One of the most popular nasi lemak stalls in Singapore, Ponggol Nasi Lemak is famous for the large variety of side dishes it serves. Some of the side dishes available are chicken wings, vegetable curry, fried long beans, fried sotong balls and otak. Fans of this outlet rave about its juicy yet crispy chicken wings. But be prepared for the waiting time as long queues often form during meal times.
Punggol Nasi Lemak Centre Hot
Slightly overrated but delicious nonetheless
Each time I mention this place to my friends, they never fail to tell me that this place is overrated and that it's not worth it coming here for our meal. I have to admit that this place is, indeed, slightly overrated and definitely not worth the long waiting time while queuing, but I also cannot deny that I really like the Nasi Lemak here.
I always make it a point to order the otah and the chicken wings - the chicken wings are really, absolutely mouth-watering. Though it's a bit too overpriced (perhaps because it is, after all, overrated), it's still delicious nonetheless. Most of the time the chicken wings are still crispy by the time it's your turn, although sometimes it might be a little cold. The rice is only average, sometimes the rice isn't too well cooked but most of the time it tastes as good as it smells.
I would recommend eating you once in awhile, but not too often - not just because it's unhealthy but because the wait while in the queue could be frustrating especially when there's no air-con here. It's a good supper venue though, many people still come here past midnight even though it's not that ideally located.
User reviews View all user reviews
User Ratings Summary
User rating summary from: 12 user(s)
Best Nasi Lemak in Singapore - with a twist
Punggol Nasi Lemak doesn’t sell the typical Nasi Lemak we Singaporeans are used to - fried fish, egg, chilli, cucumber and pandan rice. Instead, it is akin to a tze char, where customers are able to select their own dishes to add to their Pandan rice. There are 3 Punggol Nasi Lemak outlets in Singapore, one at Tanjong Katong, Kovan and Jalan Besar. Although the one at Jalan Besar is air-conditioned unlike the other two, the food there is slightly inferior.
My family and I love eating at Punggol Nasi Lemak and would often order our take-away dinner there. My favourite is their fried french beans and eggplant as they have very unique and rich flavours. However, their food is rather pricey while the conditions of the eatery are equivalent to a tze char coffeeshop. For eg, my dinner usually costs >$10. On the whole, I strongly recommend Punggol Nasi Lemak as their food is too good to miss!
The stall is easily recognisable along the shophouses due to the long queues of patrons. I am a food lover myself hence I do not really mind the queue. However, the disappointment hit me when I had to pay at least twice the amount of money for its Nasi Lemak compared to the normal ones.
Of course, good food comes with a "great" price. Pun intended. The items offered not were unique, neither do they require special preparations. I felt very cheated when I was charged a few dollars short to 10sgd for a plate of nasi lemak. After savoring the whole plate of Nasi Lemak and making sure I did not waste a single cent, I must say the rice was really fragrant and it surely won the hearts of many patrons. The other dishes were pretty average in my opinion.
Well, it is always worth a try especially it is located a stone throw away from the North East Line Mrt Station (Kovan Station) and Heartland Mall. If you are caught in a rainy weather, I guess you will have to give it a miss then.
Worth its name
I think people bother to queue for so long for a plate of nasi lemak because they are loyal believers of its taste and its value for money. Compared to normal plates of nasi lemak at typical hawker centres, I think Punggol nasi lemak is way better and deserves its reputation.
The rice is fragrant, the chicken wings are crispy and delicious, and the vegetables are fresh and not too oily. I personally do not mind the long waiting time (honestly is it really that long? Compared to queuing to buy popcorn at a cinema, I think this is much faster) because I also believe that good things come at a price.
Try it out. Queue for it. If you don't like it, you don't have to return. But if you do, you'll understand why people still bother to queue.
Don't understand why people queue for this
My interior designer shop was near this stall and when I was renovating my previous flat, I had to visit my interior designer a few times. I had always seen the long queue and had also heard about this stall so during one of my visits to my interior designer shop, I stopped to queue for my nasi lemak.
After tasting the nasi lemak, I could not understand what everyone was queuing for. The chili and ikan bilis was not bad and the rice did have the nasi lemak taste but all this was expected. I thought that after the long queue, I would have worked up an appetite and any food would taste good, but I was a bit disappointed. So, don't go there with too high expectations, may be then you won't be so disappointed.
