Tasting Singapore at Nasi Lemak

For the past two weeks, Paul and I have been getting gastronomic hints from The Lion City. First was the surprise package that I got from a college friend who asked us to try out her family's delicious Hainanese Chicken Rice recipe. Then there was that pasalubong from Mom who dropped by Ya Kun Kaya in Ortigas for some delicious Kaya Toast. Lastly, an invite from fellow blogger Spanky to try out Nasi Lemak.

Well this was not actually our first time at Nasi Lemak if you remember my first blog post about our 58th monthsary celebration with our new found Singaporean favorites which was followed by a number of family dinners thereafter.

It has been a while though since we went back...quite some time that we were surprised to see that they closed down their Tomas Morato branch and later found out that they opened a new branch at Robinsons Galleria! Yay! Much closer to home!

Our afternoon began with a brief demonstration by Mr. Tan himself. Using just the essential (yet very flavorful and aromatic) ingredients, he created a salty paste called Sambal Blacan which is commonly used on most of their local dishes. It is similar to the Filipino shrimp paste called Bagoong only this one has lime, chili, lemon grass and a lot more. I noticed that all the ingredients that he added into the mixture has a different taste that basically covers the 4 distinct taste: sour, sweet, salty and spicy. This paste is usually added while cooking fish and veggies.

After our short cooking demonstration, it was time to EAT! We all huddled around the long table and the food began to come one at the time. Before we know it, the table was filled to the brim and we were all happily munching and tasting the different Nasi Lemak specialties.

Here are some of the dishes that we were able to try and enjoy:

Kue Pai Ti (Php. 120) -- One order has 5 bite-sized pieces. The best way to enjoy this is to put a little sauce on top and to eat it as a whole. This is one of our favorite dishes and we never fail to order this in every visit.

Sambal Fish (Php. 160) -- I got to hand it to Nasi Lemak for making grilled fish taste really good! This makes use of the Sambal Blacan that Mr Tan demonstrated earlier. I love how flavorful the fish. Perfect with a bowl of steaming white rice.

Penang Char Kuay Teow (Php. 180) -- This is one of Singapore's signature dish. Here in Manila, only a few restaurants can cook this properly. I love my Char Kuay Teow with just the right amount of soy sauce and oil. Most of the time, I get super shiny lips when eating a very oily Char Kuay Teow. It's a good thing Nasi Lemak sure knows how to make the right Char Kuay Teow for their patrons to enjoy.

Crispy Baby Squid -- This is one dish you should try when visiting Nasi Lemak! My fellow bloggers can I enjoyed the crunchy texture combined with the sweet sticky sauce. "A perfect beer match" as Paul would say.

Sambal Kangkong -- I love Kangkong and any other leafy vegetable. I'm sure kids will like this as it is very tasty!

Singapore Laksa -- It was a big surprise that I actually liked this! Since I'm not a big fan of spicy dishes, I shocked not only Paul but myself when I was able to finish off one bowl of Laksa all by myself! I love the thick coconut milk as well as the various herbs and spices added into this. It's very delicious lah!

We had a great time trying the dishes and chatting with Mr. Tan. This particular visit is making us very excited for our upcoming trip happening really soon!

photo credit: Paul Ang

Nasi Lemak is located at the Ground Floor of Robinsons Galleria, Quezon City. Call them at 571-8988.

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