Saturday, January 06, 2007My latest trip to Terengganu gave me more grouches than the eunuchs at a sex orgy.
The weather was not good. It rained in KL when I was at the airport and it rained in Kuala Terengganu on Friday 5th as predicted by the weather people. The plane was late. It was late in KL on Thursday and it was late in Kuala Terengganu on Friday. Neither delay could be blamed on the rain.
The rain stopped long enough on Friday morning for Ramli and I to try a new nasi dagang place in the food court at Pantai Batu Burok. My spirit lifted a bit when I saw the size of the crowd at the stall. Service was prompt. Unlike Chendering, the banana leaf was dispensed with. Convenience overrode tradition. The rice looked right. There was a solitary halba (fenugreek seed) visible in the rice. Halba should be in the rice of an authentic nasi dagang. There should also be fine slices of shallots and ginger. There were none in this particular rice. Otherwise, the rice passed my muster. The kuoh (gravy) was another matter though. The ikan aya (tuna) was generously ample and there were whole chilis that would be squashed into the rice by real nasi dagang lovers. But the chilis were of the wrong kind. They were chili padi or chili api which are more at home in Negeri Sembilan than Terengganu. This is a sin easily forgiven. What I could not accept or forgive was the taste of the curry. It was sickeningly sweet. It was sweeter than my nescafe tarik. Never in my life have I eaten pengat ikan aya with nasi dagang. What a sacrilege. Daud, who suggested the place was spared bodily harm by the presence of his new wife. Maybe the crowd came for the nasi lemak or the other offerings on the menu.
The nasi dagang at the end of the road from Primula Resort did not upset me as much. Another thing did. Ramli pointed out the road sign in front of the shop:
Only a a non-Trengganu native would call our famous market "Pasar Payang". Natives would use Pasar Kedai Payang. I could not blame Majlis Perbandaran Kuala Terengganu for this abomination. If you see the official signboard at the famous market, the council got it right. Sadly, they do not seem to have any say over the wordings of the road signs.