There is a kiddie ditty that goes “Do you like broccoli?” and the children sing “Yes, I do. Yes, I do.” “Do you like ice cream?” “Yes, I do. Yes, I do.” “Do you like broccoli ice cream?” “NO, I DON’T. YUCKY!”
You get the drift. You basically name all these innocuously yummy treats that when combined together, are just gross. Think donut juice for instance. Yucky!
Well, do you like nasi lemak? Yes, I do. Yes, I do! Do you like lobster? Yes, I do. Yes, I do! Do you like lobster nasi lemak?? Oooo…. YES, I DO! YUMMY!
Hot on the heels of the NLB craze (that’s Nasi Lemak Burger for the uninitiated, not National Library Board) and the recent nasi lemak dress worn by Miss Malaysia, Chef Wan’s Kitchen has upped the ante by refashioning the classic nasi lemak. Instead of your usual fried chicken or ikan kuning, this luxurious version comes with lamb shank or lobster.
Chef Wan, the famous Malaysian TV culinary star born originally in Singapore, is well acquainted with Singaporeans’ love for all things seafood and decided to incorporate lobster into the well-loved nasi lemak dish. I have never seen lobster used for nasi lemak and was intrigued by this experiment.
The lobster is smothered in balado, which is a type of hot and spicy sauce used in West Sumatran cuisine and made by stir frying several types of spices together. The fried chicken or fish that tends to accompany nasi lemak often turns out dry and hard so lobster with its tender fleshy texture works very well. The lamb shank version is really good too with its melt-in-your-mouth texture after being slow-braised until it is tender and cooked in savoury Rendang gravy.
I thought the rice could have been slightly more lemak, but perhaps it’s just as well so as not to detract from the strong bold flavours in the rest of the nasi lemak dish. The fried egg and belachan kang kong are well-executed, but what really stole the show for me was Chef Wan’s signature sambal belachan. Needless to say, it goes perfectly with the rice, yet it’s also good enough to eat on its own and its spiciness is just nice. Priced at a tempting S$23.90+ (usual price: S$35+) until 2 January 2018, the Balado Lobster Nasi Lemak and Lamb Shank Nasi Lemak are not to be missed by true blue nasi lemak fans.
The delightfully sinful Tauhu Telur (S$14.90+) is a perfect accompaniment to the nasi lemak. Made using egg tofu, it is crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside. Lather the spicy tangy sauce over it and mmm… demolition time!
I can never say no to Fish Head Curry, especially when eaten with rice. Chef Wan is introducing not one, but two versions to the menu – the Assam Pedas Fish Head and Curry Fish Head (both S$23.90). Sea bream, prized for its nutritional values and abundant in heart-healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids, is used here and sits well with its firm fleshy texture.
Other new additions to the menu include Sambal Mussels (S$20.90+), Lala Masak Kunyit (S$16.90+), Sambal Petai Udang ($19.90+) and Sotong Masak Hitam ($15.90+). It’s a veritable seafood feast! The prawn (udang) felt somewhat overcooked but the petai was surprisingly addictive as it’s not something I usually enjoy. Squid (sotong) can easily be overcooked or undercooked, but the version here in squid ink sauce had a perfectly springy texture without tasting rubbery.
The menu has also been expanded with new vegetable dishes such as Stir-fried Winged Bean with Chilli and Dried Shrimps (Kacang Botol) (S$7.90+), Stir-fried Kang Kong with Chilli and Dried Shrimps (S$7.90+) and Stir-fried French Bean with Chilli and Dried Shrimps (S$7.90+).
The velvety D24 Durian Custard Pudding (S$7.90+) offers a nice way to end off a wonderful meal after the myriad of spices tantalising your taste buds. You’d see a yellow colour that is the durian, and a green portion made from coconut. The best way to describe this dessert is that it tastes like dodol, a favourite childhood treat of mine.
Be warned – the portions here are generous and post-meal food coma is a distinct possibility. But for food that is sedap, I reckon it is worth it.
Chef Wan’s Kitchen
8 Raffles Avenue
#02-14 Esplanade Mall
Tel: +65 63974911
Email: [email protected]
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday: 12pm – 2.30pm, 5.30pm – 10.30pm
Can’t resist lobster? Love nasi lemak? How about lobster nasi lemak? We’re giving away three sets of Balado Lobster nasi lemak and Lamb Shank nasi lemak by Chef Wan’s Kitchen to three lucky readers. For a chance to win, simply:
- Like the Asia 361 Facebook page.
- Share this post on Facebook and tag at least three friends in your post.
- Name two dishes from Chef Wan’s Kitchen that you would love to try. Answer by commenting below or on our Facebook post.
Contest ends at 11.59pm on 17 December 2017. The winners will be notified via Facebook and must be able to collect the prize in Singapore.