(Closed) Route 12 – Nasi Lemak with a Big Fried Sotong
Previously, we tried the lobster nasi lemak which went viral on social media. Now, there’s sotong nasi lemak. Sounds normal? It does, except that this nasi lemak comes with a HUGE deep fried squid that’s worthy of our attention.
Route 12 isn’t actually a highway. The owner, Faz, named his shop after a cafe with the same name, which is found along a road in Khao Kho, Thailand. Perhaps you’ll like to make a trip there when you visit northern Thailand. It does not take a plane ride to get to this shop, but you might need a map. Route 12 is hidden in an unassuming coffeeshop along Pahang Street. If it helps, try spotting Faz’s iconic black motorbike which is parked along the main road adjacent to the coffeeshop.
By dusk, the coffeeshop would have filled up with patrons and motorcyclists from all walks of life. Dining in the same space as them sure made me feel like I was part of a biker gang.
Ready for some good ol’ biker grub? My friends and I were stunned by the Nasi Lemak Sotong King ($20). The highlight was obviously the whole fried squid which was the centre of attention. Not only was the nasi lemak a sight to behold, it was delightfully perfumed with the characteristic aroma of pandan and coconut. If we talk just about nasi lemak rice, the basmati grains here take the cake. The natural green shade of the grains is derived from pandan leaves. A good amount of santan (coconut milk) and onion are then added to create an ambrosial scent and flavour. After you’ve tried the rice, I urge you to eat it with their homemade sambal chilli. This tantalising blend of sweet and savoury chilli will bring the nasi lemak to the next level. You can use it as a dip for your egg slices or fish cake as well. I felt that the chilli could have packed more heat though.
Look at the size of that sotong! Faz sources for squids that are imported from either Taiwan, Brazil or Africa. Unlike the normal sotong, the sotong used here has a longer head. How can anyone resist devouring the whole squid? Patrons can cut up the squid with the scissors provided. There’s definitely more than enough squid for a group of 3.
Inspired by his travels, Faz brings together Thai and Malaysian cuisines to create a harmonious pairing of nasi lemak and giant fried squid. The sotong is first coated in a homemade batter, before it is fried to a perfect crisp. The squid that we had was tender, firm, springy, and not too chewy.
Like the sotong, the chicken wings are coated in a homemade batter, and fried. I felt slightly guilty for neglecting the chicken wings until much later as I was preoccupied with the rice and squid. However, the chicken wings retained a crispy exterior that crumbled satisfyingly in our mouths. Remember to dip it in the sambal chilli!
You might recall KFC’s launch of double down which caused a ruckus amongst fast food junkies. Faz takes guilty pleasure to a whole new level with their Route 12 Hotrod ($9), which owes its origins to KFC in the Philippines. Think a fat and juicy cheese sausage sandwiched between two thick fried chicken cutlets. There’s no way to eat the hotrod except to chomp it down like a beast. The hotrod will no doubt give KFC’s double down a run for their money.
Route 12’s smooth Signature Thai Milk Tea ($4) comes in a re-sealable plastic bag. If you can’t finish it, you can take it away easily.
Route 12 delivers scrumptious halal food options that warrant return visits. Faz and his wife also serve a variety of side dishes, which includes quail, to pair with their nasi lemak.
Address: 12 Pahang St, Singapore 198613
Phone: 8687 3371
Opening Hours: Mondays and Tuesdays 6pm to 11pm. Wednesdays to Fridays 12.30pm to 2pm, 6pm to 11pm. Weekends 1.30pm to 11pm daily.
MissTamChiak.com made anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.