Last Updated: May 19, 2020
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“What exactly is nasi kukus?”, my partner when I told him that we were expecting a delivery from Yes! Nasi Kukus just moments before dinner. Frankly speaking, apart from fact that it looked visually appetising in pictures when I was pondering what to have for dinner, I had no idea as well—at least not until I did my research before writing this review.
Originating from Kelantan, Malaysia, nasi kukus is a traditional Malaysian delicacy characterised by its distinctive steamed rice. Meticulously cooked in individual aluminium bowls over large steamers, the rice is usually served piping hot with a mix of flavourful curries and side dishes.
Easily attainable through GrabFood, foodpanda and deliveroo, the process of ordering was a breeze. And exactly at 7pm sharp, my order from Yes! Nasi Kukus arrived well-packed with no leakages and ready to be devoured. The aroma of curry spices filled my room immediately after I opened the first packet of nasi kukus. Bursting with red, orange and brown hues, I could tell that this would be a satisfying meal just by its look and smell alone.
Having heard great reviews of Yes! Nasi Kukus‘ fried chicken, I ordered their Signature Fried Chicken With Nasi Dagang Trader Rice (S$9.50), a special mix of white and red rice steamed with coconut milk. In addition, I topped up with a serving of their Curry Chicken (+S$3) for a comparison of both their chicken dishes and that additional gravy which I thought would go superbly well with the nasi dagang.
Boy, this combination was heavenly. Laying the base of this protein-filled meal was the nasi dagang drenched in gravy. The rice was loose and fluffy with each individual grain clearly distinct and separated. Every mouthful had a subtle nuttiness and a slight crunch that complemented the mildly spicy yet flavoursome curry.
What I particularly enjoyed about the Curry Chicken were the generous chunks of meat which were cooked to perfection. The chicken was tender, sliding off its bones with the mere touch of my tongue, dissipating into nothingness after only a few bites.
Despite the luscious taste of the Curry Chicken, the Signature Fried Chicken was a clear winner between two. Juicy and succulent, every inch of that chicken thigh was deep-fried to a glorious golden brown. Tearing the chicken apart, I witnessed the meat glisten under the lights of my dining table. Juices leaked out of the fried chicken as I bit into it with its skin still crackling as I chewed.
Seasoned with a blend of spices, the chicken skin was so crisp and addictive that I had to fight my partner for the last bite. The magic element to Yes! Nasi Kukus‘ Signature Fried Chicken would probably be the bits of fried galangal shreds which brought the chicken to a whole new dimension with the addition of a citrusy aroma and slightly piquant bite.
For those who enjoy that kick of heat in your nasi kukus, you definitely have to try the sambal. In the midst of the fiery red blend of chillies are countless chilli seeds that elevated the spiciness of the sambal. Packed with bold umami flavours—although the sambal made me perspire at my forehead—the heat was so addictive that I ended up mixing extra into my nasi dagang!
For my second packet of nasi kukus, I ordered the Sambal Asam Sotong (S$8.50) that came with plain rice and an additional serving of Sambal Asam Prawns (+S$3). Unlike the nasi dagang trader rice, the white rice grains clumped together and were moist in texture. Despite that, it still did an awesome job in absorbing the asam gravy that it was doused generously in.
Due to the incorporation of pineapples, the sambal asam gravy of both the sotong and the prawns had a pleasant fruity sweetness complementing the fresh seafood. Cooked flawlessly, the squids were tender and bouncy, with just the right amount of chewiness without being too rubbery.
The prawns retained its natural sweetness and had a slight crunch to every bite. With its shell still intact, the prawn heads soaked up the gravy and together with its juices resulted in a flavoursome and umami-packed essence collected in the prawn head itself.
Perhaps due to my preference for spicier food, I felt that the heat and sourness of the sambal asam could be taken up a notch. In my opinion, it was a tad bit too sweet thus a little more spice might be of help in balancing the overall flavour profile.
Last by not the least, was my a la carte order of Yes! Nasi Kukus‘ Fried Pomfret Fish (S$8.50). Coated in a layer of turmeric, the black pomfret was fried to a beautiful golden yellow. The crisp skin of the fish lent a touch of mild bitterness and astringency from the turmeric powder. However, when the skin was consumed together with the subtly sweet and mellow flavours of the meat, they harmonised well to create a delectable dish.
My delivery experience with Yes! Nasi Kukus was indeed a pleasant one as I was smiling from ear to ear whilst savouring my meal. Although it was a little pricer as I made my order from GrabFood, it was totally worth it considering the two plates of intensely satisfying nasi kukus my partner and I depleted. In fact, I enjoyed their nasi dagang and fried chicken so much, it probably overtook my love for nasi lemak!
They have several outlets, so if you are staying around Woodlands, Toh Guan Road and Punggol, why not head down to one of their outlets to order for takeaway? Feel free to contact them beforehand to avoid waiting in line!
Expected Damage: S$8.50 – S$10 per pax (prices might differ for takeaway)
Our Rating: 4 / 5
Yes! Nasi Kukus
273C Punggol Place, #01-882, Singapore 823273
273C Punggol Place, #01-882, Singapore 823273