In my opinion, the best dish to represent Singapore is Nasi Lemak. It may not have its roots plunged deeply in Singapore’s soil but it’s one of the dishes where all of the ethnic groups in Singapore could enjoy it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It’s a staple dish back in those kampung days and even back when I was just a kid, Nasi Lemak was like this local delicacy that I yearn for especially when it happens to be my mom’s favorite dish as well. I would always remember her piling up her plate with spoonfuls of sambal. The true kick in a plate of Nasi Lemak is the spicy sambal and fragrant coconut rice.
And I am glad that there’s a new eatery in Singapore which is bringing back the traditional flavors of Nasi Lemak. Folding Rice, which is launched by Arteastiq Group, is reviving this traditional dish with a modern touch. The kampung-style, traditional nasi lemak is conceptualized by creative and award-winning Ivan Teo, Founder/Director of Arteastiq Group.
The traditional elements of Nasi Lemak still remain – coconut rice, fried chicken, grilled chicken, fried prawns, fish and the most important and complex sambal chili. I was pleasantly surprised at how they managed to nail the authentic taste of Nasi Lemak. That was really expected as the Nasi Lemak served at the latest food joints and eateries have been heavily diluted by Chinese influences and it loses that ‘kampong’ flavor.
At Folding Rice, you get to choose from 4 different sets of Nasi Lemak. If you are not too hungry, you can go for the basic set which is Set A ($3.80) that comes with Coconut Rice, Chicken Wing, Ikan Bilis, Sambal, and Cucumber. But if you are feeling indulgent, you could select Set D which includes Coconut Rice, Fried Chicken Wing, 2 Fried Prawns, Sunny Side Up, Ikan Bilis, Sambal, and Cucumber. Prices are reasonable and every item here costs below $8.
Spicy lovers would adore Set B ($5.80) which comes with Coconut Rice, Spicy Black Chicken, Sunny Side Up, Ikan Bilis, Sambal and Cucumber. The spicy black chicken is marinated with this really spicy dried chili. It has a spicy and sourish kick to it. It’s sure to whet your appetite once you tried it.
The coconut rice was exceptionally fragrant and super fluffy. It paired so well with the chicken and the crunchy Ikan Bilis. A perfect match made in heaven. And because it was served hot, it makes the dish even more appetizing.
Set C ($5.80) is for those who prefer something less spicy. It includes Coconut Rice, Tumeric Fried Chicken Wing, Sunny Side Up, Ikan Kuning, Ikan Bilis, Sambal, and Cucumber. The fried chicken wing is marinated with 5 different spices which give it that really unique oriental flavor that could easily beat any chicken wings sold at any fast food joints.
While the dish was superb, we wished that the Ikan Bilis was served with some kacang (peanuts) to add that extra crunch and texture to the dish itself. A spicier sambal chili would have given this dish that 5-star rating. The fiery factor in the sambal, after all, is what made Nasi Lemak a unique savory Asian dish.
To make your ‘Nasi Lemak’ experience more complete, you got to pair it with local beverages like Teh, Kopi or some icy cold lime juice.
We ordered Teh C (tea with milk), Teh O Limau (Lemon Tea) and Lime Juice. They really put in effort in keeping the taste of their beverages in line with their dishes. They just sell canned or packet drinks. My cup of hot Teh O Limau actually tasted really good! Drinks are priced very affordably too. You probably wouldn’t spend more than $10 to have a good meal here.
Teh C ($1.80)
Teh O Limau ($1.80) and Lime Juice ($2.20)
It’s definitely heading back again. I am just hoping that there are more Folding Rice outlets to come and I believe it would be a great hit among us locals. It really brings back memories of the Nasi Lemak which I once had when I was a kid.
Special thanks to AT Marketing Consultancy for this invitation.
18 Yishun Ave 9 #01-19
Business hours: 8 am to 10 pm daily