Punggol Nasi Lemak Centre
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!