D’Authentic Nasi Lemak: Home-cooked style nasi lemak with shiok ikan bilis and sambal at Marine Parade

Marine Parade Central Market & Hawker Centre is home to plenty of good eats. As an Eastie, I’ve dined here more times than I can count, with my usual haunts being the famed char kway teow, cai fan and dim sum stalls. The humble D’Authentic Nasi Lemak caught my attention after hearing some good reviews, so I decided to give it a try.

D Authentic Nasi Lemak - storefront

While D’Authentic Nasi Lemak used to sell sets— for example, its chicken wing set meal used to cost S$3.50 and came with rice, chicken wings, a fried egg, ikan bilis and sambal— the stall has since done away with pre-determined sets.

Now, its dishes and ingredients are all served à la carte, which frankly, is a love-or-hate situation to me. Go for something simple, or pile your plate with everything you could ever want in a plate of nasi lemak? Well, let’s see.

What I tried at D’Authentic Nasi Lemak

D Authentic Nasi Lemak - nasi lemak

I was feeling a little hungrier than usual that day, and decided to order several things: Chicken Wing (S$1.50), Tempe (S$0.80) and Begedel (S$0.80). This was piled on top of a plate of Rice (S$1) and was accompanied by the usual suspects— Anchovies (S$1), Peanuts (S$1) and Fried Egg (S$0.60).

In total, my plate of nasi lemak came up to S$6.70. While that isn’t exactly considered super cheap (think mini packets of nasi lemak for S$1.50), I’d say that the price is pretty average. 

I also wanted to order the Chicken Rendang (S$3++), but unfortunately was told that it wasn’t available that day. I also wanted to try their Lontong (S$3.50), but despite reaching at 11am, I was told that it was sold out! What a bummer.

D Authentic Nasi Lemak - rice

Starting off with arguably the most essential component of any plate of nasi lemak— the rice. 

I took my first spoonful of rice and immediately identified fragrant notes of pandan and coconut milk. Despite being spot-on in terms of taste, I was a little disappointed with the texture of the rice, which seemed slightly hard and undercooked. The rice clumped together in a way that reminded me of Thailand mango sticky rice.

D Authentic Nasi Lemak - chicken wing

Next, moving on to the Chicken Wing. It had already been cut up into individual pieces upon serving, making it easier to eat.

What I loved about D’Authentic Nasi Lemak’s Chicken Wing was how moist and tasty the meat was, and I bit into it with great delight. The skin, which was surprisingly thin with little fat, wasn’t too oily, so that was much appreciated. However, given how thin it was, it was gone far too quickly, and I was left wishing that there was more skin, breading or fat so that the crisp factor would be more pronounced.

D Authentic Nasi Lemak - sambal

D’Authentic Nasi Lemak’s sambal was superb. It started out sweet, but the biting spiciness followed suit and caught me off guard. While the bright spice left me coughing and scrambling for my cup of kopi peng, I was impressed by the sambal for its salty, spicy and umami-filled tastiness. 

It gave the slightly undercooked rice that well-needed moisture, so I ended up mixing the sambal directly into the rice. The spice continued to build with every spoonful of sambal-laden rice, but it was so shiok and addictive that despite my mouth feeling like it had been lit aflame, I pressed on and tried to endure the spice as much as I could. Ah, the things we’d do for delicious chilli.

D Authentic Nasi Lemak - ikan bilis and peanuts

Ikan bilis and peanuts are so essential to a plate of nasi lemak, and D’Authentic Nasi Lemak’s version didn’t disappoint at all. 

While ready-made ikan bilis and peanuts are readily available at wholesale prices nowadays, D’Authentic Nasi Lemak’s ikan bilis surprised me. I noticed that it was wider than typical ikan bilis, as if it had been coated in some batter before being deep fried. This was reflected in its flavour as well, as it was extra crispy, with pleasant nutty and roasted notes.

D Authentic Nasi Lemak - tempeh

The Tempe was a little underwhelming. While it still retained that characteristic nuttiness, the deep-fried Tempe had completely lost its crunch and crisp (or as we Singaporeans would say, lao hong liao), as if it had been sitting out on the counter for a good part of the afternoon. I’d give this a skip the next time I drop by.

D Authentic Nasi Lemak - begedel

Despite being let down by the Tempeh, I absolutely loved D’Authentic Nasi Lemak’s Begedel, and it quickly became one of my favourite components of the dish. 

The exterior was nice and crispy, while the potato filling was soft, mushy, and undeniably tasty. This was super satisfying, and I found myself rationing out little bits of Begedel so that I could have tiny portions of roasted potato with every spoonful of rice. 

Final thoughts

D Authentic Nasi Lemak - spoonful of nasi lemak

The sambal, ikan bilis and begedel were components that D’Authentic Nasi Lemak carried out extremely well, but despite that, there were definitely ingredients that could’ve used more work. For example, I wished that the rice would’ve been fluffier so that I wouldn’t have to depend on the sambal, but perhaps I just came on a bad day.

All in all, this was a decent plate of nasi lemak that left me satiated. The next time I’m around, I’ll be sure to try the Chicken Rendang or Lontong.

Expected damage: S$4.50 – S$8

Other articles you might like:

Hua Xing Bak Kut Teh: Cheap and authentic hawker BKT that hits the spot

Aliff Nasi Lemak: Fluffy basmati rice with shiok ikan bilis at Serangoon Garden

Price: $

Our Rating: 3.5 / 5

D’Authentic Nasi Lemak

84 Marine Parade Central, #01-36, Singapore 440084

Price
Our Rating 3.5/5

D’Authentic Nasi Lemak

84 Marine Parade Central, #01-36, Singapore 440084

Operating Hours: 7am - 2pm (Sat to Thu), Closed on Fri

Operating Hours: 7am - 2pm (Sat to Thu), Closed on Fri

Have an interesting hawker story or good food to share? Email us at [email protected]

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