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Best Nasi Lemak in Singapore – 7 places to check out

Best Nasi Lemak in Singapore – 7 places to check out

Best Nasi Lemak in Singapore – 7 places to check out

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Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak

#01-02 Adam Road Food Centre

Opening Hours: Mon - Thu: 7am-5pm, Sat & Sun: 7am-3pm, Closed on Fri

Mention Singapore's best nasi lemak, and Adam Road, with its two duelling stalls of nasi lemak immediately come to mind. However, in my opinion, Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak emerges the clear and undisputed winner! And judging from the long queue in front of the stall, plenty of other people evidently think so as well.

 Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak

All the meals at Selera Rasa are presented in an appetising fashion, with the ingredients occupying most of the plate. The coconut-infused rice is deliciously fragrant and fluffy; it’s so good that it can even be eaten on its own! Each meal also comes with ikan bilis, which is crispy and fresh; as well as a fried egg. I must say that I was hoping for a runny yolk, but the sambal chilli seals the deal, with a pleasant sweetness and lingering spice that will leave you wanting more.

 Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak

The otak meal ($4), naturally, comes with a big piece of otak, which comes still wrapped in a banana leaf. The otak has a tantalising smoky fragrance, with a charred exterior. It’s mildly spiced, with a low level of heat. My only grouse is that the otak is served cold; it would be nicer if it was served warm.

 Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak

If you wish, go for the pièce de résistance: the royal rumble ($6), which comes with all the works. The chicken is well seasoned; I especially like the batter, which has a greasy satisfaction. The fish is nice and tender, without any fishiness. The meal also comes with a nicely-spiced piece of begedil, which is fluffy inside and crispy outside.


Makan House By Ollella

Makan House By Ollella

Located just off the fringes of Little India, Makan House by Ollella is an eatery so small that you may just blink and miss it when you walk past.

Makan House by Ollella

We were there in the late afternoon so it was just us in the cosy (it probably won’t seat more than ten pax) and well-lit place, which benefits from natural sunlight filtering through the door and window panes. 

Alas, being there that late meant that we missed out on Makan House by Ollella's bestsellers, which are savoury kuehs such as yam cake.

Undefeated, we ordered their mains to try: nasi lemak, sate ayam (chicken satay) and the XL chicken cutlet, as well as whatever kueh that were still available.

Makan House by Ollella

The nasi lemak arrived first and is plated quite beautifully. What’s special about this nasi lemak is that it comes with two types of chilli, sambal belachan and sambal ijo, as well as otah bergedil.



The sambal chilli is my favourite part of the dish; it is savoury with a touch of sweetness, and a hint of seafood. Be warned that it packs quite a punch, though it was so delicious that I demolished the entire plate of rice with it! The green chilli is fragrant too, but I am team red chilli.

Next, we have the meat items, namely the sate ayam and XL chicken cutlet.

The sate surprised me as each stick was rather substantial, about 2-3 times the amount of a regular satay. It was drizzled in peanut sauce, and has a smoky tinge. I wished it had charred crispy bits you would find on local satay. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the flavourful and tender satay. 

The XL chicken cutlet was large as expected, and coated with a golden batter that was light and crisp. The chicken is only lightly marinated, with the batter – which the staff revealed was seasoned with more than 10 different spices – offering a better depth of flavour.


Tree Coconut Nasi Lemak

#01-27 Berseh Food Centre

Opening Hours: Mon - Sat: 8.30am-3pm, Sun: 6.30am-9pm

 

Tree Coconut nasi lemak

Tree Coconut is a Chinese-style nasi lemak that’s run, a little unexpectedly, by biomedical science graduate Charlene, who’s only in her mid-20s. Her dad used to run the nasi lemak stall at Bedok Simpang, so this is her way of carrying on the family legacy. Launched in 2018, they continue to improve and update the menu - Charlene revealed that she’s currently working on a pork belly recipe. Yum!

