10 Rice Dishes In Singapore We Love. Everything In Moderation, Okay?
Rice, rice, rice. The humble and all so important staple had a ‘bashing’ when it was reported (I quote unquote), “A bowl of rice causes a person’s blood sugar to spike more than a can of soft drink does.” Then people go on a frenzy.
The Health Promotion Board has suggested replacing 20 per cent of white rice with brown rice. This portion, I agree is a good initiative.
I shall leave to the experts and nutritionists to share their other studies and findings.
Interesting how we grow up in an environment to FINISH our rice because, “The kids in Africa are going hungry,” and “Your spouse will have an ugly face if you don’t finish every grain.”
My ah-ma’s logic was: One grain = one pimple. You mean yours too?
These are some of my ways to cut down on rice – to tell the hawkers to “shao fan” (less rice) – I will tell them straight half a bowl, to try brown rice if the option is available, to share a plate of rice with another friend, and pour less sauces and gravies over.
But don’t tell me to stop eating rice. Everything in moderation, okay?
10 Rice Dishes In Singapore We Love (I know there is more, will add on in time to come.)
CRAVE @ ION Orchard
Ion Orchard #B4-58/59, 2 Orchard Turn Singapore 238801
Tel: +65 6238 7181
Opening Hours: 9:30am – 9:30pm
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong served Selera Rasa’s Nasi Lemak to Indonesian President Joko Widodo when he was here in Singapore; the Sultan of Brunei would request this frequently whenever he visited Singapore.
They have gone upmarket and opened up a few shops at shopping malls such as ION Orchard. A normal Nasi Lemak set would be between $4.90 and $5.90 (good to know it is still possible to get cheap and good food at Orchard).
Interesting. CRAVE uses Basmati rice. That is a type of rice variant commonly used in Biryani, but not that typical for Nasi Lemak. The longer rice grains supposedly absorb water but do not become overly wet.
Zam Zam Restaurant
697-699 North Bridge Road (Bugis MRT)
Tel: +65 6298 6320
Opening Hours: 8am – 11pm Daily
Zam Zam opposite the famous Sultan Mosque is popular with its Nasi Briyani and Murtabak. Do you know that they have been around since 1908? That makes more than 100 years old!
It was started in 1908 by Mr Abdul Kadir from Kerala South India and is currently run by his grandson. The name “Zam Zam” comes from the well which is drunk during the Haji pilgrimage and has special significance to the Muslims.
The restaurant is usually crowded, and note that you MUST order either a briyani or murtabak if you sit on the second level. Some say the Briyani one of the best in Singapore; while others may have said the standard has dropped.
Still, how many restaurants in Singapore can say they have been around more than a century?
Wee Nam Kee Hainanese Chicken Rice Restaurant
United Square Shopping Mall Unit 01-8 (Note: The Restaurant has moved from Novena Ville to United Square)
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 10:00pm Daily
Singapore boosts of many famous chicken rice shops – Tian Tian, Boon Tong Kee, Five Star, Loy Kee.
Wee Nam Kee has been known for its Hainanese dishes, especially its flavourful chicken rice and tender chicken meat pieces.
Its main store opposite Novena Church (since moved to United Square) has been attracting crowds of supporters, many claim that this is one of the best Hainanese chicken rice in Singapore. Their long grain rice is flavourful and slightly greasy.
Gado & Grill
1 Raffles Place, #B1-31, One Raffles Place Singapore 048616 (Raffles Place MRT)
Spotted this new Ayam Penyet shop at the basement of One Raffles Place.
The signature dish Ayam Penyet with Nasi has crispy bits of batter sprinkled on top of the crunchy chicken thigh, served with a bowl of rice.
Its highlight is really the sambal chilli that accompanies the rice.
Kay Lee Roast Meat Joint 琪利珠江烧腊
125 Upper Paya Lebar Road (after Pereira Road Junction), Singapore 534838
Tel: +65 6743 8778
Opening Hours: 10:30am – 8:00pm
Roast Pork Rice
“4 million bucks” Kay Lee is famous char siew – looking dark coloured, very lean (can’t see the fats) and crisp on its skin, a style originating from Zhu Jiang China.
