Muslim Nasi Padang – Rice and Curry in Singapore

By Mark Wiens 30 Comments
Padang chicken curry
Chicken curry at Nasi Padang restaurant in Singapore

When you travel, sometimes the circumstances don’t always work out for you to eat wherever you wanted to, or wherever you had planned to eat.

Things happen, you get really hungry, your directions don’t seem to match up… all sorts of unplanned things happen.

Yes some of my most memorable meals are a result of no planning, but just stopping in at the nearest restaurants (that looks good of course).

My wife Ying and I were in Singapore to attend an event, but we had our first morning and lunch free, and we decided to walk around a bit, and find something for lunch.

traveling to Singapore
Walking around Singapore

Walking around, I wanted to find a few places on my list, but the sun was hot, we were running out of time… and my wife was getting really really hungry (ok, I was too).

We were in Chinatown, so I was desperately trying to search where we should eat, and then I was contemplating do we eat at this stall, or this stall, or the restaurant 5 minutes ago that we just walked past.

While we were crossing the bridge over a road, I caught, out of the corner of my eye, a restaurant one flight of steps above the elevated walkway, and it looked to be the type of restaurant – busy with people feasting – that I wanted to eat at immediately.

The restaurant: Warung Aneka Rasa – Muslim Nasi Padang.

So Ying and I sat down for lunch.

Nasi Padang in Singapore
Nasi Padang restaurant in Singapore

Nasi Padang

Padang is a city on the Western coast of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Nasi, means rice, so nasi Padang, is rice and an assortment of curries and dishes originating from Padang.

Back in 2009, when I first moved to Southeast Asia, I traveled to Sumatra, and Nasi Padang was one of my first memories of the joys of Indonesia cuisine, and a meal that I loved and ate just about everyday I was in Sumatra.

Padang food is very similar to Malay food, and there is a large population of Sumatrans in Singapore, making Nasi Padang a very popular meal throughout Singapore.

Nasi Padang, according to CNN, is one of the must eat dishes in Singapore, and certainly for me, it’s a meal I don’t miss.

Muslim Nasi Padang
Muslim Nasi Padang restaurant in Singapore

Warung Aneka Rasa – Muslim Nasi Padang

At first I didn’t know where we were, but after finishing our lunch, I figured out the restaurant we chose to eat at, Warung Aneka Rasa – Muslim Nasi Padang, was at a mall called the People’s Park Complex, located in Chinatown, Singapore.

People's Park Complex
People’s Park Complex in Singapore

The restaurant was setup just like any and all Nasi Padang restaurants, all the dishes precooked, and waiting to be ordered.

Ying chose a table on the outside of the restaurant, sort of on the walkway of the building, with an open air view overlooking the road, while I went up to the front of the buffet line to choose our plates.

nasi Padang
The plate I got for Ying

For my wife, I got her a plate of rice, topped with squid, a piece of fried fish, and stir fried bean sprouts.

The fish was a fish steak, that was deep fried to a crisp, and probably seasoned with turmeric. It was similar to southern Thai turmeric fried fish, but a little different.

Nasi Padang in Singapore
Samabl squid at Muslim Nasi Padang, Singapore

The dish I really loved that my wife got was the sambal squid – bite sized pieces of squid that were cooked in thick chili sauce. It was slightly spicy, rich with flavor, and the squid was nice and tender.

Sambal squid is one of my favorite Malay / Indonesian dishes, and when I was at the buffet counter choosing what to order, I noticed that this sambal squid was almost finished for the day – s0 when I ordered it, she scooped up the last serving.

I’m glad we got it, it was probably my favorite dish.

Nasi Padang
Beauty on a plate

I got a plate that included a main portion of chicken curry, which came with lots of curry gravy on top, plus a scoop of what I think was a type of ikan bilis – peanuts fried with fish, although this was mostly peanuts with just a few fish scattered within.

stink beans
Anchovies fried with stink beans

On this trip to Singapore, the season for stink beans, my ultimate favorite natural ingredient, was just finishing. But in the greasy display cabinet, I saw spotted the little green beauties, and I didn’t hesitate to order them.

Unfortunately, I’m assuming because the stink bean season was over, the dish included mostly anchovies (not bad), but just a few stink beans. It was a little sweeter than I had hoped for, but the dish was still good.

Singapore street food
Nasi Padang in Singapore

The chicken was a little on the dry side, but the sauce made up for it.

The sauce was thick and rich, oily from the coconut milk, and packed with flavor. Mixing all that gravy and bites of chicken together with the other dishes on my plate, made me smile with every bite.

Conclusion

Warung Aneka Rasa – Muslim Nasi Padang is a restaurant located at Singapore’s People’s Park Complex, that serves Padang style rice and curry and Malay food as well.

On my latest short trip to Singapore, my wife and I were just walking around, and we happen to stumble into this restaurant as I’m a huge lover of Nasi Padang, and all kinds of rice and curry.

The food, was excellent, especially the chicken curry and the sambal squid.

If you’re in Singapore’s Chinatown, and looking for Nasi Padang, this is a good lunch restaurant.

At the end of this particular trip to Singapore, I visited Geylang Serai Hawker Centre for the first time, an entire glorious food court of Indonesian food stalls – more about this soon.

