Dig into tuk tuk tomato rice on Penang street

The writer at the tuk tuk D’Tomato Street.

An orange tuk tuk is the centrepiece of the nasi tomato, Malaysia’s favourite wedding food, offering.

Located on Tanjung Tokong and called D’Tomato Street, it is the first of its kind in Penang.

Former chef Syed Izwar provides several other Malay dishes alongside the nasi tomato (a type of rice with tomato as the base), which is tangy and slightly sweet.

Syed Izwar and his spread of dishes. All Photos: V.K. Santosh Kumar/Inside Recent

There is daging kicap (soy sauce beef), kambing kurma (mutton kurma), ayam ros (tomato-based chicken stew), kerabu timun (cucumber salad) and kepala ikan (fish head curry).

On special days, Syed will provide dishes such as nasi dalcha (rice cooked with lentils, onions, potatoes and carrots and spiced with star anise, cinnamon and cardamom) gulai bawai (brinji curry) and nasi minyak (fragrant yellow rice cooked with a little ghee, evaporated milk, spices and pandan leaves).

The must-try, he said, is ayam goreng berempah (spiced fried chicken). It pairs well with the nasi tomato.

Local customers call it “Ayam Pistol”, as it packs quite a punch.

I found Syed’s set-up innovative. It costs only between $12 to $15 to have a hearty meal by the roadside in the shade of trees.

“I wanted to do something different and set up my stand seven years ago,” Syed told Inside Recent. “Nasi tomato is available everywhere in Penang. I like vintage vehicles and brought the Thai tuk tuk style to Penang. But I gave it a Malaysian twist.

“I gave it the name D’Tomato Street because it is like selling tomato on the street. Only thing, it is all cooked with tomato flavours predominant.”

According to Syed, his wife cooks all the items at home. He then brings them in the tuk tuk to Tanjung Tokong and begins business at 11am.

“All the item are usually bought by 5pm,” he said. “I usually do fish dishes in the early part of the week and chicken and beef items later.

“My customers are a mix of the young and old. They all know me and like the food I give. Sometimes, tourists also come down.”

Syed said he was hit hard during the Covid years. “Business has been up and down,” he said. “But generally I am able to complete my sales around 5pm. Sometimes it drags to 7pm.”

Certainly, creativity and quirkiness are at the heart of Syed’s business. But then that’s the way to catch people’s attention.

I found the food really tasty, the spread seemingly equivalent to those served in a banquet.

Address: Taman Batu Bukit Blok 17, Jalan Tanjong Tokong, 11200 Tanjung Bungah, Penang.
Operating Hours: 11am to 7pm (closed on Sunday).

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top