My in-laws are adventurous when it comes to food – they are constantly exploring new places to eat, much more than Jien and I do these days. In a way, they have become the food radar for this blog; updating me on their new discovery weekly.
Lubuk Bangku in Bangsar is one of those places they insisted I try, so I stepped out of the office slightly earlier than noon to head there with my mother in-law for lunch. Lubuk Bangku is located in the housing estate of Lengkok Abdullah Bangsar, an area I hardly venture into hence this missed hidden gem.
Padang cuisine is their specialty and according to my father in-law, it is one of the better ones he’s eaten in Klang Valley. They highly recommended the sambal terong balado and it was indeed delicious. This seems to be a popular option at Lubuk Bangku as by the time the lunch crowd arrived, they almost ran out.
The sambal is commendable – fiery, sweet and savoury with a “lemak” finish, which accentuates the tender flesh of the brinjal. A small portion costs RM5 and if you’re lucky, the makcik will give you a bit more sambal to go with white rice.
My favourite thing at Lubuk Bangku is the gulai lemak daging salai; a crowd favourite and possibly the star of their food selection. Slices of beef are cooked in a cauldron using charcoal and coconut husk to allow the smoky-sweet flavours to infuse into the beef and gravy. What you get in the end is a light yet robust kuah and adequately tender beef slices, laced with a smoky aroma.
Ayam kampung (RM7 per piece) tends to be my default order when I eat Malay food, so I asked for one at Lubuk Bangku. The chicken legs are fried by batches to ensure freshness; best savoured immediately as the meat is smooth, tender and juicy from the rendering of fat in oil.
Their menu isn’t extensive but it changes daily to give customers variety. I was told their keli goreng is pretty kick-ass and the asam pedas ikan pari packs a wallop. Since I’m a Padang food novice, I’ll take my father in-law’s word for it and save those two for my next visit. They update their Facebook Page fairly often with their daily menus so do check in every now for new things.
If you’re in the area and want some good, homestyle Padang cooking, give Lubuk Bangku a shot. Best to go early because they get really packed during lunch hour and if you go later than 1pm, don’t expect anymore popular favourites left! ;)
Food: 7/10 (halal)
Verdict: Go for the gulai lemak daging salai and sambal terong balado if you see it on the menu.
Lubuk Bangku Bangsar
Tel: 011-2132 3798
Business hours: 7am till 6pm Monday to Friday, 7am till 3pm Saturday.