Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Chong Pang Nasi Lemak - Best Nasi Lemak and Best Fried Chicken

I was told about this Chong Pang Nasi Lemak by a couple of knowledgeable foodies, and when I first sighted this humbly looking kopitiam, my expectations were to say the least, moderate.

Little would I realize that this place would be serving the best concoction of nasi lemak that I have ever tasted. And then some. Without a doubt, this is the pinnacle of nasi lemak nirvana.

The true test of any great food is not the ingredients used, but simply how good it is cooked. And in this humble location, you will find nothing but simple food cooked to perfection in almost every single dish.

Wide Selection

Like all the best nasi lemak, the selection here was astonishing, from the standard chicken wings and sunny side up eggs, to curry chicken and sambal sotong, to a number varieties of Chinese greens, it will take a few trips here to savor every variety for sure.

When we were there around 6pm, there was a visible queue that never cleared, a clear indication that this outlet has a steady stream of loyal followers. And savoring the food later, we were ourselves convinced of the high standards of cooking here.

Nasi Lemak Nirvana

Rather than do my usual practice of accompanying each food picture with a description, I have elected to just use one picture here as this is typically how nasi lemak is consumed here, on one simple plastic plate where all the different components of the dish are mashed together.

Instead, I will rattle of each component here, starting with the magnificent chicken wings. The wings were delightfully marinated, and coated with a beautiful batter that was perfectly crispy without being flaky at all.

The meat within was the best I have tasted in a fried chicken wing, moist and tender and practically falling off the bone. Something that is very, very hard to achieve. It is no wonder this is their signature dish. If nothing, come here and savor their amazing fried chicken wings and be prepared to be won over.

The curry chicken was something else too. Aromatic, without being too spicy or overpowering, the chicken drumsticks and wings were again cooked to perfection. The meat, again, was just falling off the bones with ease. And the potatoes were so well stewed that they literally melted in the mouth.

The otak here was brilliant. Made in-house and grilled on the spot, it had a darker color than usual, yet the combination of curry, coconut milk and fish flavors just exploded on the tongue, and the texture, a velvety smooth variant that will leave you coming for seconds even before you finish the first helping.

And any test of a good cook is how well he or she can cook a simple egg. The sunny side up eggs here were simply a revelation. Each and everyone looked beautifully cooked and had that poached look. Eating into one, there was still a yellow runny yolk texture, telling you how subtle the cooking was here.

Even the server took care to place the egg carefully on the plate, indicating a sense of care and passion, something the likes I have never seen in a simple food stall like this before.

There were lots more dishes that I have neglected to mention here, but I will mention a few more. The sweet and sour pork was excellent and crunchy, the various vegetable dishes were all very well done and all piping hot when they were served.

As I said earlier in the post, the best food is not necessarily about having the prime ingredients and the best ambience with celebrity chefs, but humble cooks doing simple fare well. It is sometimes harder to do simple, and here at Chong Pang Nasi Lemak, they have done simple to perfection.

Nasi Lemak lovers, this is the place to try.

Chong Pang Nasi Lemak
447 Sembawang Road
Sembawang Park

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