By: RaY KinZoKu

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Friday, 11-Jan-2008 11:11 Email | Share | Bookmark
( 5 ) KELATTE : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae

Nik Yam : The Place
Nik Yam : The Tools
Nik Yam : The Outcome
Pasir Pekan : The Place
Pasir Pekan : The Tools
Pasir Pekan : The Outcome
Cherang : The Place
Cherang : The Tools
Cherang : The Outcome
Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae ( 5 )

Aku cari bukan harta bertimbun timbun,
Aku cari mana dia ROTI TEMPAYAN sedap !!

( The fifth installment of " Kelatte : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae " series. )

Had been quite a while since I last wrote about this.

Yerp, Roti Tempayan or Naan as commonly known, the leavened, flat Indian bread. More of a hunt ( or craze ) than just a " jalae jalae carghi makae " and all started while I was away in Japan.

I remember the flat bread there, err.. there ... I mean, at the Northern Indian eateries in Japan, being none like that I ever found in Malaysia, with somewhat distinct taste and interesting texture, being both fluffy and crispy when fresh out of the tempayan ( a tandoor or earthen oven ) and never chewy ( rubbery ! ) when reheated, out of the fridge. Every roti that came to the table back then, came dressed with a dab of warm butter on it. Not to mention, the seemingly countless variations to choose from - Garlic, Butter, Cheese, Sesame, to name a few. Oh yes, and the curries ... they really went together very well !

But, that was Japan, where good price always guarantee good stuff.

Well, somehow.

* Celebrating greatness.

Me, enjoying great Roti Tempayan with some dudes at an Indo-Pakistani eatery, somewhere in a cheesy district of Higashi Osaka, some five years ago.

Oh darn, I guess I just got my cover blown !
Sorry kids, you guys should have guessed. Back then, I was Ultraman Taro.
Those puny Earthlings around me were bunch of Malaysian students throwing out a party for me for saving their asses ( * sorry for the intended vulgarity ).

You know, Godzilla attack in Japan occurs like twice a day or so, in day and night working shift. But none was as furious as the attack by Daigaku Sensei as experienced by these guys. Luckily, like always expected, I came to the rescue, got beaten, red bulb flashing on my chest, quickly got my arms crossed in my usual pose and the rest was Roti Tempayan party ! Yatttaaaa ! Those hectic but surely rewarding days ....

Now, back in Malaysia, the hunt continues but not after many failed attempts and astonishing findings.

When asked for Roti Tempayan, Mamak eateries in Lembah Klang and even in Kota Bharu ( you guess where ) brought me the meaning of " vulcanization " instead. Then, there is a deceitful version of Roti Tempayan, the one cooked on hot plate instead of the usual tempayan, normally sold at Pasar Malams under the name " Roti Nan ". Have to admit that it does taste nice but unfortunately far from the real deal .....

To tell the truth, I did gave up on the quest once.

Doing away with all the thoughts and hopes on heavenly Roti Tempayan, here in Malaysia, especially in my native Kelantan. Everywhere I looked, none suit my ideals.
Thinking that I had been expecting too much, so trying to be fair and at the same time, finding it necessary to cope with the local culinary scenario, ingredients and food quality control issues, I decided to re-adapt my ideas on a good Roti Tempayan.

First and foremost, it must comes out fresh from the tempayan or tandoor not from the hot plate nor supermarket's frozen storage. Secondly, it should be both crispy and fluffy and not chewy. The dipping curry should be thick, creamy, fragrant but not necessarily hot. Much like I expected from what I ate in Japan but with lesser anticipations.

Recently, I found these great eateries that serve great Roti Tempayan.
One a Kedaa Ppati in a Kedaa Kopi ( a coffee house ), the other is a normal restaurant, and another, a Kedaa Ppati in Kota Bharu.

Really glad, as I didn't expect that there are great ones out there, here in Kota Bharu.
So far, these three are the most interesting and highly recommended. Though not exactly like I had in Japan, I would give their Roti Tempayans two thumbs up ( by my own standard, of course ).

These are their pictorial verdicts :


A wooden, Singhorra roofed coffee shop.
Both the exterior and interior look very aged which is great !
Somewhat antique in feeling and ambiance. Located at Jalan Pengkalan Chepa, behind Rumah Mayat HRPZII, somewhere between Hotel New Pacific and Bank Rakyat.

* The typical servings - the Roti with the Curry ( this one with chunks of beef )

The Roti is thick and excellent but lacking consistency.
I mean, you either get it both fluffy and crispy i.e. just nice or 1st degree burned ! But never fear, most of the time, they come clean. The excellent part reminds me of those I ate in Japan, very very close but not exactly. Only if they could brush some warm butter on it, I would give more merits.

A piece here, cost RM 1.50, with the curry for dipping comes at RM 2.00 / person.
Prices are on the high side compared to the other two, but I would say, fair. Oh yes, and the curry is thick and lovely too, but still below my anticipation as I preferred thicker ones.

Verdict ? 8.5 out of 10 stars. Excellent but not perfect.


A normal restaurant but only starts to operate when the Sun goes down.
Located by the road, at Jalan Kota Bharu - Pasir Pekan, near to the Pasir Pekan roundabout. To reach, one needs to travel down from Kota Bharu.

* The typical servings - the Roti with the Curry ( this one with minced beef )

The Roti is way the smallest I have ever encountered so far. The taste is good, amazingly fluffy but without the crispy side. Unfortunately. Like muching on Roti Pau ( steamed bun ).

A piece here, cost RM 1.20, with the curries for dipping come at RM 2.50 ~ RM 3.50 per serving, is fairly thick and at much more variety than the other two. The only downside is the pricey part.

Verdict please ! 7.5 out of 10 stars. Amazing but not as anticipated.


Kedaa Ppati concept.
A concept which is very common in ( and unique to ? ) Kelantan. Located at Jalan Bayam, Cherang, some distance away from the Jalan Long Yunus - Jalan Bayam intersection.

Have no idea what the place is formally known as there is no visible business name but those who usually frequent the spot call it either " Kedaa Ghoti Payyae Cherghae " or " Keddaa Azae " after the eatery owner's name ( Azam ? ). Please spare me if I got both wrong ....

* The typical servings - the Roti with the Curry ( this one with chunks of beef )

The Roti is thinner but marvelous when hot, newly out from the tandoor but might get really chewy at room temperature.

A piece here cost RM 0.70 which is the cheapest I've found so far ( well, did I say " thinner " ? ), with the curry for dipping comes at RM 2.00 / person. The other downside is the curry. Sorry to say, somewhat watery, lacking viscosity or something that just don't fit my likings. I could easily come up with better than that !

Oh yeah, the verdict, 6 out of 10 stars. Slightly above average.

But to be fair. By overall, it's still great and that explains the eatery popularity as a workmen's stopover for tea ( and roti ! ).

I need more input on places with great Roti Tempayan, especially in Kelantan.
Also want to know how Malaysians define " excellent " Roti Tempayan.

Care to share ?
Just leave your two cents in the comment box, and I will make them a couple of millions if I must.

Ijou de, doumo arigatou !


( 4 ) KELATTE : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae

( 3 ) KELATTE : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae

( 2 ) KELATTE : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae

( 1 ) KELATTE : Jalae ~ Jalae Carghi Makae

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