Cravings are very intriguing, they can make even the most rational person do something against his or her wishes. The dictionary described it as an intense, urgent, or abnormal desire for something.
How far will you go to satisfy your cravings? Sembawang. To be exact, I went all the way up north for Chong Pang Nasi Lemak. Crazy? Yes. Satisfied? Maybe.
“Where’s the best nasi lemak in Singapore?” My friend asked casually. I was caught off guard for a moment. Okay lets see, there are a few nasi lemak stalls that have been mentioned frequently: like the famous Changi Village Nasi Lemak, the two rivaling Adam road Nasi Lemak stalls, Fong Seng Nasi Lemak, or the popular Boon Lay Power Nasi Lemak.
I wasn’t prepared to go to the extreme end of Singapore for Changi Village Nasi Lemak, and I wasn’t sure if Adam road Nasi Lemak was opened at night. Many people mentioned that the standard of Fong Seng Nasi Lemak has dropped over the years, while I’ve tried Boon Lay Nasi Lemak before. So you see, it had nothing to do with my cravings when my friend suggested Chong Pang Nasi Lemak in Sembawang – there wasn’t any other alternatives.
Nasi Lemak is quintessentially a Malay dish, so naturally some people will think it’s impossible for Chinese to prepare good Nasi Lemak. It’s somewhat like asking an Italian to cook French cuisine, or an American trying to prepare Japanese sushi. But over time and time again, many chefs have proved that it’s possible to master a different cuisine.
My friend mentioned that the main reason why she always come back to Chong Pang Nasi Lemak is because of the fragrant and soft, firm and not-sticky rice. The dark red chili looked like any other normal chili, but it was fiery hot with a vengeance.
Remember I have been on the hunt for the best sweet and sour pork? I haven’t found it yet, but I thought that Chong Pang Nasi Lemak’s rendition was pretty good. Coated with the sweet and sour sauce, the pork had a shattering crisp – oh damn, I wish I’ve ordered two portions of the sweet and sour pork.
Is Chong Pang Nasi Lemak the best Nasi Lemak in Singapore? Judging from the long queue for their fried chicken wings, many people seem to think so. But I probably will not go all the way up north just for nasi lemak. Oh cravings, look what you have done!
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I hardly go up North just for food, it’s just more convenient to meet in town, or even to travel to the other end of Singapore for the best food places in the East. So please let me know if there is any good food that I must try in the North.
Hawker Food Review
Chong Pang Nasi Lemak
447 Sembawang Road
Tel: +65 6756 0048
Open: 5pm – 7 am