As simple as the dish looks each cook will claim their "power" in the taste of their nasi lemak through the chilli accompanying the dish. It is the sambal chilli that makes the difference some like it sweet and some like it extra hot.
Known to many in Singapore the BOON LAY POWER Nasi Lemak has a crowning glory in the chilli that sends you screaming for cold icy water but it is the same sensation that draws you to go back for it again and again.
Then there was the popular Nasi Lemak in Tanjung Pagar Food Centre. The chilli is sweeter but it is the deep fried chicken leg that draws the crowd.
In every direction of Singapore, some have already claimed a stake in their territorial naming. The name CHONG PANG Nasi Lemak starts in the north but you cant find Chong Pang Nasi Lemak at Chong Pang Food Market. Neither is PUNGGOL Nasi Lemak found in Punggol. Punggol Nasi Lemak has its early start in Serangoon Gardens but the popular draw of long queues on a nitely basis is at Upper Serangoon Road where foodies satiate their hunger for Nasi Lemak and dont mind to contain the hunger whilst standing in the queue. They have to get hold of the tasty thick schrimp paste chilli and the "tokong" deep fried chicken leg - YUMS ! Similarly BALI Nasi Lemak in Geylang is not found in Bali but the naming continued to coin around a place name......... If this is not enough, one has gone international on its name and it's called INTERNATIONAL Food Stall at the popular Changi Village FC where many drove all the way to the eastern end of Singapore to satisfy their desire.
At Hainanese Hakka Food Centre, Block 105 Hougang Ave 1 (we usually call this Lorong Ah Soo FC), you must try to race to the finishing line and reach there before 12pm or your face will fall flat to hear that the pot is empty. You will find many disappointed foodies asking uncle for the last scraped rice from the rice cooker pot by 12pm. I have done that too and uncle will say I can scrape two more plates but more often then not, its always finished by then......What's good here is the popular ikan bilis (anchovies), small ones and it's crispy crunch to go with your rice.
There is so much to talk just on this dish and I have not even mentioned the pandan coloured nasi lemak rice, the banana leaf Nasi Lemak etc......
It's a dish enjoyed by ALL, young and old and many relish on it with satisfying gratitude that there are so many variety and taste to choose from.
Photo of Nasi Lemak cooked by friends Elizabeth & Esther