Eighteen months ago, I stumbled upon a stall in the Sri Aman Food Centre in Bukit Jelutong.
It was very early in the day and not being a morning person, I was my grumpy self.
Food always cheers me up. The tastier it is, the happier I am.
I walked up to the stall with no name and had a nice fluffy, yet crispy (how is that possible?), roti canai. The curry which accompanied the roti was also tasty and thick.
However, what caught my attention is the owners – Ismat Abdul Rauf and wife Azrina Abdul Rahman – are kind souls that offer free food for those in hardship.
I interviewed them for this website when I had the chance.
Roti canai aside, the cheese naan and cheese paratha are also delicious, as is the tandoori chicken.
Ismat and Azrina only use the freshest ingredients and high-quality mozzarella cheese. Their workers also check the weight of the cheese to ensure you get the same amount on each piece of naan or paratha.
When I brought Twentytwo13’s creative editor Amar Qastellani Tajuddin there, he said: “I’ve been to shops where the tandoori chicken is nice, but the naan is poor. I’ve also been to shops where the naan was awesome, but the chicken ‘failed’,
“But here, the naan is so fluffy and cheesy. And the chicken is soooo good.”
He then proceeded to order another round of cheese naan and tandoori chicken.
We have since tried the other offerings on the menu and the mutton keema and chapatti have received the seal of approval from the rest of the Twentytwo13 crew.
If cheese naan/paratha is not to your liking, you could also try the ones with Nutella, peanut butter and chocolate.
Initially, I only stuck to eating at the same stall but have since tried the other shops.
One latest discovery is the nasi goreng kambing from Pawon Mas Gan.
Amar “two-timed” me on this, having gone to Sri Aman with his wife and ordered this dish. He later raved how tasty it was and speculated the owner uses butter to fry the rice. He was also pleased with the big pieces of kambing.
I had to try it and yes, sure enough, even though I’m not a big fan of nasi goreng, the combination of the rice, kambing and keropok was perfect.
And you can customise your heat level.
Another must-try dish is the Daging Salai Masak Lemak Cili Api from Padi.
Like all things from Negeri Sembilan, it is simply delicious (although I have it sans sambal belacan as I’m not a fan of that evil stuff).
My only grouse is that “nasi tak cukup” as that’s how good it is. Padi is generous with the gravy and the smoked meat. It comes with two sides – ulam and salted egg (three if you count sambal belacan).
If it wasn’t embarrassing, I would have lifted the plate and drunk the gravy instead of using a spoon.
Such is life.
I’ve also tried Padi’s rendang and ketupat palas and found it a treat. There are many more items on Padi’s menu, including dim sum.
Another stall not to be missed is Sup Kambing Gear Box. Although I’ve not had the sup kambing, the kambing goreng, ayam bakar and sausage with white rice is a must-try. It comes with a small bowl of sup kambing.
I’ve only tried the nasi campur once. As I was early, many of the dishes were not ready. I settled for the pineapple prawn curry with a big piece of roasted chicken. Very good indeed.
Al Habib Arabian cuisine is another one I’ve tried. The mixed grill is really good although its hummus could be slightly better.
There are many more stalls in Sri Aman such as Awangku’s Sarawak laksa, kolo mee and mee sapi, Gerobak Sate, and the famous Kuey Teow Goreng Ipoh among others.
I’m usually there for lunch but brought the home minister there for dinner once as she wanted the Daging Salai Masak Lemak Cili Api. She was not disappointed.
I shared a mixed grill from Al Habib with my mother. I noticed there was some western food, including some fancy-looking burgers.
It was worth the drive from Subang and the best part is there are ample parking spots be it day or night.
Do give Sri Aman Food Centre a try. There’s something for everybody.
Sri Aman Food Centre
Address: 41, Jalan Pelapik B U8/B, Bukit Jelutong, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor.
Opening hours: 7:30am–11pm