Say goodbye to Matcha and Salted Egg, it’s Nasi Lemak’s time to take the stage. Riding on the Nasi Lemak craze sparked by MacDonald’s Nasi Lemak burger, brilliant (and some bizarre enough to make you barf!) recreations of our favourite breakfast food are popping up all over Singapore and Malaysia.
Sushi — The Maki Lemak by Maki-San
Created by Singapore’s first ever DIY-sushi store, the Maki Lemak celebrates our local Malay dish by combining Nasi Lemak elements such as crushed peanuts, fried anchovies and tempura otah with Japanese rice. Of course, not forgetting the Shiok Sambal, which Maki-San crafted from scratch and perfected after five failed attempts. Sadly, the Maki Lemak would not have the same coconutty fragrant rice that is integral any Nasi Lemak dish though they did try to make up for it with roasted desiccated coconut. Overall, this unique sushi, which has rolled out specially for the Ramadan season, is definitely worth a try!
Tea — No. 829, Nasi Lemak by Ette Tea
Move aside, English breakfast tea! And make way for what could potentially be our local breakfast tea — Nasi Lemak tea. Perhaps by drinking this every morning, you could stay slim by deceiving yourself into believing you’re having a full 800-calorie plate of Nasi Lemak for breakfast instead of just flavour-infused water. While Ette Tea’s No. 829, Nasi Lemak does not taste exactly like the real deal, it smells exactly like its namesake as it contains a unique blend of coconut flakes, dried pandan, dried chilli, and more.
Cocktail — Seah St Power Nasi Lemak by Tess Bar and Kitchen
If you think Nasi Lemak is strictly a breakfast food, think again as barman Steve Leong concocts a Nasi Lemak-inspired cocktail. Presented with a smear of sambal chili at the side of a traditional kopitiam glass cup, Seah St Power Nasi Lemak is a combination of barley (to replace the rice in Nasi Lemak), a squeeze of lemon and pandan and coconut essence. Of course, Tanqueray No. 10 gin is also added into the mix because what’s a cocktail without the alcohol? Now go on, no one’s going to judge you for having Nasi Lemak at night.
Curry puff — Nasi Lemak Chicken ‘O by Old Chang Kee
Probably the only edible thing in this list that you know is definitely going to be tasty. In this rendition of Nasi Lemak, Old Chang Kee’s trademark buttery curry puff shell is stuffed with sambal-coated chicken chunks, a wedge of hard-boiled egg, fried ikan bilis and peanuts. It was a little disappointing to find out that the curry puff shell, which was green in colour just for the Nasi Lemak Chicken ‘O, did not taste like pandan or coconut, hence shortchanging customers who were expecting that iconic fragrance of Nasi Lemak. However, it’s only priced at $2!
Gelato — Super Nasi Lemak Sundae by Swensens and Nasi Lemak Sundae by Whimsical café and Marrybrown [Malaysia]
This interesting dessert was actually on Singapore’s Swensen’s menu in 2014. It did not only taste like Nasi Lemak, it looked like the said esteemed dish too. Laying beneath the sprinkle of ikan bilis and roasted peanuts was a scoop of spicy coconut ice cream, which, according to the reviews, was the best part of the dessert. The coconut ice cream was said to be rich and creamy and its mild spiciness only kicked in at the back of your throat after the ice cream melted. However, it seems like not many people are that keen on westernising their local favourite as the Super Nasi Lemak Sundae is no longer on the menu. But, fret not, for if you are dying to try a Nasi Lemak-inspired gelato, our neighbouring country still sells it seasonally at Whimsical Café and at Marrybrown branches.
Cheesecake — Nasi Lemak Cheesecake by BOH Tea Centre [Malaysia]
Calling out to all adventurous foodies — the Nasi Lemak Cheesecake is now available just across the causeway. This dessert consists of classic cream cheese slapped on top of a firm block of glutinous rice, capped with a green jelly film (that tastes like cucumbers) and finally sprinkled with anchovies, peanuts, and chili flakes. The iconic Nasi Lemak coconut fragrance was not neglected as the bakers strategically used coconut milk in the creation of this cheesecake. However, several food reviewers have commented that the cake’s chocolate sponge base did not fit well and hence ruined the cheesecake’s attempt at emulating Nasi Lemak. Nevertheless, if you have a strong gut and have no problems accepting the sweet-savoury mix, then you should definitely try this one-of-a-kind dessert.
Chocolate — Nasi Lemak flavoured Kit Kat by Kit Kat Chocolatory [Malaysia]
KitKat does have a reputation for being subjected to mutation. Its wonderful original chocolate flavour has been modified to taste like drinks such as Plum Soda to seasoning like French Rock Salt. Now, it’s Nasi Lemak. Designed to emulate the flavour of this savoury dish in a sweeter package, the Nasi Lemak Kit Kat from the Kit Kat Chocolatory in Megamall is built with white chocolate wafers topped with toasted coconut, chili flakes and peanut bits. According to reviews, this Kit Kat tastes nothing like Nasi Lemak but well, we gotta give it to Kit Kat for trying.
Condoms?! — Nasi Lemak condoms by Karex [Malaysia]
These Nasi Lemak-flavoured condoms are here to spice up your sex life. Literally. In addition to the pandan flavour infused in the rubber, Karex has also added a warming lubricant to them to evoke that sambal-like spice when in contact with body heat. They have been reported to smell good enough to eat as well, though they function just like any other condom and are inedible. These Nasi Lemak-flavoured condoms are just one in the wide variety of wacky flavoured condoms that Karex has created, such as durian and grape.
by Rachel Lim