Last Updated: May 6, 2020
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I don’t know about you, but if this ‘Circuit Breaker’ period has brought out anything in me, it has to be all the massive food cravings I’ve been having! As someone who doesn’t make a habit of storing too many snacks at home—to avoid mindless eating—I was suddenly hit with cravings ranging from chocolate to cakes to cookies to nasi padang, and even pizza.
That’s when social media became extra handy and led me to House of Lemang, a Malay stall that specialises in traditional lemang, a delicacy not commonly sold on a mass-market scale here.
House of Lemang usually hops from event to event in bazaars, but their direct distributor, located in Changi, is opening up delivery and takeaway services during the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period, especially to cater to the fasting month of Ramadhan.
For the uninitiated, lemang is essentially a mix of glutinous rice, coconut milk, and salt, cooked in a bamboo stick with banana leaves in order to prevent the rice from sticking to the bamboo. The ones that House of Lemang are cooked for five hours, and the glutinous rice is washed and soaked before being grilled.
They use fresh-pressed coconut milk and matured glutinous rice, and stainless steel poles in place of bamboo to maintain hygiene. With no added preservatives and additional flavouring, you’re meant to taste the authentic flavour of the banana leaf-wrapped glutinous rice.
They currently offer Lemang Sets catering to one or up to four people (S$12 – S$44) and even a Ramadhan Family Set (for five people) (S$50), which is honestly super wallet-friendly. They also have a la carte add-ons, of which I ordered Sambal Paru (S$7.50).
Ordering was a breeze, via Instagram DM, and delivery charges vary according to the location (S$8 – S$10). There’s also no minimum order, so if you’re hankering for just one item, go for it!
I ordered the Lemang Set (two persons) (S$22), which came with two portions of lemang (five pieces per portion), 150g of Rendang, 100g of Serunding, and 150g of Sambal Goreng. What stood out first and foremost, was the generous portion of each item; at the end of dinner, my dining partner and I still had leftovers!
I especially appreciated that the lemang was delivered still with the banana leaf intact, not only for a sense of authenticity but for the aroma that filled the air, the moment I popped open the plastic container.
The glutinous rice was exceptionally sticky and chewy, and I could taste the earthiness of the banana leaves, along with a touch of sweetness from the coconut milk.
The Sambal Goreng was brimming with tempeh (fermented soybeans)—I was overjoyed.
They retained their chewy consistency, had rich nuttiness, and the fullness of the rempah (spice paste) really came through on the nose and palate. There are variations of sambal goreng that include beef, tofu, long beans, and many other ingredients, but the ones with more tempeh are the ones I really adore.
Their Rendang was a lot wetter than I’d anticipated, but no matter, its taste was still as phenomenal. Packing a good amount of spiciness, the beef tore apart easily and the gravy was deep and rich. We even saved the remaining gravy to serve as a sauce for another meal! There were nuances of nuttiness (again), onions, sweetness, and lemongrass, all muddled with the creaminess of coconut milk.
To top it all off, you can’t miss out on Serunding, desiccated coconut fried with a medley of spices. It lent a touch of sweet-savoury that was over-the-top but helped in cutting through some of the fattiness and heaviness of all the gravies. The more Serunding the better, in my opinion.
Like most Southeast Asian cuisines, I believe, there are always a few dishes that’ll turn some people away simply due to its unfamiliarity and oddity. I, for one, love paru (cow’s lung), and all the better if it’s Sambal Paru.
With little spices, its taste can prove to be too gamey for some and its texture is rather rubbery and chewy—almost like jerky. However, I suppose these are the qualities that make me fawn over it, because when there’s fried paru sitting in the kitchen, I’ll be the first snatch a few!
This rendition was absolutely delightful and thoroughly fragrant. The bite from the heady mix of chilli and onions made the dish exceptionally addictive, but alas, I was still too full from the entire meal to be able to finish everything.
When I placed my order with House of Lemang, I was simply trying to fix a nagging craving. But what I got from it was so much more; I was squealing like a little girl on the inside because the dishes were so nostalgic and they truly hit the spot.
If you’re looking for a delectable feast when breaking fast, I implore you to give them a try. If you’re missing some deep, bold flavours and some decent heat, their Rendang will remedy that itch. House of Lemang has hands-down been the best meal I’ve had since the start of ‘Circuit Breaker’ period.
Expected Damage: S$12 – S$18 per pax
Our Rating: 5 / 5
House of Lemang
324H Changi Road, Singapore 419799
324H Changi Road, Singapore 419799