Mention Sixth Avenue and I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind wouldn’t be affordable food. It might surprise you to know that hidden along Sixth Avenue itself is Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak, a humble nasi lemak coffeeshop stall that has been selling wallet-friendly nasi lemak since 1986.
Opening from as early as 6am, Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak has set itself apart from other nasi lemak stalls with its delicious, no-fuss homemade nasi lemak. They also offer other breakfast fare, such as mee siam, lontong and mee goreng.
I took a look at its menu and was mildly surprised at how wallet-friendly its prices were. Prices start from S$4.60 for its Otak Set, and go up to S$5.60 for its Kuning Set, and though these definitely aren’t the cheapest nasi lemak sets I’ve seen, it’s still pretty reasonable, especially given that it’s situated right in the middle of Sixth Avenue— a pricy district.
Sixth Avenue is a long stretch of road connecting Bukit Timah and Holland Road. Most Singaporeans know this as an atas neighbourhood, filled with mansion-like landed properties and plenty of expats.
You’ll find this unassuming nasi lemak stall nestled within one of the three coffee shops at the head of Sixth Avenue (nearer to Bukit Timah Road), just a stone’s throw away from Sixth Avenue MRT station. For those familiar with the area, this is the coffee shop located right opposite Toast Box and BreadTalk.
What I tried at Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak
My initial plan was to order a Chicken Nasi Lemak Set (S$5.20), add an Otak-otak (S$1.40), and get the Lontong (S$4 – S$4.50) as well.
Despite reaching at 10am, the friendly lady manning the stall informed me that they had run out of Lontong and all the other noodle dishes! “Sorry girl, those dishes usually sell out by 9am. You have to come from 6am to 8am if you want to buy the Lontong, Mee Siam (S$4 – S$4.50) or Mee Goreng (S$2.80),” she added.
Regardless, I was still pretty happy with my Chicken Nasi Lemak Set, which came with fluffy long grain rice, a sunny side up egg, a fried chicken wing that had been cut into pieces, a spoonful of ikan bilis, a dollop of sambal, and a thick wedge of cucumber.
Initially, I was worried about the rice as it looked clumpy, as if it was too wet. It all but took one bite to prove me wrong. This was warm, fluffy and perfectly moist rice, which had fragrant hints of pandan and coconut that made it incredibly aromatic. I had to resist devouring the rice on its own, and willed myself to move onto the other components of my nasi lemak.
Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak’s fried chicken looked amazing, with a gloriously golden batter that looked light and crispy. I loved how well marinated it was, and I could taste hints of turmeric, salt and pepper, which made it incredibly flavourful. Undeniably, it leaned more towards the salty end, and should be paired with the soft and light rice to even out its savoury flavours.
Onto my guilty pleasure— the ikan bilis.
These were so thin and crispy that they reminded me of whitebait. Similar to the fried chicken wing, these little fried bits were a little too salty to be eaten on their own, so I paired it with the fragrant long grain rice for that addictive and savoury touch.
One thing I noticed was that Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak didn’t give peanuts. This missing ingredient was mentioned by several Google Reviews as well, and the stall’s response was that they didn’t include peanuts for fear of triggering any nut allergies.
To tie it all together, I tried Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak’s homemade sambal.
Man, this was such a journey. The first taste to hit my tongue was a roasted, full-bodied sweetness. The minute I started wondering why it wasn’t spicy at all was when the bright spice hit me like a freight train, and sweat beats started forming on my nose.
This was a well-rounded sambal that I’d gladly order extra portions of— the stall charges an extra S$0.30 per spoonful of sambal. If you’d like to order their homemade sambal in containers, the prices start from S$1.50 and go all the way up to S$10.
Though Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak’s Otak-otak isn’t homemade, one thing I greatly appreciated was that it was served warm to the touch, which made it all the more enjoyable to devour, as most nasi lemak places I’ve been to usually stack the otak on the side and serve it cold. In terms of taste, their Otak-otak was nicely seasoned, and the fish paste had a hint of roasted sweetness to it.
Though each element of Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak’s Chicken Nasi Lemak Set had its own pros and cons, with some of them being too salty to be eaten on its own, everything came together to create a perfectly balanced spoonful that made me polish off this unassuming plate of nasi lemak within 10 minutes.
You’ve got everything you need in a single bite— saltiness from the tender chicken meat, crispiness from the ikan bilis, a well-needed kick of spiciness from the homemade sambal, and at the base of it was a soft bed of lightly fragrant rice. Super yummy.
Was this worth the trip to Sixth Avenue? Being an Eastie, I’d say there are plenty of other more convenient breakfast options around here, but I’d definitely swing by Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak for another plate of home-cooked nasi lemak if I were ever in the area.
It’s a pity that I missed their super affordable Mee Goreng (S$2.80), but the no-fuss nasi lemak certainly hit the spot. Just a fair warning that this coffee shop has pretty limited seating though, and Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak tends to sell out by 11.30am, so be sure to come early to avoid being disappointed.
Expected damage: S$2.80 – S$9 per pax
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak
12 Sixth Avenue, Singapore 276475
Sixth Avenue Nasi Lemak
12 Sixth Avenue, Singapore 276475