Tree Coconut nasi lemak

I couldn’t decide what I wanted, so I just ordered one of everything, but it soon dawned on me that my eyes were way bigger than my stomach, AND the plate. Valiantly trying to load everything on, Charlene soon had to suggest taking something off (hotdog) just to fit all the food in. The chicken cutlet and five-spiced chicken wings were crunchy on the outside, moist and tender on the inside, not dried out and chewy as they sometimes are. I was most surprised and impressed by the “fish cake” (sea bream, I think), which was so sweet and flaky - not at all what I was expecting.

Tree Coconut nasi lemak

Tree Coconut's vegetable sides were good too. Chinese-style stir-fried long beans with onions and chilli - comfortingly familiar, and the piquant achar added a nice crunch and tartness. You could tell a lot of heart and effort went into the food, and they’re dedicated to getting the most flavour out of each ingredient. While some customers prefer the more traditional sunny-side up, they’ve stuck with wok-frying it as it brings out the best “egginess”, which I heartily agree with. Although most of the food are hits - the ikan bilis and peanuts, for example, are impressively crunchy - there are also a few duds. The luncheon meat was surprisingly limp, when it could’ve been crisped up and deliciously salty. The otah was very soft, but was a little bland. Perhaps it’s just a matter of finding the right suppliers?

Still, the overall meal was several notches above average, and service was friendly and genuine. A bright addition to Singapore’s hawker scene.


Annie's Halal Cuisine

#01-73 Whampoa Drive Blk 90

Opening Hours: Mon - Sun: 10am-10pm

best Muslim food in Whampoa Makan Place

Ask where to get the best Muslim food in Whampoa Makan Place and you’ll most likely be directed to Annie’s Halal Cuisine. The makciks at the stall are quite raucous and friendly, and are more than happy to recommend dishes depending on how you’re feeling for the day. 

Regular customers can also place orders and collect upon arrival as the dishes are sold until they are gone for the day. Aside from dishes like mee siam and lontong for a flat price of $3.50, they also have nasi lemak and nasi padang.

The $3.50 nasi lemak is a standard portion of coconut rice, a fried egg, fried chicken wing, and lots of chilli. The green-tinged rice is fragrant and the sunny side up egg breaks open to coat the rice with gooey yolk. 

Annie's Halal Cuisine nasi lemak

The hallmark of a good nasi lemak is the chilli, and they do not disappoint. The fiery sweet-spicy sambal packs a punch that somehow keeps you coming back for more. Apart from fried chicken wings, you can also add on sides like sambal long beans and fried fish. While this may not be on the must-eat nasi lemak list of many since it's still new, I daresay give Tree Coconut more time and may be considered as Singapore's besi nasi lemak yet!


Spice by Dien

Spice by Dien

Nasi lemak is as ubiquitous in Singapore as chicken rice, but Spice by Dien specialises in nasi lemak bakar or ‘grilled’ nasi lemak. While a traditional staple in Indonesia, you might be forgiven if you took a glance and thought that it is a huge otah.

Spice by Dien’s nasi lemak bakar comes wrapped in banana leaves in large, flattened cylinders, deeply charred on the outside and edges and held together with toothpicks on each end. 

Nasi lemak

It was a first for us, myself included, so we weren’t exactly sure what to expect. It was thoughtful that Spice by Dien included toothpicks that indicated the various fillings we had ordered: balado prawn and petai ($8), spicy shredded chicken ($8), balado shredded fish ($8), beef jerky with green chilli ($9).

The banana leaf, when grilled until charred, is meant to impart a subtle sweetness and aroma to the coconut rice. It is worthwhile to note that, because it was so tightly packed and condensed, some charred bits of banana leaf stuck to the rice as we unwrapped it. Thankfully, the rice was fragrant and flavourful enough although my dining companions thought it could be more lemak

 nasi lemak bakar ikan

The nasi lemak bakar ikan was our pick of the bunch, as the assertive and distinct flavour of batang (mackerel) best complemented the light smoky flavour of the coconut rice. Mind you, it does have a strong fishy taste that might not be suited to all, but my dining companions and I found it a welcome addition. The generous helpings of juicy, tapioca leaves provided some much needed variation to each bite as well.

