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Ipoh’s Famous Nasi Ganja Restaurant Has No Plans To Share Secret Recipe Despite Huge Demand

Ipoh’s Famous Nasi Ganja Restaurant Has No Plans To Share Secret Recipe Despite Huge Demand

The family behind Ipoh’s famous nasi ganja has concluded that limiting their production is the best way to maintain quality.

Fernando Fong

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The family behind Ipoh’s famous nasi ganja at Kedai Kopi Yong Suan has no plans to share the recipe for its delicious dish.

They have concluded that limiting their production is the best way to maintain quality, one of the family members said.

In an interview with The Rakyat Post, Mohd Nihmathullah Syed Mustafa reiterated a pledge the family made not to increase profit at the expense of food quality.

Kedai Kopi Yong Suan is full of rustic charm. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

Mohd Nihmathullah is a fourth-generation member of the family, which started the Nasi Kandar Ayam Merah Ipoh at the same location more than 60 years ago.

He said customers keep coming back because of the nasi ganja’s consistency, quality, and value.

We didn’t have to do that (opening franchises). We think that was the right, responsible thing to do.

Mohd Nihmathullah to TRP

Business people have pressed the family to share its secret recipe and open franchises. Mohd Nihmathullah said the family have actually considered this as more outlets would bring in more revenue.

The busiest shop along the busy Jalan Yang Kalsom. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

In the end, the family decided that the most reliable way to make high-quality nasi ganja is by making it themselves.

Asked about the offering price proposed to the family, he contended that such propositions assumed that the family is not satisfied with their capacity, but in fact, they know they are.

We think we are doing everything we can to satisfy the public.

Mohd Nihmathullah to TRP

No, Nothing Strictly Illegal

For sure, there is no cannabis in nasi ganja, nor are there any illegal substance in the recipe.

The ganja of the dish is in fact the coconut sambal served alongside the rice and spiced fried chicken.

Coconut sambal – the pièce de résistance of nasi ganja. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

Made from grated coconut, coconut sambal has an interesting savory-sweet taste and is very palatable.

Although delicious to eat just like that, coconut sambal is more delicious to eat with contrasting or bland flavored dishes such as rice.

It also adds texture when paired with rendang and other local dishes. Naturally, it tastes good with spiced fried chicken and salted egg as served at Yong Suan!

Nasi ganja is so palatable that it is enjoyed by diners of all ages including families with young children.

A family enjoying their nasi ganja at Yong Suan. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

READ MORE: ‘Datuk’ Among Questioned By Police Over Nasi Ganja Helicopter Takeaway

What’s In A Name?

The term was given by its growing number of die-hard fans over the decades.

Accordingly, the dish is so tasty that it is as addictive as ganja.

There have been others eateries that joined the bandwagon in trying to imitate their nasi ganja.

But they are not quite as successful in developing the taste that makes the original nasi ganja so satisfying.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

The Right Food Is Always Worth The Wait

It is common to see people queuing up and forming long lines at Yong Suan.

The queue is for takeaways, if you want to eat you can just sit at the table and order.

And the lack of parking is hardly a deterrent.

Diners are limited to 30 minutes per meal so that others will not have to wait too long.

A food delivery rider, who only wished to be as Azman, said the workers are quite efficient.

Nasi ganja is a favourite among the delivery boys, because the food is always ready by the time we come to pick it up. Even in Ipoh, sometimes we need to wait for an hour at certain F&B outlets.

Food delivery rider Azman to TRP

Most Bang For Your Buck

For the price you pay, you get a very good deal. A complete meal for one person is only RM6.

According to Mohd Nihmathullah, it was RM4 some 20 years ago.

When his grandfather Kassim Mohamad first started the business, it was RM1.20 per plate.

Not bad, really, taking into account inflation over time.

Stretch your ringgit and appetite with nasi ganja. (Credit: Fernando Fong)

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