Being a Penangite who lives in Kuala Lumpur, finding a place that serves authentic northern delicacies can be quite tedious. Plenty claimed to serve original recipes from Kedah, Penang and Perlis but more often than not, it’s not the case and merely northern food in branding and name only.
Now, I’m constantly on the hunt for good northern Malaysian food and recently discovered that the restaurant Rasa Utara is offering pretty much authentic and good ones.Reaching the restaurant is fairly easy and straightforward.The restaurant is located conveniently in Times Square and is easily accessible by public transport like buses and monorail.
Here’s what my family and I managed to try in Rasa Utara not long ago; Set Nasi Rasa Utara, Nasi Jagung, Nasi Rasa Utara, Ikan Menari, Udang Sambal Petai, Daging Masak Hitam, Kailan Ikan Masin, Udang Asam Goreng, Ayam Goreng Cili Lagenda, Laksa Pulau Pinang, Mee Rebus and ABC (Ais Batu Campur)
Checked out their menu and discovered that they are offering set meals at a reasonable price. Picked out one and ordered their chef’s recommended; Set Nasi Utara, consisting of Nasi Utara, ayam masak merah, fish crackers and sup bergedil on the side. Definitely a wholesome meal for someone who wants a bit of everything in one sitting.
Nasi Utara can be ordered individually or in a set. It is fragrantly infused with a myriad of herbs and spices.
Nasi Jagung. Basically this is rice cooked with corns. Might be weird to some but to me, it is positively addictive and complement most of the dishes offered in Rasa Utara very well.
Ikan Menari is one of the Chef’s recommended in Rasa Utara. The fish is fried and presented in a way that makes it looks like it is dancing in the air. The fish was adeptly fried and was served with irresitably spicy sambal dipping on the side. Good on it’s own and to be taken with the variety of piping hot rice offered on the menu.
Udang Asam Goreng was something I wouldn’t mind having again soon. Unlike the prawn dishes that I’m familar with, this prawn dish is sourish instead of bland or spicy. Highly appetizing and great to be had on it’s own or with rice.
Udang Sambal Petai was nicely done. Perfectly spicy and aromatic with the pungeant stink beans.
Ayam Goreng Cili Lagenda is not for the faint hearted. It’s really spicy and if you’re to eat this, make sure you have wet wipe or a napkin as it’s pretty much tear and sweat inducing.
Daging Masak Hitam was one of my favourite that night. The cubed meat was cooked to perfection and was perfectly flavoured with spices. Goes well with rice, or if you please, with crusty bread as well. Should you order this to take away, you’ll be pleased to discover that the dish tastes better the next day too.
Mee Rebus is sensational, according to my son. The gravy was thick and was bursting with flavour and was topped generously with condiments.
I’m always picky when it comes to laksa. It takes a really good and experienced cook to produce a really good laksa dish. Been hunting for a really good bowl and most of them are terribly disappointing. They either have diluted laksa soup, or the soup is infested with tiny fish bones, which is definitely a turn off. This Laksa Pulau Pinang from Rasa Utara however is up to par to my northern girl standard. The laksa soup is not only thick and have no traces of fine fish bones in it but it’s sweetly flavoured with bunga kantan as well. The laksa is topped with a slice of boiled fish, boiled eggs, shredded cucumber and slice pineapple and shrimp paste sauce on the side. Definitely a star and a must order if you’re to patronize the restaurant.
Satay was all right. The skewered meat was sufficiently flavoured.
For dessert, we decided to go for something really cooling to wash down all the hot and spicy dishes away. We had ABC; Ais Batu Campur. An instant pleasure.The portion is huge and generous with assorted nutty toppings, definitely something we needed after all the spicy dishes that we had.
Overall, they serve authentic utara dishes with pretty reasonable price and highly recommended to those northerners who would like to have a taste of home. There’s plenty of signature dishes I haven’t managed to try in Rasa Utara and definitely would be making a revisit back there for more northern-Malay delicacies.
For more info on Rasa Utara, check out below:
G-12, 13, Ground Floor of Berjaya Times Square
Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/rasautara/