Nasi Padang Mami Fita, Chinatown: “A comforting plate of your favourite grub”

I’ve lived in Singapore my whole life, and it’s safe to say that trying every hawker stall in Chinatown is a feat that cannot be undertaken by the faint of heart. This road was paved by Nicole, with Jia Ji Mei Shi debuting as the first instalment of this series, followed by Ah Kong Wah Kuih. The flaming torch has been passed on to me, and after spending an embarrassingly long time getting lost, I found myself in front of Nasi Padang Mami Fita.

nasi padang mami fita's storefront

What I tried 

I’ll admit that I stuck out like a sore thumb—maybe it was the huge DSLR swinging from a strap on my shoulder, but I’m pretty sure it’s because I asked the owner of Nasi Padang Mami Fita what she would recommend from her stall. Creatures of habit like myself usually stick to what we know when it comes to hawker food, and my lack of experience with Malay food definitely showed.

nasi padang mami fita's set meal

Either way, there was pity in her eyes as she scanned the nervous intern in front of her, and with a brusque “you sit down, I take for you”, she got to work spooning a variety of her dishes onto a plate for me to try. Her usual set consisting of rice, sayur lodeh, and a main dish costs S$5+, though if you want to give everything a shot at one go, picking out your own ingredients will set you back S$7. 

cross section of mutton curry

The Curry Mutton was the first thing she offered, and wholly deserving of the two thumbs up she convinced me with. There’s the distinct gamey aroma that shone through undeterred by the sharp-tasting curry. It’s not pretty or aesthetically plated like the cafes I love dearly, but it explodes in your mouth like a flavour-filled firework.

And if I was impressed enough to go back for a second, third, and fourth mouthful, I’m betting you will too.

cross section of kantang begedil

I remember a friend asking me how I was going to survive as a food writer because I’ve never had a penchant for fried food—and if there’s anything Singaporeans love, it’s whatever’s fried until golden brown with a light sheen of oil. The Begedil Kentang warranted a little hesitation on my part, especially since the exterior crumbled under the pressure of my fork with a satisfying crunch.

Made with deep-fried potatoes that are mashed and later shaped into patties before a second round of frying, these palm-sized patties need to be chased with a large glass of water afterwards. The texture was impeccable but as expected, felt too oily and cloying for my liking, though I’m sure it’s every fried food lover’s dream come true.

black sauce chicken from nasi padang mami fita

Maybe fried food or curries aren’t your thing, in which case, I’ll reconsider our friendship. Before that happens, though, you might want to take my advice and try the Black Sauce Chicken—lovingly coated in sweet black sauce and lightly spiced with red cut chilli.

Its flavour profile definitely leans towards the former, and is incredibly well-marinated, though my only gripe is that the chicken was unusually tough. Though I could’ve just been unlucky during my visit, oh well.

sambal prawns from nasi padang mami fita

My time at Nasi Padang Mami Fita ended with a generous scoop of Sambal Prawns and a hard-boiled egg—it’s a staple that I grew up eating, even if I end up red-faced and sweaty. You don’t need to be a huge fan of sambal to spot the bright-red dish from a mile away, and I believe good sambal should be appreciated through smell from that distance too.

I wish the sambal gave a harder kick, but was instead greeted with what felt like an anticlimactic gentle hug. 

Final thoughts

nasi padang mami fita's sayur lodeh

I enjoyed my meal, but I’m confident that it’s going to take a lot more until I can consider myself an ardent fan of nasi padang the way I do with dessert. Tucked in the corner of Chinatown Complex away from the hustle and bustle of the busier stalls in the middle, Nasi Padang Mami Fita will offer you a brief respite in the form of a comforting plate full of your favourite grub.

Expected damage: S$5 – s$7 per pax

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Price: $

Our Rating: 3 / 5

Nasi Padang Mami Fita

335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex Food Centre, #02-222, Singapore 050335

Our Rating 3/5

Nasi Padang Mami Fita

335 Smith Street, Chinatown Complex Food Centre, #02-222, Singapore 050335

Operating Hours: 10am - 6.30pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon

Operating Hours: 10am - 6.30pm (Tue to Sun), Closed on Mon