I actually thought the winning formula is in the combination of three sauces – the dark Hoisin sauce, brownish duck sauce and pinkish sweet chilli sauce that gets passed from table to table which people pour over the rice. (Go easy if you are watching calorie and sugar count.)
[Closed] Truly Test Kitchen
Jun Jie Industrial Building, 153 Kampong Ampat #07-05 Singapore 368326 (Tai Seng MRT, 10 – 15 min walk)
Opening Hours: 7am – 2pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
(Breakfast at 7am, Curry rice and noodles at 9am, Western at 11am)
Hainanese Curry Rice
Hainanese Curry Rice is such a uniquely Singapore food, one can see some colonial, Chinese and Malay influence. You probably don’t think this anywhere else. Messy and gooey, not photogenic, usually brownish in one aerial – yet tasting all together lip-smacking.
Singapore’s top choices for Hainanese curry rice include Loo’s Hainanese curry rice at Tiong Bahru, No Name at Bt Ho Swee Beo Crescent, Feng Kee at Pasir Panjang and Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice at Jalan Besar.
Most would order the most basic classic dishes of Deep Fried Pork Chop, Curry Chicken, Kong Bak (pork belly) and Chap Chye. Other dishes should include Assam Fish, Steamed Meat Balls, Fried Eggs, Sambal Sotong and Deep Fried Prawn Fritters.
Beach Road Scissor Cut Curry Rice
229 Jalan Besar Singapore 208905
Opening Hours 11:00am to 3:30am
Scissor Cut Curry Rice
美芝律剪刀剪咖喱饭 was one of the pioneers of Scissor Cut Curry Rice and the shop was recently renovated and expanded (though still looked very run-down!). It continued to attract queues of people for their dinner and supper hunt.
The cutting of the meat with the traditional scissors created a ‘click-clack’ sound, and also the signature branding to this popular supper hunt.
The rice was gooey, unsightly, and gummy – probably the ugliest looking food around. When it was taken-away and opened, the content looked like a pack of messy orange-brown puke.
Okay lah, last time somehow tasted better.
Golden Mile Claypot Rice
Golden Mile Food Centre 505 Beach Road #01-65
Tel:+65 6295 8234
Opening hours: 5 – 10pm (Closed on Wednesdays)
Golden Mile’s claypot rice was a classic – fragrant rice which was topped with tender marinated chicken pieces, tasty Chinese sausages, fresh green vegetables and light traces of salted fish. The winner was the soya sauce, thick and dark, yet not overly salty which would usually make one thirst.
Added with a formulated sweet chilli sauce, the combination was aromatic and addictive.
Cooked over charcoal for about 15 minutes, the moist rice was soft and fluffy on the bite. It complimented well with the slightly salty meat and sausage slices.
Crab Corner 蟹天王
1 Joo Koon Circle, #03-26 Singapore 629117, Singapore 629117 (next to Joo Koon MRT)
Tel: +65 6333 6969
Opening Hours: 10am – 10pm
Yang Zhou Fried Rice
There are different ways of frying Yang Zhou Fried Rice. A “gold covered silver” method is described as pouring the egg over the rice and frying the two together, contrasted to separate. (I do know of a version when the egg is added and mixed with the rice even before frying).
Crab Corner’s Yang Chow style fried rice with a separate serving of salted egg with generous crab meat, then poured all over the rice.
You can choose to mix it up, or take three spoonful of rice with half a spoon of that thick golden yellow salted egg sauce. Warning: Cholesterol watch.
Lim Soup, The Art Of Soup
Block 161 Bukit Merah Central, Dong Fong Fatt coffee shop
Tel: +65 83837687
Open: 11.30am to 8pm or till sold out (Mon-Sat), Closed Sun and PH
Steamed Rice with Chicken and Salted Fish ($3.50), at a very reasonable price, with tasty chunks of salted fish, and healthy generous portion of Beijing cabbage on top. We all went “Ho Chiak!”
On an additional note, I don’t order chye peng very often, or most correctly say, I am not particular and just go for the ones nearest my place.
Any other delicious RICE dishes and chye peng stall I should take note of, let me know! (HPB: Don’t come and find me hor.)
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