26 Apr 2018 - 6 min read
We know, Malaysians reallyyyyyyy love their nasi lemak – well, it’s the national dish! The last time McDonald’s Singapore announced the launch of nasi lemak burger, Malaysians went wild. But boy oh boy, wait till you check out these crazier contemporary twists to the traditional nasi lemak!
Hold tight onto your daun pisang, boys and girls. Here are nasi lemak’s alter egos that make McDonald’s Singapore’s interpretationpale in comparison.
Credit: Tiana Kitchen Facebook
Anyone’s birthday coming up soon? Happy nasi lemak cake to you!
Tiana Kitchen’s "cake" comprises coconut-infused rice and layered with slices of hard-boiled eggs before it's topped off with a spread of sambal and a garnishing of one’s choice. Not a fan of the typical anchovies and peanuts? No sweat, elevate your nasi lemak cake topping with prawn sambal, squid sambal and petai sambal.
This one takes the cake! Literally.
Credit: myBurgerLab Facebook
Meet therival to McDonald’s nasi lemak burger – thenasi lemak ayam rendang burger by myBurgerLab. It's quite the mouthful both in name and taste: the juicy fried chicken patty is drenched with rendang sauce, layered with a spread of sambal and creamy peanut butter, then topped with crunchy anchovies, pickled cucumbers and a runny egg before being sandwiched between their signature charcoal burger buns.
Tip: Though myBurgerLab pioneered our homeland nasi lemak burger, you can savor other renditions of the burger at Bowery Petit, Define:Food and of course McDonald’s Malaysia!
Uh oh, did we just hear a rumbling stomach? 👀
Credit: Fēst Facebook
In the mood for something light? The nasi lemak sandwich comes with classic nasi lemak condiments - chicken patty, cucumber, onions, egg strips, a dash of sambal and a sprinkle of toasted coconut. Get some coffee to go with the sandwich.
Credit: TujoKL Facebook
Malaysia meets Italy in this localised nasi lemak pizza. A spread of sambal is slathered onto the thin crust and topped with fried anchovies and onions, roasted peanuts and more sambal. Gotta say, it’s one of those “YAY!” or “NAY!” kind of flavors, so you’ll have to try it to find out which side your taste buds fall on!
Credit: Whimsical - Artisanal Gelato Facebook
A word of caution: take a deep, deep breath because the nasi lemak twists are starting to take a weird turn here and trust us, this is just the beginning. Phew, here we go - nasi lemak ice cream. The secret gelato base is topped with frozen peanuts, anchovies and chilli flakes to resemble our nasi lemak.
The nasi lemak gelato truly lives up to the cafe’s name - whimsical. How does the scientist behind Whimsical Gelateria turn a spicy and hot meal into a creamy, frozen version, you ask? Be bold, try it out and tell us how you like it!
Fun fact: Other equally “Wow!” flavors are taufu fa, chocolate cili padi (say what?!) and strawberry black pepper.
Credit: RUYI & LYN Facebook
Think of a bite-sized nasi lemak that’s a bit atas! RUYI & LYN’s petite nasi lemak sushi is a mound of sticky sushi rice wrapped by a thin slice of cucumber and crowned with the usual garnishes - anchovies, peanuts, tiny slices of egg and a bit of sambal for the kick.
Fun fact: Other extraordinary RUYI & LYN sushi flavors include chicken rice sushi and mango sticky rice sushi.
Credit: Seismik Makan Facebook
Wait, what?! Kit Kat in the flavour of nasi lemak? Yup, you read that right. The nasi lemak Kit Kat does not taste anything like nasi lemak, though - it’s a white chocolate-covered wafer drizzled with a sprinkle of of toasted coconut, chili flakes and peanuts. But it’s got a passable nasi lemak look, at least.
Although the foodpreneurs responsible in whipping up the following bizarre nasi lemak-inspired creations have unfortunately closed their doors, we definitely cannot miss out on giving them a shoutout!
Credit: Chasing Food Dreams
École P’s nasi lemak creme brûlée is made up of a coconut creme brûlée infused with ginger and pandan and topped off with fried anchovies, sliced cucumber and peanuts. A berry sambal is also served by the side. Well, curiosity killed the cat, but it wouldn’t kill you!
Credit: Eat Drink KL
Lepaq Lepaq Cafe’s nasi lemak cheesecake was what started the now-springing nasi lemak cake businesses. The cheesecake paid tribute to the classic nasi lemak with fried anchovies and chilli flakes sitting on top of cucumber gelatin with cream cheese and peanut butter sponge. We can’t tell if the marriage of cheese and nasi lemak works out, but we instinctively gape with open mouths.
Credit: Rebecca Saw
Chai Bar proves that you can get the best of both worlds - you can be sinful with nasi lemak and also healthy with salad. Instead of rice, the salad makes do with coconut quinoa served with nasi lemak nuances, as well as chicken breast, mixed lettuce, Japanese cucumber, egg, anchovies and dressed with sambal.
Credit: Hoppers KL Facebook
Hoppers KL introduced a modern touch to the traditional Sri Lankan hopper - nasi lemak hopper. The hopper, which looks like a bowl-shaped “pancake”, holds our nasi lemak elements well - slow-roasted chicken rendang, anchovies, peanuts, cucumbers, a drizzle of coconut flakes and sambal, of course.
Fact: Hoppers are fondly known among the locals here as appam.
Or just get the real deal lah! At the end of the day, nothing beats the good ol’ ubiquitous nasi lemak with its fragrant coconut milk-infused rice, crispy ikan bilis, fried peanuts, sliced cucumber, a dollop of fiery sambal and an egg of your choice - boiled, over easy or sunny-side up. Oh dear, now we’re craving a plate of nasi lemak!