Which Is The Original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar?

So, which is the original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar? Last year September 2, writer Sam Cheong’s review on Restoran Kayu Nasi Kandar entitled “Nasi Kandar Not Up To The Mark” in his weekly column, Food Trail of The Star. Sam complained that the fried fish roe was already stale and the rest of the dishes were just average. Sam Cheong ate at Restoran Kayu Nasi Kandar in in USJ10/1, Subang Jaya.

Restoran Kayu Nasi Kandar SS2

Then on the September, the following 16th the founder Buruhan Mohamed of Original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar put up a full-page advertisement on The Star to clarify the matter.

So, what is the big fuss about, anyway? The fact is Sam Cheong had eaten at the “Not So Original” Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar restaurant. That shop over at USJ10/1 is NOT one of the ORIGINAL Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar’s  branches.

Yes, the so-called original Original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar restaurant is founded by Buruhan Mohamed, who started it all from a small setup in the former Chow Yang Restaurant in SS2. 

– The head office is at 64, Jalan SS2/10, 47300 Petaling Jaya.

– Website: http://www.originalkayu.com.m

Where else, the other Kayu Nasi Kandar chain of restaurarants belong to Buruhan’s brother company known as Restoran Pulau Pinang Kayu Nasi Kandar Sdn.Bhd.

– The head office is at 23, Jalan USJ10/1, UEP Subang Jaya.

– Website: http://www.kayu.com.my

From what I know, they have some “personal problems” between the two siblings. They started off together and then along the way, due to some unforeseen things, they broke off and each of them went their own way. That was how the whole complication with the company name, came into being. Sorry, no details. 

 Restoran Di Kayu Nasi Kandar

If you observe closely, the stalls which belong to Buruhan’s brother are called Di Kayu Nasi Kandar or just Kayu Nasi Kandar.

Kayu Nasi Kandar Penang Logo
One more thing is to look out for the company logo. (above) Both companies’ logo appeared to be very similar. Featuring a picture of a Nasi Kandar peddler carrying dishes on baskets at the end of poles.

But if you look closer, you would notice that the Original Penang Kayu Nasi Kandar, the peddler’s left hand is holding the hand of a little boy who is walking beside him. 

Where Di Kayu logo has a similar Nasi Kandar peddler, but without the boy! Plus without the round design surrounding the figure and the words “Since 1974”. 

I have known Buruhan way back in late 70s, when I just came up to work in SS2, Petaling Jaya. He was just a a skinny young teenager helping his late father to run the simple stall selling nasi Kandar, mee goreng mamak and roti canai.

Buruhan got his nickmane “kayu” way back in the late 70s before he hit the big time.  We used to call him “kayu” too, but in jest, because that was how the nasty Teochew Chinese coffee-shop owner (former Chow Yang in SS2) shouted at him, each time when the Chinaman towkay saw Buruhan’s plates left uncollected on the tables.

Instead of scolding at Buruhan, the word “bodoh“, this rude Chinese coffeeshop boss used  the word “kayu” instead; simply means  wooden or mentally slow or dull. And that was how he got this rather catchy nickname “kayu“. It is not as what someone who says, “kayu” refers to the mangrove pole used by the nasi kandar peddler.

So, the next time, if you want to go for the Original Penang Nasi Kandar Kayu meal, make sure you check out the signboard or the Kayu Nasi Kandar Penang logo. The choice is up to  you. Happy makan.

Food Quote: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” – Anthelme Brillat-Savarin