When you mention nasi lemak in Singapore, there are a couple famous places that you’ll hear about again and again.
One of the Singapore favorites, almost a household name when it comes to nasi lemak, is a hawker stall called Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak located at Adam Road Food Centre, which is casually referred to as Adam Road Nasi Lemak.
When I was in Singapore, I had to try it.
Adam Road Food Centre
When it comes to food hawker markets in Singapore, Adam Road Food Centre is very small, and has a nice neighborhood feel to it, surrounded by lush tress and the Botanic Gardens right across the street.
And because it’s quite small, during mealtimes it gets packed and has a small food court buzz feel to it. It’s quite a wonderful environment.
Some hawker centers in Singapore are heavily Chinese, but Adam Road has a really good mix, including lots of Malay and Indian hawker stalls.
But definitely, the stall that blows every other stall away in terms of constant customers is Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak.
Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak
Due to timing, I probably came on one of the worst days: the weekend, right at noon.
But that’s the way my schedule worked out, and I was mentally prepared for a long line of hungry people waiting. As soon as I arrived to Adam Road hawker centre, I barely even needed to look around, and I took one glance at the longest line, which literally snaked halfway across the food court, and immediately knew that was the line I needed to join.
You’ll have plenty of time to look at their menu, which is written above the stall. Their menu of nasi lemak comes with a casino theme, each plate consisting of different items.
The line took over an hour, but finally we reached the front. The staff were all friendly and nice.
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I decided to order the Royal Rumble, the biggest plate they served.
The Royal Rumble
Nasi lemak is a Malay dish of rice, which is cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves, to make it rich and fragrant.
The rice is probably the most important part of eating nasi lemak, followed by sambal, a type of chili sauce. Once you have the rice and sambal, nasi lemak can be served with a variety of different ingredients, sometimes different curries, and other times with more dry ingredients like ikan bilis (fried anchovies), fried chicken, or fried fritters.
At Adam Road Nasi Lemak they serve their nasi lemak with a mixed choice of different deep fried items, and I got the full plate with one of everything they served.
Let’s start with the rice.
The rice, which I believe was basmati rice, was long and fluffy, and very light. It was quite salty, and you could taste the coconut milk. For myself, the rice was superb, and definitely the best part of this plate.
The sambal was like a roasted chili jam. It wasn’t spicy, but more on the sweet side. I’m more of a fan of spicier, more robust sambal.
For the accompanying side dishes, the fried chicken wing, the fried mackerel, and the otak otak fish cake, I thought they were all pretty standard – nothing special – just a variety of deep fried crispy salty things.
Overall, I would probably not wait in line again to get a plate of nasi lemak. The rice was indeed delicious, but the side dishes just weren’t all that good to me.
Sometimes referred to as “gearbox” due to the bones and joints that look like a manual shift transmission, another good dish to eat at Adam Road Food Centre is sop tulang.
The soup was thick and creamy, with a hearty meat flavor to it (I think it was goat, not totally sure). The meat around the bones was both fatty and included some of the gelatinous soft and tender tendon, all with a lovely crispy shallot flavor.
There wasn’t a lot of marrow in the bones, but the little bit that was there, was excellent – buttery in texture, with a fulfilling meat taste.
The sop tulang was probably my favorite dish of our lunch at Adam Road.
To complete our meal at Adam Road Food Centre, we ordered a plate of sate, a mix of beef, mutton, and chicken.
While the sate was better than another version I had in Singapore, overall, the meat was still a little too sweet for me. But I guess that is the way it’s served, and many enjoy it like that. But just know that this type of sate is quite sweet.
What I did enjoy was the freshness of them being grilled, and they were served hot and smoky.
Watch the video of this meal below:
(Or you can watch the video on YouTube here)
Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak, known casually as Adam Road Nasi Lemak is one of the standard names in Singapore when it comes to nasi lemak. From the moment they open, they often have a long queue that never lets up until they close for the day.
I ordered the Royal Rumble, their nasi lemak plate that included everything on a single plate. The fried chicken, the egg, and the fish were all very typical, nothing special in my opinion, but the highlight was the rice, which was fluffy and light, while being rich from coconut milk and fragrant.
Overall, I honestly probably wouldn’t wait in line for an hour again for a plate of this nasi lemak, but if there wasn’t a long line, it would be worth eating a plate just for that amazing rice.
However, Adam Road Food Center itself is a great food court in Singapore where you’ll find a good variety of Malay, Indian, and Chines stalls to choose from.
Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak
Address: 2 Adam Rd, Singapore 289876, stall #2
Open Hours: Saturday – Thursday from 7 am – 5 pm, closed every Friday
Prices: Depending on the size of your plate, I got the largest plate for $5.50 SGD
How to get there: You can take the MRT to Botanic Gardens station, and it’s about a 5 minute walk to Adam Road Food Centre.
Scroll down to #21 on the map to find the location: