It doesn’t matter what day or time you go, there’s never not a line at Village Park Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. Located in the suburb of Petaling Jaya, the shophouse stays busy from morning till night. For that, you have one dish to thank: the nasi lemak ayam goreng. Priced at 10.40 MYR per plate ($2.29 USD), it pairs a mound of fleecy coconut rice with kicky sambal, a smattering of fried anchovies, peanuts, cooling cucumbers, and two pieces of juicy yardbird.
But the real showstopper here is the kremes, a crispy, crunchy topping made from leftover chicken batter. (Village Park’s recipe is proprietary, but ingredients for the traditional Indo-Malay dish typically include turmeric, candlenut, lemongrass, and tamarind.) A glass of iced barley water is the perfect accompaniment—Southeast Asia’s equivalent of Southern fried chicken with sweet tea.
FYI if you go: The line on the left, running inside the restaurant, is for the register; pay when you’ve finished eating. The line on the right, snaking out the front door, is for takeout only. The restaurant is air-conditioned, but the tables outside turn over faster and run halfway down the block. To eat in, wait your turn until someone gets up and then pounce. A harried server will bring you a menu (eventually, someday).
5 Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama, Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; +06-3-7710-7860.