Saturday, February 21, 2009

Warring Plates

Only in Singapore will something seemingly mundane and trivial become blown out of proportion into a fight for supremacy. I am of course talking about the humble Malay dish of Nasi Lemak - basically coconut flavoured rice with accompaniments and the all important sambal chilli.

Adam Road Food Centre is where the battle scene takes place - where two food stalls that are placed side by side serve this simple dish and draw crowds of compatriots who swear by their chosen camp as being superior.

Selera Nasi Lemak (pictured first) has won huge accolades for its product - so popular that it is rumoured that the Sultan of Brunei gets takeaway from here whenever he's in town. The use of Basmati rice results in beautifully fluffy rice lightly scented with alluring coconut milk. Their chicken wings are well marinated and perfectly fried, delightfully crispy and so addictive. But whilst many swear by the sambal chilli here, I found it a tad sweet for my liking and lacked the kick to bring this dish together.

Adam's Nasi Lemak (pictured second) has legions of fans for its offerings. The strength of their artillery lies in their sambal chilli which has a perfect balance of sweetness and heat. However, I found their rice less fluffy than its counterpart but this may be due to a heavier use of coconut milk in their recipe which some may prefer. Their chicken wings were noticeably less crispy and well flavoured - which was a bit of a letdown.

So which camp will I be eating on? Whilst I hate to take sides - Selera Nasi Lemak gets my vote for being the better overall package. It would be great if the two could produce something beautiful together for what they bring to the table... the world (or at least this part of town) would be a better place.

But just like any war, my guess is that these two will keep battling it out... if for no other reason than to give its followers something to fight for.

Selera Nasi Lemak
2 Adam Road
Stall 2 Adam Road Food Centre

Adam's Nasi Lemak
2 Adam Road
Stall 1 Adam Road Food Centre


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