Sunday, February 28, 2010

Singarore-Style Nasi Lemak Catches On in The Philippines

Nasi Lemak is a popular dish in Singapore. It's has rice cooked in coconut cream and served with crunchy peanuts, fine dilis (small and thin dried fish), thin slices of cucumber, a layer of scrambled egg, and slightly salty chili sauce akin to local bagoong.

In the Philippines, a local customer who has never seen or eaten Nasi Lemak before would eat it the way rice meals are typically eaten in the country - and that is to take a spoonful of rice and add a bit of side dish, or ulam, to it before taking a bite. That's okay... if you're not eating Nasi Lemak! There is a proper way to eat Nasi Lemak and if you don't know how to eat it, you miss the whole point of the dish. So, how do you eat Nasi Lemak?

Nasi Lemak is really a feast for the taste buds. The ingredients are designed for different flavors and textures to be savored and experienced in the mouth. That is why it's customary to mix everything together first before taking the first spoonful (small pic; left)! If you eat Nasi Lemak any other way, you will not get to experience how all the ingredients that go with it come together for that delightful and satisfying experience that's not only a treat for weight-watcher's but is also a filling meal in spite of the seemingly meager treatment of the dish.

You can get to experience the Nasi Lemak of Singapore at the Singapore Chicken Rice restaurant at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City. The proprietress and cook are very accommodating and personal in their approach to management and almost every customer is given an experience to remember when they are guided by the owners and management on how to get the most of eating Singaporean dishes like Nasi Lemak. A little chat on how to eat Nasi Lemak goes a long way and being entertained by the restaurant management is something that you don't get very often in the Philippines.

UPDATE: Singapore Chicken Rice restaurant at The Araneta Center in Cubao has closed down.

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