Nasi Kandar Merlin Hotel

Don’t let the name Merlin misled you.  It is actually a very run-down, old pre-war house and not some spanking 5-star hotel. This nasi kandar is known to us as ‘Merlin Nasi Kandar’ and is located at the junction of Union Street and Penang Street.

It still maintains it old charm of having those back-to-back wooden chairs with a small rectangular table which sits 4 person.

Unlike other chain nasi kandar restaurants, this nasi kandar stall brings out freshly cooked, steaming hot curries and rice and they are open only certain hours for breakfast and  lunch.  It is famous with the bank and office crowds.

The owner can be found scooping some secret gravy from atop his glass shelves.  Until today, we do not know why he must put these gravies so high up (as high as his head) and take the trouble to slowly scoop the gravy on the rice.  If you are there, do watch out for this funny ritual.

They don’t give you too many varieties to choose so everything is also good.  The beef curry, fresh black pomfret (bawal hitam) curry, fried chicken and this white sambal nyior. On Fridays, they sell kick-ass nasi briyani too.  Price wise, I found them to be cheaper than Line’s Clear.

Remember to check this place out. At the corner of Union Street and Penang Street.

10 Replies to “Nasi Kandar Merlin Hotel”

  1. Hi Lilian,

    Great site you’ve got here. Amazing what we can experience in our own country eh? I’m planning a little ramble myself sometime soon (i’m in need of a vacation). Am thinking of driving through Malaysia, taking in the sights, the sounds, the people and most importantly, the food (need to do this before I get married!). Any suggestions of good routes/sights/restaurants/kedai kopi’s etc? Do mail me if you have the time. Again, great job.

  2. Walauweh…looks yummy indeed….
    But how come it’s located is such lousy place ler?
    and btw how’s the food?

  3. Arghhh!!!! One of my favourite! I love their KAri Bawal HItam and yes I remember their secret gravy. Next time u should try Nasi Kandar Imigresen. I heard they moved to Pitt Street at one of those lane behind stalls selling flower (near Kwan Yin temple).

  4. I suppose Merlin Hotel (now City Bayview?) used to have nice nasi kandar, or maybe there was a stall in the vicinity. I remember Merlin Hotel…was there in 1973, Carmen’s Inn (basement) where I watched Alleycats perform for the first time. Saw them on TV that day, half their teeth gone…but still got the “berus tandas” hairdo!

  5. The ‘real’ Merlin Hotel used to serve nice Nasi Lemak. I remember my father used to buy it for supper whenever he went there to entertain his client.

  6. Ahhh!!! Too much pain to see these photos! I’m from Penang but I live…well far far away now ….Canada far…..The Merlin Nasi Kandar was one of my favourite!! Can’t wait till I comeback this October.

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