Ar-Rina Nasi Padang – Bukit Batok Dwellers Love Their Nasi Lemak!
Did you know that nasi lemak was once dubbed by Time Magazine as one of 10 healthiest breakfast dishes worldwide? It sure came as a shocker to us Singaporeans. But healthy or not, such news would not curb our voracious appetites for the Malay staple food. We chanced upon Ar-Rina Nasi Padang, an unassuming stall located within a coffee shop in Bukit Batok, which is allegedly home to delicious nasi lemak and nasi padang.
Ar-rina Nasi Padang starts selling their nasi lemak as early as 6 in the morning. For $3.50, the Nasi Lemak comes with the usual medley of fried ikan bilis & peanut, chicken wing as well as an egg. The star of the show was the fragrant rice. While the grains were not as rich as I had hoped, the coconut fragrance really came through. The short grains remained fairly moist and nicely separate as well. Add a dollop of sambal chilli to give the rice a pleasant, light kick. Second to the rice was the chicken wing, which was seasoned decently. Owing to the fact that the chicken wings were prepared in the wee hours of the day, the outer crust of the chicken did lack that crispiness when it was served to us (we were there at 10am). Portion-wise, Ar-Rina was generous with their servings. Overall, the nasi lemak was pretty ordinary, but hey, it was a good enough breakfast for the folks of Bukit Batok. Next time, we will be sure to head back at 7 in the morning to try their freshly made nasi lemak!
While some of the Bukit Batok dwellers have raved about the nasi lemak, we could not resist also trying their nasi padang. For $7, we fetched ourselves a pretty decent portion of chicken rendang, stingray fish, curry vegetables atop short–grain rice. Unfortunately, the texture and taste of the chicken rendang was far from ideal. Unlike the fork-tender meat you get in a good rendang, the rendang ($3) here was slightly tough and stringy. The meat and the sauce felt like two separate elements which failed to come together. We were not impressed with the mildly–flavoured stingray as well, which was tough and dry. We suspect that the fish could have been overcooked. The only saving grace of the nasi padang was the curry vegetables, which arrived soft and lemak enough. A word of caution: If you have ordered either the stingray or the rendang, be prepared for a fiery experience.
Epok epok served at Ar-Rina Nasi Padang goes for a mere 50 cents. Now, isn’t that cheap? The epok epok here however will qualify as a below average snack. The crust of these Malay curry puff was slightly stale, which might mean that the epok epok – like the nasi lemak – was prepared earlier in the morning. Each epok epok comes either in potato or sardine filling, both of which were unfortunately unmemorable. The former was pretty sweet, while the latter was unpleasantly tart. This version pales in comparison to the one at MakanBoleh, located at Seah Im Food Centre.
It is difficult to decide whether Ar-Nina Nasi Padang is really worth the visit. However, if you are willing to sacrifice your sleep and drop by to try their nasi lemak early in the morning when the food is freshly made, do share with us your thoughts about this stall!
Ar-Rina Nasi Padang
Address: 155 Bukit Batok Street 11, Singapore 650155
Opening Hours: 6.30am to 9pm daily.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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