Lemang Bonda Emma

Searching For Bonda

The Proof Of The Pudding Is In The Eating.

Unwrapped the old Chinese newspaper back home and the glutinous rice (pulut) is fragrant with coconut milk and is evenly cooked.

Remember to ask them to split open the bamboo tube. Don’t attempt to do it yourself unless you have a hardy knife and garden gloves. The bamboo tubes can be dangerously sharp.

A banana leaf is wrapped around the rice to add flavour and to prevent it from sticking to the bamboo surface when cooking.

From experience, I find the leaf sticking to the rice instead. In this case, it peeled off cleanly without tearing or leaving remnants.

The lemang comes in two sizes, RM10 and RM8. Go for the smaller one as it somehow tastes better. Even the cook thinks so.

I bought both types of rendang – RM8 per (generically named) tupperware to test. The chicken, unless you specifically request for thigh, is too hard.

Beef is a different story altogether. It is heavenly. It is almost like Indian Kheema, minus the peas. Coarse minced meat size and completely boneless.

Verdict: Lemang Bonda is indeed Awesome. Happy to have one of the most satisfactory lemang and rendang combos for Raya. Thanks again Aidi, for the recommendation.

Directions: The reason why first-timers and outsiders cannot find the place is that even the owners of the stall give a confusing address.

Lot 3424A Jalan PKNS is puzzling. On Google Maps and Waze, look instead for Jalan Bukit Badak, Kampung Melayu Subang. If you come from Pekan Subang, it is near the other end where Petron is.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 1250, f13, 1/60 sec.

#foodphotography #lemang #pulut #rendang #lemangbonda #review #delicacy #malayfood #hariraya #sonyalpha #a7r #zeiss

Happy International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day, today.

Re-posting an image of Bonda Emma in conjunction. She’s the very successful woman lemang entrepreneur, mother and matriarch of a big extended family. Yet she behaves with humility and is down to earth always. She giggled like a bashful teen when she saw me walking in

Original post : Motherly Emma.

Bonda Emma appeared genuinely happy and excited when she saw me walking towards her. I was surprised she didn’t do a double take nor was there delay in recalling or recognising me. She has thousands of repeat customers, after all.

She giggled like a teen and asked me what I like as she will give me a treat. I last met her during Hari Raya and she told me subsequently she will treat me after seeing her lemang pics and the ensuing publicity.

I normally don’t accept free stuff from places I reviewed as a matter of principle and ethics. Nevertheless, receiving lemang as a festive gift is a tradition like how we give lemang to relatives, friends and neighbours during festivals. I accepted it in that spirit.

The Malay word Bonda in her moniker is old world, palace usage and an affectionate term for mother. Bonda Emma may be motherly but she is no ordinary woman. She runs a very big operation with 20 or 30 staff and her turnover is higher than that of many other sole-proprietorships.

I complimented her on being active on Facebook. She comes to like many of my daily posts and not just of those that featured her. She blushed and said it is to kill time after work. She even remembered my recent Penang trip posts.

So much humility and ‘humaness’ from a very successful and busy entrepreneur. Awe and respect.

Behind her in red shirt is the chain-smoking, firestarter. chef and family friend Hamdan who I interviewed during the Hari Raya feature.

When I was leaving and as parting words, Emma told me she will share my upcoming posts when it is published 🙂

To be continued…

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 4000, f4, 1/60 sec.

#streetphotography #documentaryphotography #lemang #lemangbonda #bondaemma #emma #harirayahaji #eidaladha #eid #festival #stall #entreprenuer #candid #night #sonyalpha #a7r #zeiss


Historically, the Minangkabau people of Sumatra were of a migrating (merantau) culture. Many left home to start new lives in other Indonesian cities, as well as at regional countries. Soon, Padang restaurants were everywhere.

But there was one problem when they wanted to take food along their long journeys through rivers and oceans. Refrigerators weren’t available in the 16th century.

So the enterprising Minangkabaus came up with Rendang, a form of drier curry meat. The special recipe used a combination of spices and cooking methods that resulted in a dish that will last when stored for weeks at room temperatures.

There are now, of course, many regional and different adaptations in both dry and wet versions. The rendang curry, be it chicken, beef or mutton, goes very well with lemang.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 2500, f13, 1/160 sec.


To add a little explanation for international followers; the delicious dish known as Lemang is believed to be Minangkabau (Indonesian) in origin.

The glutinous or sticky rice is mixed with coconut milk and a little salt. It is then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over fire in a hollowed-out bamboo tube.

In Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, one can see stalls popping up during the Eid al-Fitr Festival, where the delicacy (including the accompanying curry) is cooked and sold from the roadside.

Lemang (pronounced as Ler Mung in Malay) is also a traditional and festive food for the Dayaks and Ibans of Borneo.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 800, f9, 1/160 sec.

Nom Nom Yum Yum

Split open the bamboo tube, cut up the sticky rice and pour curry over it. Heavenly.

Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 2500, f9, 1/160 sec.