Melaka is famous for its variety of Peranakan dishes, laksa, Nyonya kuih, pork satay and sweet desserts such as cendol, durian cendol and tai bak. During Chinese New Year this year, I discovered more food places in this historical town. They include Mee Kahwin at Ming Huat, Pak Putra Naan, Restoran Chin Chai, Sedap Dan Murah (which I don’t recommend) and Klebang Coconut Shake. My father in-law also introduced me to this nasi beriani place in Ujong Pasir called Majeeda Haj Briani.
Since the place was pretty crowded (it was the first day of CNY), we opted to have our rice to go. The nasi beriani in Melaka tastes different from the ones from Batu Pahat; at least for me. For starters, the rice wasn’t as fragrant and the spices weren’t as pronounced. Also, I found it less ‘lemak’ compared to the Batu Pahat version, and no, I’m not talking about the Beriani Gam. The silver lining to this was that the rice grains were nicely separated and springy to the touch.
Between the mutton and chicken, I enjoyed the former. Cooked till tender and juicy inside, the meat was deftly spiced while the gravy was thick, concentrated and spicy. I reckon I didn’t enjoy the chicken as much because they gave us the chicken breast. Granted the meat had absorbed the flavours of the gravy well, I still found it slightly dry. A few spoonfuls of smooth dhal gravy fixed the problem.
For a piquant contrast, Majeeda Haj’s cucumber acar did the trick. This was spicy and tangy with a touch of sweet. Not what I’m accustomed to, but it’s decent in its own right. What I thoroughly enjoyed was the sambal sotong – firm yet tender and strongly flavoured by the sambal gravy. Butter tongues beware: The sambal was both fiery and sweet, the latter from the caramelized onions and flavour of the squid. If you’re a fan of sambal sotong, this is a pretty good version.
On a whole, I enjoyed the beriani. But if I had to choose, I would still go for the Batu Pahat version because I like my rice to be saturated with spices. I’m not sure how much the above was as my father in-law paid for the bill, but I was told the nasi beriani kambing (mutton) cost RM6.
* My food video blog on JM Beriani in Subang Jaya
Food: 6/10 (HALAL)
Verdict: Decent nasi beriani but the mutton curry and sambal sotong was better.
Majeeda Haj Nasi Briani