24 May NL House (Nasi Lemak House), Carlton
Previously known as Nasi Lemak House, NL House underwent a facelift a number of years ago and emerged transformed into a slightly smaller, but much more modern and hip little place that caters for both eat-in and takeaway. The menu is simple and easy to navigate, being neatly categorised into the different rice and noodle dishes, and snack boxes.
The drinks fridge is stocked with canned drink favourites, as well as house-made ready-to-go drinks. We tried the cendol, which was a bit thicker than others I’ve had before, but the drink was tasty and absolutely packed full of cendol. Make sure you get a spoon to eat it (or at least procure a large straw). Cold teh tarik is also in the fridge, but we tried a hot one instead. It was decent, though a little sweet. The soya bean grass jelly drink was also delicious, and as well as the grass jelly cubes, comes with little tapioca pearls mixed in with the soy milk.
The fried calamari rings are coated in a thick, almost dough like batter that I wasn’t quite a fan of. The mains, however, were much better. We loved the seafood char kuay teow, which possessed the ‘wok hei’ flavour and texture that makes this dish delicious. Of course, we had to order a nasi lemak, and we chose the popular iteration with fried tumeric chicken. The rice had a decent ‘lemak’ fragrance and taste from the coconut milk, and the chicken was a good pick. To go with the nasi lemak, customers get to pick one of three different sambal to go with it: traditional, kelantan or kerabu. NL House’s traditional sambal includes aromatics like onion and garlic. The Kelantan sambal was almost the same as traditional but mixed with something tomato sauce, perhaps a good introduction to sambal for the uninitiated, or those with a low spice tolerance. My personal favourite was the Kerabu, a spicier sambal that was also full of chopped kaffir lime leaves and shrimp. The milky drinks we ordered were great for cooling down the palate before diving back in for more.
Open everyday for lunch and dinner, NL House provides Malaysian food that is not only tasty, but great value.
Disclaimer: I was invited as a guest to NL House, however, opinions expressed here are purely my own and not influenced by them in any way
NL House (Nasi Lemak House)
115 Grattan St
Carlton, VIC, 3053
(03) 9348 1572