Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Best Nasi Lemak Ever Eaten at Selera Rasa

It's Selera Rasa, not Ferrero Rocher. It's Nasi Lemak, not Hazelnut Chocolate.


I've tried nasi lemak a few times before, but was not gaga over it. When I heard that the Sultan of Brunei also likes the nasi lemak from Selera Rasa, it makes it more alluring somehow. Is it just me...eh? Mehhh...

Apparently there're a few Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak shops (because they're good). Since I was going to Botanic Gardens for the Ju Ming Exhibition, I thought I would check out the Selera Rasa on Adam Road.

This shop locates in an unassuming - ok somewhat tired looking - hawker centre on Adam Road.

Hawker centre, Adam Road, Singapore
view of the hawker centre from Adam Road

If you're coming here by MRT, you don't need to get to Adam Rd at all. After getting off at the Botanic Gardens station, just take the overpass to cross the highway. The hawker centre is located next to Gospel Light Christian Church.

Gospel Light Christian Church, Singapore
Gospel Light Christian Church as seen from Botanic Gardens' MRT

I didn't take this shortcut because I was about to do a culinary investigation. I walked down Bukit Timah Rd in search of pedestrian. I saw a couple of friendly Malay looking young people, chatting merrily to one another. As I approached near, I heard them spoke Malay. So I asked them for direction to Selera Rasa.

Bear in mind that this isn't a name of a restaurant, but a shopfront in a hawker centre, people may not notice it. The young guy prompted me, "Is it the nasi lemak place?"

This little investigation shows that their reputation precedes them. They told me to walk towards Adam Rd. So I proceeded from there rather than the MRT's overpass shortcut. It's all worth it.

Don't look for the long queue. This isn't the busy Chinatown. If you can't remember the name, look for the shop with many media write-ups, and publicity endorsements. Look at the top right corner of the shop (just below the menu), they even got an "A" rating from NEA (For non-Singaporean, no, this isn't rating for  taste, but for hygiene. I tend to see far more "B"s than "A"s in hawker centres).

Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak, Adam Road, Singapore
Their menus up the top shows the choices
(click to enlarge)

I studied the menu on top of the shop. When the owner - operator made eye contact with me, he made a gesture of "C" with his index finger and thumb. "C" for set "C", and "C" for chicken. Either he read my mind, or this must be the most popular dish on the menu.

Set "G" is Royal Rumble. Is that what the Sultan ordered? I'm chicken and so I stick to the pedestrian chicken (probably not a free-range pedestrian chicken. Why did  this chicken cross Adam Road? In search of a delicious chicken meal. Bok bok bok).

Nasi lemak with fried chicken, fried anchovies. egg. and cucumber
Set "C", A+ taste

Nasi lemak is a simple dish. Like a game of billiard, it's easy to learn, but very hard to master.

The Rice:  9.5 / 10. The selling point seems to be the Indian Basmati long grain rice. It does make it more fluffy than than, say Jasmine long grain, rice. Unlike some places, the coconut flavouring is just right, not too heavy-handed.

The Anchovies:  9.5 / 10. Normally, I don't like boil anchovies, but make exceptions to fried ones. When it comes to pizza or Caesar salads, absolutely hold the anchovies, please, with a lot of sugar on top. Alamak! (Alas! forgive me if I used the term incorrectly) I like the fried ones so much I bought it from supermarkets as one of the many ingredients to go with congee. But I had never tasted anything this good.

The Chicken:  9.5 / 10. One of the reason why I don't eat nasi lemak more often is partly because I don't care too much for fried chicken (that's also why I've rarely eaten at the place branded by a bespectacled American Southern colonel. Actually their chickens have improved noticeably over the last 20 years). This fried chicken was scrumptiously crispy, moist and not too greasy.

The Fried Egg:  7.5 / 10.

The Sauce:  They're all good enough on their own. I never had to resort to the sauce.

Without the doubt, the best nasi lemak I have ever eaten. A meal that's fit for a king (or a sultan). Botanic Gardens seem to be more inviting all of a sudden through no faults of their own. Bok bok bok b'gawk!!!!



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