Muslim Nasi Padang

Address: People’s Park Complex Food Centre, 32 New Market Road, Singapore 050032
Open hours: 9 am – 10 pm daily, I can’t confirm these hours completely, but I do know they should be open and busy for lunch
Prices: $13 SGD ($9.62 US)

30 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Mike

    5 years ago

    Hi mike y only 1 food video about sg?????

  • yogha chaniago

    6 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    Nasi Padang is one of the best food that I eat almost everyday in Indonesia.
    if you come back to Indonesia again, you can try “Teh Telur” (Egg Tea) that’s beverage is complety nice while you eat Nasi Padang

    see you at Indonesia Mark and enjoy the food…

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hi Yogha, great to hear from you, thank you very much for the tips. I would love to go back to Indonesia again!

  • Mita

    6 years ago

    Hi mark..just saw your video today. Just love the way you enjoy food.

  • Benjamin

    6 years ago

    Hey Mark there are plenty of food to eat beside nasi padang in Singapore, we have tons of local food you can try at affordable price 🙂 i can give you address if happen you coming to Singapore again for food hunting.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Thank you Benjamin, I’ll let you know if I can make it to Singapore again.

  • Chris

    6 years ago

    Hi , you should check out Maxwell food centre , there’s more varieties.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Thanks Chris, I did go there once, but so many things to choose from. Do you have any recommendations once in Maxwell?

  • Lee

    6 years ago

    is it possible to meet up? Been following ur YouTube journey, Singaporean here!

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Lee, good to hear from you, thank you for follow. I’m not in Singapore anymore, but I’m hoping to come back again soon, and hope to meet you then.

  • Maja

    6 years ago

    You can find lots of tasty food in Singapore 🙂

  • Lucas Khoo

    6 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    Are you back in Singapore now? If so, you must try wanton mee and do a video review of it. I am absolutely positive that you will love it. The stall you should go to is called Guangzhou Mian Shi Wanton Noodle. I think this dish is right up your alley because of the hot springy duck egg noodles, powerful chili sauce, and juicy wantons that make the dish wonderful.
    the adress and information can be found on the yelp website I listed below.
    http://www.yelp.com.sg/biz/guangzhou-mian-shi-wanton-noodle-singapore

    PS: you must ask for extra chilli sauce

    • Sulasno

      6 years ago

      I have yet to see a one tonne noodle stall in Bangkok serving dried mee with nice chilly sauce.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hi Lucas, thank you very much for the suggestion. I’m not in Singapore anymore, but I hope to return again in the near future, and I will remember to check this place out – sounds delicious.

  • Shah

    6 years ago

    Hey Mark,

    While in Singapore, you have got to try the Nasi Padang at Rumah Makan Minang located at 18 Kandahar Street (just next to the historic Sultan Mosque). Preferably be there by 11.30am latest. Sit upstairs where there is air-conditioning.

    Must try:
    Beef rendang
    Sambal sotong
    Ayam panggang
    Bergedil
    Kahlio ayam
    Ayam balado

    Down it all with a glass of cold lime juice or Teh-O ice.

    Rgds,
    Shah 🙂

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Awesome, thank you for the recommendation Shah. I’m not in Singapore anymore, but I will be back for sure!

  • russel

    6 years ago

    “ikan bilis”, I’ve always wanted to know the name of that. Thanks. It’s used almost like a condiment, or at the most, a side-dish. By the way, Padang is on the west coast of Sumatra, not the east, as is stated in the introduction. That plate of food is just “mouth-watering”…….it looks sooooooooooooooooooo good!!!

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Russel, thanks, glad you found the name of this dish. Have you spent some time in Indonesia? Oh yah, my mistake, thanks, will change that now!

      • russel

        6 years ago

        I’ve been to Java, Sulawesi (only Makassar), southern Maluku, and West Papua. I also travel to eat (and eat “like a shark”, plate after plate), but I was truly disappointed in the overall lack of quality and accessibility of good Indonesian food, and I’m easy to please. That’s what struck me most about those photos in this review. You can tell that the quality & execution of the cooking is exceptional. Serving makan Padang in a place as affluent and competitive as Singapore means that the chefs must have their “best game on”. The only consistently decent food I had was in Ambon, along the streets at night at a table, or in the tented warungs. I was told that most of these cooks were from Madura Island in Java, perhaps they are known for their cooking. Even Jakarta was a disappointment as far as food goes. NOTHING like KL or BKK. Thanks.

        • Mark Wiens

          6 years ago

          Hi Russel, thank you for sharing your experience – that’s a very interesting observation. I spent about 1 month in Sumatra, Java, and Bali, about 7 years ago, so I’m eager to go back again.

  • Sulasno

    6 years ago

    Try here https://youtu.be/0rkRIaFWQXQ

  • De’Jav

    6 years ago

    The plate looks amazing. Some of the best meals have been those that I’ve happen to just find not through recommendations.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey De’Jav, great to hear that’s the case with you too!

  • Paolo

    6 years ago

    I have tried nasi padang in Penang. It’s similar to malaysian nasi kandar but spicier. I love it.

    • Mark Wiens

      6 years ago

      Hey Paolo, nasi kandar is another great form of rice and curry, I love that too.

  • Sigurdur Bjorgvinsson @redheadexplorer

    6 years ago

    Looks incredibly tasty, planning in advance where to go to eat is to predictable. Sometimes the best food is the one we simply stumble upon.