The default colour of a serving of Nasi Goreng (fried rice) that we are more familiar with would usually be brown – the result of cooking it using sweet soy sauce. Yet down Panglima Polim, you’ll discover that Pak Thole has shunned the conventional by offering this time-honoured dish in a rather colourful manner.
In business since 2010, Pak Thole and his pushcart-cum-workplace used to be located right behind 7-Eleven Panglima Polim in front of a house. With Pak Thole fearing that his sought-after venture may cause disturbance to the owner of the residence – it is regularly packed with customers – he decided to pack up and relocate right next to Ayam Bakar Ganthari in Melawai. Its resemblance to your run-of-the-mill roadside fried rice seller tends to be the reason why some may fail to see it, but it has a steady stream of loyal punters.
As I witnessed Pak Thole cooking up his signature dish, I inquired about how he got the idea for his fried rice. “I used to make European food – bread and all that. But when I had the chance to open up my own business, I was more interested in selling fried rice. I started out with traditional fried rice before I experimented by adding colours and serving them to my customers. It turned out that the response that it got was great, so I carried on,” he says.
When things get really hectic, Pak Thole could sell up to a 100 portions of his fried rice each night. Customers need to be patient, though, as it is cooked according to colour. During a lively evening, he would usually prepare a bigger portion so that he could then distribute evenly by order.
The colours of his fried rice are not the result of artificial food colouring, as Pak Thole uses natural ingredients such as mustard greens for green; squid ink for black; and beetroot for red. Surprisingly, you can also have your noodles and vermicelli in different colours as well; while for those who prefer their fried rice to be of the more orthodox kind, you can request it plain with no colouring.
Despite the choices that it dishes out, I obviously went with its multicolour fried rice. Topped with anchovies and cuts of meatballs and sausages, it was savoury and not too oily. You also have the option of adding chicken meat into the mix or have it made as Nasi Goreng Gila (fried rice mixed with various ingredients).
Jl. Panglima Polim Raya Blok C No.5,
T: 0813 1017 8915
Buka Senin-Minggu, pukul 18.00-01.00 WIB
Rp25.000 / US$2 per orang