Nasi lemak @ Madas nasi lemak
Nasi lemak is possibly my favourite local breakfast, tied with soft boiled eggs and kaya toast. There is something about the combination of flavours and texture of nasi lemak that makes it so great. Salty, sweet, crunchy, chewy. The dish also feels light (not much sauce and a cucumber?) that makes it a feel good way to start the day. One stipulation of breakfast food is that it needs to be close to home, you don’t want to travel too far for that first meal. Sadly, there are limited options for nasi lemak around me.
Hence I was excited to see a new stall, Madas nasi lemak, open in Siglap. Along with the more atas Coconut Club on Frankel ave and Giant supermarket serving nasi lemak in banana leaf, the is a nasi lemak revival of sorts. Noor’s padang at Jalan Tua Kong is great, but getting a seat in that coffee shop is not always the easiest there and the morning sun can be brutal.
This franchise of Madas nasi lemak (a successful nasi lemak stall it seems) has opened at Eating World, near Siglap Centre. The location is in what I refer to as the “stall of death” – the stall tucked in the corner, furthest from the street. The location has seen a revolving array of tenants over the years, so I wish these guys all the best. However, when I was there the stall was heavily populated by delivery drivers waiting for multiple orders, so perhaps they will be the one to buck the trend.
First impressions are that the nasi lemak is not cheap, so I am expecting quality ingredients. Most options are north of $4.50 and we are not talking ringgit. My go-to nasi lemak choice is with ikan kuning, so I went with this option at $4.70.
The presentation itself is cool, if not so good for the environment in a disposable basket but with sexy heavily weighted cutlery. For $4.70 I got three pieces of ikan kuning, so I felt less ripped off. The rice is less lemak than I prefer, but retains the nice coconut taste. The fish was a bit dry, but had the lovely salty & tumeric taste I crave for breakfast. I prefer it fried a bit more, so the bones are softer and more easily chewed, as I’m too lazy to pick off the meat with a fork for such a small fish.
Madas roasts their own peanuts in this fancy contraption and oh how it pays off. The peanuts could be a side dish by themselves. I want more. Fresh and crisp tasting. For the price of the nsi lemak, I’d prefer a runny egg, but at least it wasn’t overly oily. The sambal was the biggest let down, no real oomph to it and tomato sauce was the dominant flavour. I’m after sambal to wake me up from my slumber with that chilli kick (I’m not a morning person).
It’s a decent nasi lemak that’s worth a try, but I will keep searching (or hope there’s a table free at jalan tua kong) for the one that delivers everything that I want.
Coffee shop: 3838 Eating Place
Address: 727 East Coast Rd, Siglap
Hours: 7:30am - 4pm (closed tuesday)