Nasi padang dishes are prepared in a hot, dry style of cooking unique to Indonesian cuisine, and are rich in flavour and aroma. Singapore’s local nasi padang stalls however, have made a name for themselves by consciously blending healthier alternatives such as less salt added in dishes and bigger vegetable portions into their overall spread.
Nasi padang dishes are typically shared like a mini buffet with friends or family, each member helping himself to his personal favourites and placing a scoop of everything on his plate of rice. The most popular nasi padang stall in Singapore is Hajjah Maimunah Nasi Padang in the Kampong Glam district, which provides a homely dining experience that’s perfect for big groups wanting to sample a wide range of dishes.
But you don’t have to go the Kampong Glam or Geylang areas of Singapore to try this Malay-Indonesian fare; there are numerous nasi padang outlets dotting the city, even in places like the CBD, where lunchtime patrons flock to well-known outlets for their regular nasi padang fix.
When you arrive at a nasi padang stall, you’ll be confronted with an array of dishes displayed in a glass-panelled counter. Do not be intimidated by this sight; just point at the dish you fancy having (or ask the stall helper for recommendations) and you’ll be promptly served. This is often the best-value-for-money value meal you’ll find during your time in Singapore.