Have you ever heard of Nasi Lemak Lemuni before? Well, let me share some exciting news: this is a unique nasi lemak that originates from the northern side of Malaysia, namely from the Penang and Kedah areas.
After all these years of eating around Malaysia, I had the pleasure of trying this right here in the Klang Valley, and it clearly states that there is no end to discovering good food in Malaysia, even after so long.
Nasi Lemak Lemuni
So, for those who do not know, let me explain what Nasi Lemak Lemuni is all about. It looks like nasi lemak, but the rice looks out of place, right? Yes, we are creatures of nature, and to most ordinary people or foodies, nasi lemak is usually fragrant white rice.
Cooking it is a little tedious but easy once you get the hang of it. The Lemuni leaves are mixed into the rice, cooked, and then served with the other nasi lemak condiments. Usually, the nasi lemak comes with a piece of saltfish, but this time around, they did not include it.
Some places may serve Nasi Lemuni or Lemuni Rice as it is, and then you add the curries and other side dishes to your plate. This is a form of nasi campur or mixed rice but using the nasi lemuni instead.
Sometimes, we encounter nasi lemak with yellow rice or nasi kuning, which I wrote about in my Nasi Lemak Bungkus Kedah article some time back. But that is not easy to come across nowadays, especially from hawkers or roadside stalls.
I also want to highlight that usually I review the street vendors and not restaurants or cafes because those are mostly overrated nasi lemak, just like Nasi Lemak Bumbung in SEA Park or Village Park nasi lemak, which in my humble opinion is just normal nasi lemak and nothing to shout about.
What is Lemuni?
Lemuni is a type of leafy plant that grows into a tree, and the leaves of the Pokok Lemuni are used to make the unique nasi lemak rice. The Lemuni tree species is Vitex trifolia, which comes in purple, green (known as Lemuni Hitam) or another species of white leaf known as Lemuni Putih. The Black Lemuni species is used to make the nasi lemak rice.
Pokok Lemuni (Vitex trifolia) is also a species that grows in our climate, usually in coastal areas up to about 5 metres tall. Its leaves are two-coloured, typically green on the top and purple on the bottom.
Apparently, the Lemuni tree grows well up north of Malaysia, but you’ll be surprised that the Pokok Lemuni can also grow here. I actually saw one growing at the place where I got my Lemuni rice packs. For special reasons, I cannot share the info about the place because they only sell it once a month.
Nasi Lemuni is traditionally eaten as a confinement dish due to its healing properties that can enhance blood flow, balance hormones, and improve one’s digestion.
Where to find Nasi Lemak Lemuni?
Where do you find this? It is almost impossible to locate a stall selling this in the Klang Valley. However, after much digging, I found several places around Malaysia where you can find Nasi Lemak Lemuni. But you will need to double check if they still serve it.
Nasi Lemuni in Penang
1. Sari Rasa Stall No 9
Astaka Taman Tun Sardon
Jalan Hilir Pemancar
Taman Tun Sardon,
11700 Gelugor, Penang
Opening hours: 7.30 AM to 12.30 PM daily
2. Jawi House Cafe Gallery (Jawi Peranakan Cuisine by Chef Nurilkarim)
85, Lebuh Armenian, George Town,
10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Opening Hours: 11.00 AM – 9.30 PM
Closed every Tuesday
3. Nasi Lemuni
30-H, Kompleks Makanan,
Lebuh Nipah, Kampung Seberang Paya,
11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang
Days: Wed – Sun
Time: 7.00 AM – 2.00 PM
Call: 018-466 4020
4. Tong Kayu Cafe Bayan Lepas
12, Jalan Kampung Bukit,
11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Hours: 12.00 PM – 10.00 PM
Call: 019-771 3758
5. Maksu Intan Lemuni (Gerai)
Lorong Kulit, George Town,
10460 George Town, Pulau Pinang
Hours: 8.00 AM – 1.00 PM
Call: 011-1006 4117
6. Ayin Nasi Lemak
Persiaran Bayan, Taman Tunas Muda,
11900 Bayan Lepas, Pulau Pinang
Hours: 6.30 AM – 11.00 AM
Call: 012-312 8766
Nasi Lemuni in Kedah
7. Nasi Lemuni Mami Rozi
Nasi Ulam & Nasi Lemuni – Mami Rozi,
Jalan Ria 4, Taman Ria,
08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah
Time: 9.00 AM – 6.00 PM
Call: 012-504 4344
8. Rumah Sarapan
C182, Lorong 12, Taman Sejati Indah,
08000 Sungai Petani, Kedah
Hours: 7.30 AM – 12.30 PM
Nasi Lemuni in Pahang
9. Istana Lemuni
Lot 9756, Kg Chemperoh,
Kampung Janda Baik,
28750 Bentong, Pahang
Opening Days: Fri, Sat & Sun 8.00
Opening Hours: AM to 5.00 PM
Call: 012-326 5966
Nasi Lemuni in Perak
10. Gerai Nasi Lamuni
3, Jalan Stesen, Jalan Batu lapan,
34300 Bagan Serai, Perak
Hours: 7.30 AM – 1.00 PM
Call: 017-590 7490
11. Warung Eli (Hawker Stall)
4A, Jalan Kepayang,
31400 Ipoh, Perak
Hours: 7.30 AM – 2.00 PM
Call: 012-558 2576
12. Salmah Kopitiam Ipoh
92, Jalan Raja Musa Mahadi,
Taman Hillview, 31350 Ipoh, Perak
Hours: 8.00 AM – 2.30 PM
Call: 017-555 2825
Nasi Lemak Lemuni in Kajang
13. Nasi Lemak Daun Lemuni (Hawker Stall)
Tapak Pasar Malam Taman Delima Kajang Cheras,
43000 Kajang, Selangor
Time: Mon-Thurs – 6.30 AM – 10.00 AM
Time: Fri & Sat – 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM
Call: 012-230 3524
Note: If you know of any other hawker or place selling Nasi Lemak Lemuni, please let me know by contacting me or leaving a comment on this article. I will then check out the place and update this list here. Thank you for that.
An Important Note For Foodies (Young and Old)
As I am quite particular about my food reviews, I do not simply review food and say it’s good because many others say it’s good. I tend to follow the international standards of food critique, where I give my honest opinion after tasting it.
To the new foodies out there, I would like to share that food has been evolving over the last few decades and even over the last few years; with the development of technology and the laziness of many stall owners, the quality of many have degraded a lot.
Hence, nowadays, it isn’t easy to compare old-world taste to today’s taste due to several factors. Still, foodies like me, who have been eating since the 80s and 90s, would have a better judgement and understanding of some of the food being reviewed.
So, it’s not about seeing some viral post on social media that has plenty of bought ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ and is being shared a lot, making users think the food is great or awesome. One day, I will do a podcast about foodies overall so that people will know what a foodie is and what a food critique is.’
I hope this explanation of the Nasi Lemak Lemuni has given you a better understanding of the unique hawker and stall dish, as it is almost impossible to find nowadays in the Klang Valley. However, I have heard that a few people cook them at home.
Nevertheless, I hope this unique Malay dish gets more attention and more people start selling it here in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. After all, if the passion is strong, I am sure that Nasi Lemak Lemuni will readily be accepted by all walks of life here.