Nasi Beringin – Bringing Back a Dish that was Served to Sultans in the 1890s
Introduced in the late 1890s, Nasi Beringin was popularised within the compounds of the Johor Royalties. The sultans regularly had this dish in his feasts especially when guests were invited to dine in the palace. It was also called the Nasi Bering Harum (Fragrant Beringin Rice) as the scent from lemongrass, ginger and pandan leaves never fails to invigorate one’s palate.
Mr Fahmi Rahaman has been a cook for many years. He recently set up a stall at Yishun Park Hawker Centre with Mr Afnan Khairul, selling Nasi Beringin. So how does Nasi Beringin taste like? Many say it is a cross between Nasi Lemak and Nasi Briyani, and served with traditional favourites such as the Ayam Masak Merah, Rendang, and Achar.
Here, you are given a wide selection of sides to choose from — chicken, squid, fish, prawn, and beef in various sizes (lite, double, triple). They also provide 3 different sauces.
Masak Merah : sambal mixed with tomato puree.
Rendang : Mr Rahaman learnt the recipe from a kampong.
Kroma : a sauce made from coriander, cumin, coconut, curry and chili.
I ordered two of the more popular dishes, the Prawn ($9.00) and Chicken ($5.80), both in ‘Double’.
I was so surprised to see 6 huge prawns on my Prawn Nasi Beringin. Not only were the prawns huge, but they were also well cooked and extremely fresh. The side of cucumbers and onions added a refreshing crunch. The dish comes complete with a special sambal belachan and a piece of papadum.
I had my prawns with the masak merah sauce and the sauce complemented the prawns perfectly.
Like the Prawn Nasi Beringin, the Chicken Nasi Beringin was a star. On the plate lay two fried chicken wings that were as impressive as the prawns. Beneath the very crispy skin was very tender and juicy meat. And when you think that it can’t get any better than this, dip the wings into the rendang sauce. You’ll know what I’m talking about.
I preferred the masak merah sauce to the rendang, especially when eaten with rice. Mr Khairul explained that the sauces are served in a separate bowl to cater to every individual’s personal preferences.
Mr Rahaman explained that nasi beringin was mainly served to the Sultans in Johor in the 1890s. Guests who visited the palace would also be presented with the dish. After a while, the dish disappeared and Mr Rahaman realised that no one was selling it. Therefore, he decided to master the recipe and bring the dish to Singapore.
Even after a few days, I still found myself craving for nasi beringin. If you’re ever near Yishun, and will like to try something new, you know where to go for a satisfying meal.
Address: 51 Yishun Avenue 11, Singapore, 768867
Opening Hours: 11am to 9pm daily. Closed for Friday Prayers from 1pm- 2pm
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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