Madam Lim’s Nasi Lemak: Delicious Ayam Berempah and Beef Rendang at Holland Drive

May 14, 2024

While I was savoring my breakfast of nasi lemak at Hon Ni in Bedok, the stall owner, Jackie, mentioned a disciple of hers had recently graduated from the Hawkers’ Development Programme and opened her own stall at Holland Drive Market & Food Centre. This introduction led me to discover Madam Lim’s Nasi Lemak.

Jackie insisted, “You must try it! The husband and wife team, Felicia and Tiong How, are truly passionate about their craft, and their nasi lemak is exceptional!”

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I was eager to try it, but my first couple of attempts were thwarted—one time by a broken rice cooker, another by their closing days (they are closed every Thursday and Friday, by the way). However, as the saying goes, third time’s the charm, and I finally got to try their nasi lemak.

Nestled in a quiet corner of the hawker centre, Madam Lim’s has a modest setup with three main nasi lemak offerings. Each set is centered around a different protein: ayam berempah (spiced fried chicken), beef rendang, and fried ikan kuning (yellowstripe scad). Tiong How manages the cooking, while Felicia seamlessly handles customer interactions and food preparation.

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The highlight of my visit was the Ayam Berempah Set (S$5.50). Tiong How takes special care in preparing the chicken. He marinates a boneless thigh in a vibrant blend of turmeric, curry powder, and chilli, before frying it in small batches to ensure optimal freshness and crunch. Just before removing the chicken from the oil, he adds a handful of curry leaves to the wok, infusing the poultry with a burst of flavour that complements the marinade perfectly.

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Equally compelling was the Beef Rendang Set ($7.50). The beef, stewed in a house-made rempah, was packed with flavours. It was so delicious, and the beef just melted in my mouth.

The house-made sambal stood out—slightly sweet with a hint of caramelized onion and a robust kick of chilli. It complemented the creamy, coconut-ty rice beautifully.

The sides include a perfectly-cooked sunny-side-up egg, fresh house-fried ikan bilis, and crunchy peanuts. Their attention to detail brings about a dish that is delicious, aromatic and inviting.

I’ll recommend that you visit early to avoid the lunchtime queue. And do bring some patience—everything at Madam Lim’s is prepared in small batches by just Felicia and Tiong How to ensure each dish is served fresh and hot.

Madam Lim's Nasi Lemak

Address: 44 Holland Dr, #02-01, Singapore 270044

Mobile: 8910 6726

Opening Hours: 8.30am to 1pm, closed on Thursdays and Fridays