The seemingly ordinary roadside stall will surprise you with its delicious Western offerings that won’t burn a hole in your pocket
by AKMAR ANNUAR
IN MALAYSIA, Western cuisine is no stranger to our tastebuds. However, the perception has often been that one needs to visit upscale restaurants or cafes, perhaps within the confines of a proper establishment, to enjoy a good Western meal.
“Hey, check out ‘warung’ Nan & Co! It’s in Ara Damansara, your ‘hood’, right?”
Recalling that message I received from a dear friend of mine who is now currently residing in Italy, I never expected at all that I would get to experience Italian cuisine right in my own “backyard”.
As I watched the video of the “warung” she tagged me with, I was amazed!
Don’t judge a book by its cover, they say. In my experience, those hipster cafes serving expensive dishes may not necessarily satisfy your tastebuds.
Enter Nan & Co in Ara Damansara — a seemingly ordinary “warung” or roadside stall that surprises with its delicious Western offerings.
More importantly, it won’t burn a hole in your pocket. For me, it’s the epitome of “hotel taste at street food prices”.
Stepping into Nan & Co, the culinary journey unfolds with an array of Western delights that cater to diverse palates.
The modest stall offers beloved Western classics like lamb chop, chicken chop, and fish and chips. Pasta enthusiasts can indulge in seafood aglio olio and chicken/ lamb spaghetti.
The presentation is equally noteworthy, boasting Instagram-worthy aesthetics. Moreover, the prices are quite affordable, ranging from RM8 to RM16.
As soon as my order arrived on my table, I could immediately sense the delectable presentation and plating. The texture of the lamb chop was a delightful interplay between the slightly crispy exterior and the juicy, melt-in-your-mouth goodness within.
On the other hand, my colleague’s Cummee (pasta with slightly spicy mushrooms, cooked and topped with grilled chicken thigh) was not as spicy as she anticipated (and requested).
In terms of taste and presentation, Nan & Co matches the standards of high-end hotels. However, the prices tell a different story.
In hotels, you pay a premium for modest portions. Here, you pay less and get more. The chicken chop is priced at a reasonable RM13, and the fish and chips is a steal at the same price.
As for the spaghetti aglio olio, it’s offered at an unbelievably affordable price of RM8.
One of the highlights at Nan & Co is its commitment to using premium, fresh ingredients that elevate each dish to a gourmet level. “We prefer to cook Alaskan pollock, instead of dory and other fishes that other restaurants would usually serve,” the chef and founder, Noraini Nordin told us.
Furthermore, he, who is affectionately known as Nan, said that he would buy his stock exclusively from his supplier in Kuala Selangor.
Recounting his journey, he shared that, by training, he was a professional interior designer and architect, but his passion has always been cooking.
The idea to open Nan & Co came to him during his early retirement, inspired by his colleague of 10 years, Don, who is also into preparing Western cuisine in his free time.
“Initially, we bought a site here in Ara Damansara with no intention of opening a food stall, but then one day, Don pitched the idea of opening a Western food stall and here we are today, serving you lamb chop for only RM26!” he exclaimed.
Attention to detail is evident in every bite, making the dining experience an indulgent journey for the senses.
Regarding the crowd, the restaurant is usually packed during lunchtime, 12-3pm, Nan told us.
Even as we had the conversation, which was around 3pm, I noticed that most tables there were occupied.
While the locals (except yours truly) around Ara Damansara have long been aware of this gem, it has remained somewhat under radar.
If you’re a connoisseur of Western cuisine and appreciate the convenience of relishing it in the cozy confines of your home, Nan & Co should be on your foodie list.
This culinary haven not only caters to on-site dining, but also extends its flavoursome offerings to doorsteps within a generous 10km radius from its base in Ara Damansara.
This radius encompasses prominent locales such as Sungai Penchala, Damansara, Kota Damansara, Mutiara Damansara and more.
Nan & Co proudly stands as a Muslim-owned establishment, assuring patrons of its halal status.
Located at 108, Jalan PJU 1a/5, Ara Damansara, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, the stall opens at 12.30pm-6pm, Monday-Friday.
Value for money: Yes
- This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition