100 Favorite Dishes, No. 37: Nasi Lemak at Kampong

Kampong-Nasi-Lemak.jpg
The nasi lemak at Kampong
To prepare for this fall's Best of Dallas® 2014 issue, we're counting down (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes. If there's a dish you think we need to try, leave it in the comments, or email me.

A visit to Kampong can be a little confusing. Billed as an Asian fusion restaurant, its menu is filled with noisy sushi rolls that are easily distracting. Those who are willing to focus on the Malaysian specialties on the menu, however, will be rewarded with a solid meal.

Your best bet is the nasi lemak, which is often referred to as Malaysia's national dish and will give you a window into many of the flavors and textures of the region's cooking.

Eating nasi lemak is interesting because you can clear your entire plate and never take the same bite twice. The dish is anchored by a mound of rice cooked in coconut milk, resulting in a mildly fragrant, sticky grains that are significantly more rich than rice cooked in water alone. From there a number of accompaniments keep you guessing.

There are peanuts included for a nutty crunch, and small cucumbers that add a snappy coolness. There are also tiny anchovies that add more texture than fishy flavor, and a thick and chunky sambal whose pungent anchovies were all but too apparent. This is all a backdrop for a mildly spicy lamb curry and a fried egg. It's confusing and enlightening and delicious.

Kampong Asian Fusion, 720 E Campbell Rd., Ste 430, (972) 238-7399, kampong.us
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No. 68: Birria Tacos at Los Torres Taqueria
No. 67: Bulgogi Cheesesteak at Say Kimchi
No. 66: Suadero Tacos at La Banqueta
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No. 61: Reuben at Kuby's
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No. 57: Rib "Sandwich" at Baby Back Shak
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No. 43: Chicken-Fried Steak at Ellen's Southern Kitchen
No. 42: Carnitas Tacos at Taqueria Y Carneseria Guanajuato
No. 41: Lamb Burger at LARK
No. 40: Regina Margherita At Cane Rosso
No. 39: Barbacoa At Barbacoa Estilo Hidalgo
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3 comments
les.moor
les.moor

Does anyone here cook coconut rice at home?  Care to share your method?  Thanks!

DavidRoot
DavidRoot

how have I not heard of this place?

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