Your mileage may vary with the beef version, as it came with strips of dry, jerky-like beef. This is done traditionally and clearly intended as a textural contrast more than anything else, but I didn’t fancy it that much. 

The same goes for the chicken filling, which was stringy and forgettable. The prawn version fared slightly better, if only because of the petai beans that came along with it; the prawns were overcooked and powdery. 

Spice by Dien’s chilli sauce ($15 for 260g) really saved the day in this regard, as it augmented each bite with a fiery, savoury kick; I was sweating after the first bite. There were healthy chunks of garlic and shallots mixed in with the pounded chillies, and the overall effect was akin to a spicy, rounded chilli oil that lent some much-needed depth of flavour to the dish.


Everyday Sauces

Everyday Sauces

Everyday Sauces has managed to rally quite a significant fanbase despite being relatively new in the homemade eats scene. Many rave about their scrumptious nasi lemak, har cheong wings and chillies, made even more desirable by being available only two days a week!

nasi lemak at Everyday Sauces

The nasi lemak comes packed with ingredients, boasting a generous serving of rice, an omelette, fishcake, cucumber slices, as well as ikan bilis and peanuts. While fragrant, the rice regrettably doesn’t have much coconut taste. The rice is also a little dense; it would have been nicer if basmati rice was used!

The omelette is a nice bright yellow, with the fishcake offering a nice firm bite. The ikan bilis is crispy and the peanuts are nicely roasted; these add a nice crunch, but do tend to be on the saltier side. 

Cooked on a charcoal stove, the lemak lemak chilli is freshly made from scratch – without any preservatives! – on a weekly basis. The chilli is both sweet and sour, with a smooth texture. The chilli has a mild level of spice, on top of a pleasant aroma. This is sold in a separate jar as well, which is a good addition to your everyday meals. 

har cheong wings

Add on some har cheong wings, which are the true star of the show. The product of two days of marination, the sizable wings are well-seasoned and fragrant, without being oily. I like how crispy the wings are; the wings are covered in a crispy batter that emits a satisfying crunch with every bite. 


Lavender Nasi Lemak

Yishun St 51 Blk 504

Lavender Nasi Lemak is a newcomer to the scene, having just opened at the timing of writing.

Located in a coffeeshop in Yishun, Lavender Nasi Lemak specialises in Thai-style nasi lemak. This interpretation of nasi lemak retains the lemak-ness of coconut rice, while being balanced out with Thai mango salad instead of achar, and a tangy chilli instead of the standard nasi lemak chilli.

lavender Nasi Lemak

The rice, which I feel is the star here, is not only light yet with a strong coconut-y aroma, it was alsi dyed a pretty shade of blue. I was a little sceptical about how a vibrant hue came about – surely it can't be all from just blue pea extracts. I was proven wrong however when I observed it being prepared while waiting for my food. Dried blue pea flowers are first soaked to obtain the colour, before being cooked with rice and coconut milk. 

Lavender Nasi Lemak

The mango salad was a surprisingly tasty addition, which was not really a surprise since achar also makes great bedfellows with nasi lemak. This was the same for the chilli, a spicy blend of chilli, aromatics such as garlic, and Thai belachan – it was watery and tangy, like chicken rice chilli, and numbingly spicy, a huge departure from the thick, paste-like nasi lemak we are all used to – but it worked. 

Together with the freshly fried chicken wing, whose crispy batter and juicy flesh I appreciated, Lavender Nasi Lemak's rendition of the popular dish was enjoyable. They also offer sambal prawn and chilli fish nasi lemak, as well Thai favourites such as Thai basil chicken rice. 

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