In contrast to the lacklustre First Soup House [ ], the nasi lemak place next door was a pleasant surprise. It looks quite unassuming from outside, but inside it's decked out in full on Balinese style, and run like a well oiled machine.
They have a selection of nasi lemak sets as well as an a la carte menu with other items like noodles and fried rice.
They asked if we wanted keropok to start with, which I'm a sucker for. A huge plate arrived, but they assured us that we could doggy bag whatever we couldn't finish. The fish keropok was very fresh, tasty and not oily at all. Not bad at all, for $2.
A had the sambal squid set, and I had the sambal petai. The default sambal that comes with each set is disappointing - neither sweet nor spicy, it was just very bland. The sambal for the squid, on the other hand, was really good. Just spicy enough, and the squid was very tender. The petai and ikan bilis was also tasty but a bit on the oily side.
The rice was good - very fragrant and coconutty. The fried chicken wings were a bit too battered and seasoned for my liking; we may try their roasted chicken wing next time.
We'll definitely be coming back here. In fact, I'm already hankering for more of the fish keropok. It was surprisingly packed on a weekend evening – proof that this is indeed a not-so-hidden gem.
Very good. Not cheap, all things considered (around $5-7 for a set plate of nasi lemak) but it’s pretty worth it for the air-con, service and quality of most of the ingredients.
Hot & Spicy Nasi Lemak
438 Pasir Panjang Road
Tel: 6778-4615Open daily: 7.30 am – 4 am