Sitting amongst the maze of food choices and multitude of Bedok Shopping Centre is Nosh Cuisine catering’s newest venture, Village Nasi Lemak.
While it might be their newest venture, Village Nasi Lemak has been around for more than a year already.
The taste behind Village Nasi Lemak is largely inspired by simple, nostalgic times where food was mostly homemade with tender love. Village Nasi Lemak follows more of a Malaysia-style nasi lemak recipe, but also has Singapore elements.
Don’t be confused by the signboard, because although it says Mee Pok and Kway Teow Mee, Village Nasi Lemak is located within while Jalan Tua Kong Lao Lim is next door- you can sit anywhere amongst the two stalls though, so don’t worry about seating.
Inside, Village Nasi Lemak is a simple no-frills functional kind of place. Just a basic food display case to exhibit their proud home cooking and sufficient seats for people to gather, eat good food and perspire in camaraderie; I’d advice seating outdoors so its cooler.
Before you start doubting if this new outlet can recreate truly delicious nasi lemak (that heart-warming familiar scent of soft coconut rice, addictive crispy wings and sweet savoury crunch-factor-100 ikan billis peanuts), let me just tell you: yes, they can.
Village Nasi Lemak has created some of our favourite nasi lemak foods excellently and it is worth trying.
Before Village Nasi Lemak opened, the chefs and founders made sure the most important elements of Nasi Lemak were done right. From the batter for chicken wings and drumsticks, ways to cook their rice to making the most perfect little crunchy flour bits, everything went through a long R&D process.
You might find the crunchy bits (which they call ‘Hush Puppies’) familiar as Ayam Penyet comes with it, and so do some Fish & Chips but here. Village Nasi Lemak’s version isn’t chubby puffed up flour bits, but instead they are tiny and look much like chicken/pork floss. The size makes it crunchier and much easier to mix and eat with rice.
And speaking of rice, Village has achieved that fluffy, non-beady texture with their coconut rice – making every spoonful soft and satisfying.
You don’t have to worry about a case of something I call ‘dreadful rice’, where the rice is cooked so thoughtlessly that it is possible for one to feel every hard, dry grain, making taking the next bite….dreadful.
At Village Nasi Lemak, the rice exudes creamy coconut fragrance.
Nasi Lemak Chicken Drumstick Set ($5.40)
They offer the standard Nasi Lemak combinations in sets like Chicken Drumstick Set, Rendang Beed Set, Nasi Lemak Fish. And of course you can also choose your dishes ala carte.
A definite favourite is the Nasi Lemak Chicken Drumstick Set and understandably why.
The chunky drumstick is battered twice, hence achieving an exterior thicker and crisper than the regular chicken wings they have. Despite its dark brown colour, the chicken is not overfried, the insides are still tender and juicy. While the batter is sinfully delicious without excessive oil.
Rendang Beef Set ($6.30)
Quite a crowd favourite, Village Nasi Lemak’s Rendang is another one of their carefully crafted recipe. The rendang is thick and not too spicy, neither is it too overwhelming in tamarind paste or spice. The gravy sufficiently soaked into the beef, rendering the meat tender, chewy and flavourful.
There are definitely more than just fried things here for you to have a balanced diet, unlike some nasi lemak places.
Other side dishes available include: Sambal Sotong, Curry Vegetables, Mutton Rendang, Tofu long bean, Long bean + garlic
The curry vegetables could do with longer stewing time so the natural sweetness of the cabbage and long beans can soak into the curry, but nonetheless still tasted naturally sweet overall.
The other side dishes were decent except the the spicy tofu and long beans which were on the slightly drier side.
Another important aspect of Nasi Lemak is of course the sambal chilli, and Village Nasi Lemak ensures that the chilli they serve here is game-changing.
It isn’t just sambal paste, but sambal with chilli oil, rough cuts of shallots, garlic and a generous dose of ikan bilis – absolutely addictive. The founders said they missed sambal chilli with the true taste of ikan bilis inside hence they crafted this recipe with whole pieces of ikan bilis to recreate that nostalgic memory.
Understanding that some Singaporeans love their spice, they have made the same chilli but with an increased level of spiciness as an toption. So if you’re one who enjoys punishing your tongue, simply ask for the spicier chilli when you’re ordering.
Nasi Lemak Fish Set ($4.50)
Along with the fragrant coconut rice, the large fried fish is soft and thin, not overly dry and easy to eat without fearing bones choking you alive.
Nasi Lemak Chicken Wing Set ($4.50)
The batter for their chicken wings is the same as the giant drumsticks but this has a single layer of batter only hence it is lighter and probably less sinful while retaining great crunch.
Another indispensable part of Nasi Lemak is probably the ikan bilis and peanut appetiser side. Sweet, sticky sambal holds ikan bilis and peanuts together harmoniously, while the syrup softens the ikan bilis a bit, there is still crunch from the fish and peanuts. Together, the sweet, toasty and fishy flavour go great with rice. Or even alone!
Overall, Village Nasi Lemak is a place that serves honest-to-goodness Nasi Lemak at Bedok. The place is a little hard to locate, but they’ve got the basic elements down (at least to me) and is definitely worth a try. They also deliver nasi lemak via Foodpanda if you’d like some yummy nasi lemak delivered to your door step.
Expected Damage: $4.50 – $7 per pax