My Spice Affair – Wow! The Nasi Ambeng is Huge!

Yun Xin Chong
Yun Xin Chong
June 30, 2018

Tucked away in Aperia Mall is My Spice Affair, a Halal restaurant that serves authentic Malay cuisine and nasi ambeng. On a quiet Monday evening, I headed to the restaurant and got a chance to speak with the daughter of Madam Selamah, the founder of the restaurant. She told me that Madam Selamah was a street warong hawker who served Nasi Padang at Jalan Kayu and Seletar in the 1970s. Madam Selamah is known to be very fussy, making all the pastes and sauces from scratch personally to ensure the high quality of food.

nasi ambeng My Spice Affair chilli
My Spice Affair offers a wide selection of Malay dishes, which range from Nasi Ambeng to Lontong Kering. They are most famous for their Nasi Ambeng which comes in three sizes — Solo Ambeng ($12), Premium Ambeng ($28) and Jumbo Ambeng ($50). The only difference lies in the portion. As I was alone at My Spice Affair that day, I decided to play it safe and order the Solo Ambeng which is good for one or two. 

The Solo Ambeng astounded me with its sheer size. For $12, you are getting massive pieces of Chicken Lemak Chilli Padi, sambal cuttlefish, salted fish, generous sambal goreng, mixed vegetables, begedil, egg belado, grated coconut and a saucer of sambal belacan. Pretty value for money, if you ask me!

nasi ambeng My Spice Affair salted fish
nasi ambeng my spice affair collage 1
I think what makes the nasi ambeng from My Spice Affair slightly different from what’s available out there is the rare inclusion of sambal cuttlefish. As far as I know, sambal cuttlefish is not commonly seen at Malay Muslim stalls. At My Spice Affair, the sambal evenly coats the cuttlefish pieces and adds a lovely red hue to its natural sheen. You can tell that the cuttlefish, which is smooth, crunchy, and springy, is of good quality. 

The Chicken Lemak Chilli Padi was, sadly, a tad disappointing. The yellow coconut gravy was on the bland side, lacking that much needed spicy kick. But I must say that the huge chicken chunks were very gratifying. My nasi ambeng had a large chicken thigh which was super tender and meaty!
With all the spicy gravy and sambal belacan, the nasi ambeng can get quite unbearable for a spice novice like me. Luckily, the salted fish was just the perfect ingredient to balance out the spiciness of the entire dish. It had the usual stink, so if you are someone who cannot tahan strong, pungent smells, you might find the salted fish unbearable. Nicely fried with a great crisp, its potent smell and saltiness were unexpectedly effective in soothing the heat.

My Spice Affair chilli_1
The key to a good nasi ambeng might just be a worthy sambal belacan. And, the sambal belacan from My Spice Affair was one of the better ones I have tasted. Its acidity and tanginess were refreshing, and cut through the ‘heaviness’ of the meatier items. Not to mention, it was also unbelievably spicy. Shiok ah!

nasi ambeng My Spice Affair egg
nasi ambeng My Spice Affair tempeh
While the sambal cuttlefish and Chicken Lemak Chilli Padi contributed the most to the nasi ambeng’s taste profile, the rest of its components were rather lacklustre. The dense begedil and subpar mixed vegetables could use a little work, perhaps.

Although there were more misses than hits, My Spice Affair still deserves a thumbs up for its owner’s continual dedication to serving up quality nasi ambeng at affordable prices!

My Spice Affair

Address: 12 Kallang Ave, Aperia Mall #02-11

Phone: 6702 2785

Opening Hours: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: 10am to 9pm. Closed on Thursday to Sunday.

Facebook: made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.

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