To long a queue.
Every time my dad drives past this place, all I see are long queues that don't seem to be moving at all. I have been to this place several times, as it is rather near my place. I normally have to queue for about half an hour and to me, the wait is really agonizing.
However, on a bright note, the food here is really good. My usual order is the sunny side egg, fried chicken and the heavenly ikan bilis. The egg is really good as the egg yolk is very runny. The ikan bilis is also sweet tasting and together with the fragrant rice, the nasi lemak here is heavenly. While I love the food here, the queue is long enough to deter me from coming back here again.
Worth the price but hated the queues
Just had this for dinner yesterday since I happened to be around the vicinity. Yes, the nasi lemak might be a little expensive, taking yesterday for example, with 3 packs (with an average of 4 dishes each) costing $17.10 but it used to be worst. Now that prices for each dish was indicated, I've more confidence in buying from Punggol Nasi Lemak as compared to before. Had a bad experience here years ago when dining with family. My aunt and mother were in one after another in queue, ordered the same dishes but charged differently!
Nonetheless, I love Punggol Nasi Lemak for their fragrant rice, their crispy chicken wings (especially if just fried) and their hei bee hiam (spicy grounded dried shrimps). Their hei bee hiam in particular is crunchy and spicy enough, though a little oily for me.
Be aware of the long queues in the evenings (I had as many as 10 people in front of me queuing yesterday) as well as the difficulty to find parking nearby. Do also note that Punggol Nasi Lemak closes on every Thursday (I've had made enough fruitless trips down on Thursday myself to remember their rest day by heart).
Expensive nasi lemak
Not the best nasi lemak around. I am not a fan of nasi lemaks because I don't take chilli and usually the best part of the nasi lemak is its rice and chilli. Punggol nasi lemak only opens after 6pm hence people usually head there for dinner or supper. The queue is extremely long especially during dinner time but they usually serve customers really quickly.
The dishes which I normally order include fried chicken wings, egg, anchovy and luncheon meat. The coconut rice is very fragrant and not too oily, which I really appreciate. The fried chicken wings are well marinated and fried till golden perfection. I love their anchovies as it Has a unique sweet and salty taste to it. Other than that, the other dishes are nothing to shout about. On average, each plate of rice with 3-4 dishes is about $5+ which is rather costly in my opinion.
One of the more famous and reputed eateries in Singapore, Ponggol Nasi Lemak is also one of the most popular. Dinner tables can be hard to come by, and there are plenty of people who make daily pilgrimages to Kovan just to have their Nasi Lemak fix.
I have ate here on several occasions, and unfortunately, I wasn't very impressed with the quality of food here. Despite being heralded as the 'King' by some, I felt that it was rather average, and sometimes even too oily. The chicken wings are really good, I have to give them credit for that, but everything else just pales in comparison.
It's good every once in a while, but in my opinion, it isn't worth the premium price you pay.
Good place for a quick supper fix
Punggol Nasi Lemak is a decent place to have supper at affordable price. One of the few stalls which opened late into the night in Serangoon. However, the food is above average but not really up to expectation. When I went to patronise their stall, they ran out of eggs and we have to wait for 15 minutes before the fresh batch of eggs are ready.
Parking is also a hassle as there are only a few parking lots around. Although this may not be the best Nasi Lemak in town, it is quite a decent meal and points should be given for opening till late. I would recommend this place if you happen to be around that area and have supper cravings.
Good but not great.
Whenever passing by the Katong area, I would always notice really long queues at the stall, which even spills onto the pavement. Despite the daily crowd, I feel the Nasi Lemak is really nothing much to rave about. I must agree, though, that the rice is really fragrant, with a distinct taste of the sweetness of the coconut. Ponggol’s chicken wings are said to be very tasty and popular, but it didn’t really leave an impression on me. It is quite small in size, and although definitely tasty, I felt it tasted normal and was nothing exceptional. What I really love was the homemade sambal. Its harmonizing sweetness and spiciness really won me over, and I could never resist buying home a small jar after each visit.
What’s keeping me from frequenting the stall is the steep price. A plate of rice with 3 regular sides costed $6, while I could get the same at other places for under $4. The place is also quite small with limited seating, so take-aways are generally more popular. The delicious sambal is definitely worth the occasional visit though!