Here are five nasi lemak spots that rewards the early-risers.
Blk 413 Bukit Batok West Avenue 4
Opening hours: 7am to 8pm, Mon to Fri. 7am to 1pm, Sat & Sun.
Westies, this one's for you. Nestled in the heart in Bukit Batok, in a nondescript coffee shop at the void deck of blk 413 is Nurul's Delights, a stall specialising in Malay comfort food. They open as early as 7am everyday and by 9am, there's a queue. The draw is their exceptional food, affordable prices and generous portions. Their mee siam, mee rubus and nasi lemak sells for $2.50 a dish. It's hearty, wholesome food that won't break the bank. You don't even have to feel bad about adding on a potato begedil (an Indonesian delicacy made with ground potatoes and minced meat, tofu or fish) for $0.50.
2 Adam Rd, #01-02, Adam Road Food Centre
Opening hours: 7.30am to 1pm, daily. Closed on Fridays.
There are a couple of stalls at Adam Road Food Centre hawking nasi lemak, several operating under the Adam Road moniker but don't be fooled. When foodies wax lyrical about Adam Road's nasi lemak, they're usually referring to Sélera Rasa. In fact, when PM Lee hosted Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife in 2014, it was Sélera Rasa's nasi lemak that was served. The Sultan of Brunei is also rumoured to be a fan, ordering packets of the dish made with fluffy basmati rice to be taken away whenever he is visiting the country.
Aliff Nasi Lemak
Serangoon Garden Market, 49A Serangoon Garden Way, #01-27
Opening hours: 7am to 7pm, daily. Closed on Mondays and Fridays.
Here's another nasi lemak made with basmati rice. Perfectly cooked, fragrant with a good amount of lemak, Aliff Nasi Lemak's is indeed impressive. Prices begin at $3 a plate, which is a real bargain, considering that the rice here is prepared with freshly squeezed coconut milk and pandan leaves. No UHT coconut milk or bottled pandan essence to be found here. And it is exactly this extra care and attention that sets Aliff's nasi lemak apart from the rest.
114 Lavender Street, CT Hub 2 #01-08/09
Opening hours: 10am to 3pm, Mon to Fri. 11am to 4pm, Sat. Closed on Sundays.
Taking over two stalls at CT Hub 2, Jia Xiang Nasi Lemak is the only sign of life among the two rows of dusty, empty shops. But come noontime, there will be a line at the door so it's best to arrive early to snag yourself a plate as well as an elusive seat. What makes their nasi lemak stand out is their blue rice made from the blue pea flowers, which are naturally vividly blue in colour. The colouring itself doesn't do much for flavour but adds pizzaz to the dish.
The Coconut Club
6 Ann Siang Hill
Opening hours: 11am to 3pm for lunch, Tues to Sun. 6pm to 9.30pm, Tues to Sat. Closed on Mondays.
When they first opened, foodies were skeptical. What constitutes to a $12.80 plate of nasi lemak and were Singaporeans willing to shell out that much for hawker fare? Turns out, they did. The Coconut Club's nasi lemak offers the best of quantity and quality. The chicken is crispy yet succulent and the rice, made with milk of a mawa coconut (a cross bewteen the Malaysia dwarf and West African cultivar yields a higher fat content and aromatics), is lusciously lemak. And the ikan bilis (anchovies), sourced from Pangkor in Malaysia, is gutted before frying, shows the kind of care and effort that goes into the making of the dish. Their nasi lemak itself is substantial without being jerlak, which only means there's room for their bestselling dessert – chendol.