Singapore’s colourful food scene is a direct reflection of our multiculturalism.
It also forms an integral part of our collective national identity. Because of this natural infusion of cultures, we’re blessed with immense diversity in our food scene. The humble nasi lemak is a perfect example of this fusion of flavours.
While its provenance is Malay, this dish has crossed cultures, spawned different variations, and become a Singaporean icon. Whether nasi lemak is breakfast, lunch, dinner or supper to you, it is, at its heart, comfort food, and Singapore’s hawker scene is rife with options round the clock to satisfy.
We help you gather our take on where to find the best nasi lemak in Singapore the next time you get hit with a craving.
(Hero and featured image: The Coconut Club)
Here’s where you can find some of the best nasi lemak in Singapore:
When we were discussing the best nasi lemak in Singapore amongst ourselves, Power Nasi Lemak was a name that kept coming up, and if you’ve ever had it for yourself, you’ll know why. Power Nasi Lemak captures the idea that simplicity is best by serving up nasi lemak sets with all the classic trimmings — an over-easy egg, cucumber slices, peanuts and ikan bilis, along with your choice of fried meat, all sitting pretty on top of delightfully light coconut rice and a splash of sambal that has plenty of punch.
(Image credit: @patricia_l0h)
The Coconut Club was divisive when it first opened in Ann Siang Road, because the general consensus amongst Singaporeans is that hawker food should never cost above a single digit, and here was one restaurant pushing out nasi lemak for an upwards of S$12. Still, don’t knock it till you try it, because this Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand-ranked nasi lemak has become a fast favourite in Singapore, for so many reasons.
Expect lush coconut rice made with coconut milk squeezed in-house, fried chicken so crisp and brown thanks to the rub of spices used, and a fragrant sambal that hits all the spots. Plus, it doesn’t cloy with oil, so you can feel less guilty as you tuck into a bowl of The Coconut Club’s signature chendol right after.
(Image credit: @thecoconutclubsg)
If you’re trying to watch your waistline, Bali Nasi Lemak lets you swap out your fried fare for other equally delightful dishes like sambal petai and kecap manis chicken. This Geylang stall prides itself for its distinct Indonesian slant to the heritage dish, with fragrant coconut milk-infused Thai basmati rice that’s light and fluffy. Expect a slow burn from the sambal, the addictive dollop of chilli is piquant and has chilli seeds dotted throughout, so this is one for those addicted to spicy food.
(Image credit: @ivanbotakyong)
Opened by two Malaysians who grew up in Damansara Uptown, this stall in the trendy Telok Ayer neighbourhood was established to bring the authentic taste of their hometown to Singapore. There are many options to choose from here; their signature Nasi Lemak with Ayam Goreng Berempah is rife with the fragrance of coconut milk, while the fried chicken is well-marinated and juicy. Sides here include acar, as well as the usual trimmings of crispy ikan bilis, peanuts, cucumber slices and half an egg. Opt for Beef Rendang or Sambal Sotong if fried chicken’s too greasy for you.
(Image credit: @hazeldiary_)
Best known as Adam Road Nasi Lemak, this famous hawker stall is a go-to for many Singaporeans craving a hearty plate of the dish. The stall is best known for its fluffy coconut rice, and the plethora of side dishes you can get alongside it — from begedil (a deep-fried potato patty), fried chicken wings, and a deliciously smoked otah.
(Image credit: @yum_seng)
Another iconic destination for nasi lemak in Singapore is Mizzy Corner in Changi Village, which draws snaking queues of both locals and tourists alike. There’s a reason why this stall has been going strong since time immemorial — one of the biggest reasons is the robustness of its sambal chilli, that’s just utterly moreish when eaten with the rice and the crackling, crisp chicken wing.
(Image credit: @anna_foodiecrew)
Lawa Bintang’s lobster nasi lemak has made serious waves on social media when it was added to the menu, but the stall also has a variety of other decadent toppings for the dish, including salmon, crayfish and squid. The lobster remains the most popular — marinated with herbs and topped with cheese, we’ll take it over kuning fish anyday.
(Image credit: @luqdhaniel)
This story first appeared in Lifestyle Asia Singapore.