky! Worried that it'll be spoilt as coconut milk spoils easily, we discarded the 2 packets.
So yesterday evening, while buying some local cakes from the van, I mentioned it to the seller in passing. And to my utmost surprise, he took 2 fresh packets and gave them to me as a replacement! He even opened them to check that they were okay before giving them to me. He insisted that it was their policy to replace anything their customers weren't happy with. How's that for customer service?! It was a very pleasant change from some rude hawkers out there and it definitely made my day better!
This is what it looked like after I unwrapped it. It was nice and warm and the sambal was pretty good. The secret in a good nasi lemak lies in its sambal! That yellow strip was a thin sliver of egg. It wasn't a very big portion but enough for people on a low-carbo diet! ;)