Last Updated: May 24, 2021
On my ever-winding trip to find the best nasi lemak in Singapore, I’ve made some stops along the way, like Uptown Nasi Lemak for example, and also amassed a handful of reader recommendations. HUSK Nasi Lemak was brought to my attention by reader Kenneth Teo (@ktmyim on Instagram), along with bold, resounding claims backing the establishment.
Currently, they operate out of a cloud kitchen at Duxton Road, and accept delivery orders here. So while you’re constantly on the hunt for the next take-out meal during this phase of Heightened Alert, now’s a good time as any to give the ol’ nasi lemak joint a go.
My trip down to HUSK Nasi Lemak isn’t without bumps. Our visit is delayed by a bit because of kitchen difficulties, but the team recovers impressively quickly and are soon banging out dishes like it’s Wendy’s. Well, if delaying the meal is part of the ploy in keeping me hungry and heightening my anticipation of the food, it’s most definitely working.
We’re probably one of the rare few to experience the nasi lemak in a dine-in setting—in other words, the dish at its freshest and most scrumptious. Though, come July 2021, HUSK will be opening their first sit-down store in Bugis, a timely celebration of their next step, as well as the end of the sad, sad plights we’re all currently in (fingers crossed, at least).
Of their main dishes, the Wholesome Lemak Drumstick Set (S$12.20) can be thought of as one of their signature best-sellers, and I’ve got absolutely no trouble understanding why. Drenched in a brilliant chilli padi lemak sauce, the massive drumstick sits handsomely beside a bed of fragrant coconut rice. The usual suspects like sambal, anchovies, peanuts, achar, as well as a runny onsen egg form the perimeters of the plate.
As it is, the sight is already a treat for sore eyes, let alone one for a growling stomach. As I mentioned in a previous article about nasi lemak, the hallmark of good nasi lemak is firstly defined by the nasi, of course. What’s lacking in most nasi lemak coconut rice is the basic fragrance and aroma of the coconut itself, but thankfully, it’s very present today. In fact, HUSK Nasi Lemak’s rice is even fragrant enough to stand a fighting chance amidst the other wonderfully flavourful elements on the plate, like the chilli padi lemak, for example.
Despite the lemak sauce being a sucker-punch packed with spice, the coconutty aroma of the rice is still apparent in the same bite, warranting a huge win in my books. So when HUSK labels it as ‘fragrant coconut rice’, they aren’t kidding.
While I absolutely adore fried eggs (read: I’ll take them to my grave), HUSK does it a little differently with runny onsen egg yolks that thinly coat spoonfuls of rice grains, which is a little delight I won’t refuse either. So far, the plate of nasi lemak is checking all my boxes but what really gives me much to think about is the fierce chilli padi lemak sauce that still has me reeling from my chilli fantasies even days after first having a taste.
For those looking to supplement their meal with sides, take it from me and head straight for the Signature Chicken Cutlet (S$5.50). It’s boneless, it’s juicy, and downright battered beautifully. There’s nothing not to like about the tender chicken thigh cutlet that has my dining partner and I lap it up in record time. Coated in the same HUSK secret batter, you’ll also find the Crackling Chicken Wing (S$2.50) that is served in two pieces.
If fried food just isn’t your scene (because you must be fun at parties), have a go at the Grilled Chicken (S$5.50) instead, which presents equally fork-tender chunks of chicken thigh under slightly charred skin. It’s always pure bliss to find that the chicken, which appears to be brined, retains its moisture like a champ. Overall a great alternative; health buff or not.
A nasi lemak place wouldn’t be complete without a fish option, so here’s the Fish Fillet in Assam Relish (S$5.50) that’s a fried tilapia fillet marinated in turmeric. While satisfyingly flaky enough, the hero of the dish is once again the full-bodied, umami assam pedas sauce which possesses almost belacan-like flavour notes. Even after the fillet is long gone, I find myself coming back to the assam pedas, scraping the sides of the saucer for every last bit. If they sold it in take-away jars, I’m positively bagging some home.
After quite the gastronomical trip, our last stop is the Beef Rendang (S$12.80) which’s smothered in a bright, fiery rendang reduction. While the beef cubes could use just five more minutes in the pressure cooker, again, the flavour-packed rendang sauce is much to write home about.
It’s clear that HUSK Nasi Lemak does their rice bowls well and their sauces even better. It’s often underestimated just how much a dressing, sauce, or reduction can do to lift the flavours of the entire dish, but HUSK’s got it in the bag. So in a complete baller move, I unabashedly crown both the chilli padi lemak sauce and assam pedas sauce as deserving winners of today’s ‘Chef’s Kiss Award’. Arm yourself with both and a protein of your choice, and you’re all set for an amazing, unfailing nasi lemak experience.
It’s an unfailing box of nasi lemak that surely and hurriedly satiates any cravings you might have on a Tuesday afternoon, and while you’re at it, you’re going to want to snag the Signature Chicken Cutlet and some of my favourite sauces to complete an already indulgent feast. I came with the intent of finding Singapore’s best nasi lemak, and this may very well be it.
Expected damage: S$9.80 – S$16.80 per pax
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Our Rating: 5 / 5
HUSK Nasi Lemak
10A Duxton Hill, Level 2, Singapore 089594
10A Duxton Hill, Level 2, Singapore 089594