Let’s check out Nasi Don Japanese Nasi Lemak at Raffles City with a dine-in. The establishment is nestled within the bustling confines of Raffles City shopping mall’s Food Junction food court, located within the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District (CBD).
Notably, Nasi Don first started out as a Japanese Nasi Lemak hailing from its original branch at 872C Tampines Street 86. In a nutshell, the establishment weaves a tapestry of flavors echoing influences from both Japanese and Malay cuisines.
Cross-culture Asian Nasi Lemak
The store presents a unique culinary experience under the guise of its unassuming moniker- they are simply just called “Japanese Nasi Lemak” in the food court here. Intriguingly, this establishment is managed by the Nasi Don brand, offering a delightful assortment of meat staples harmoniously paired with the iconic nasi lemak.
An evolution of fusion cuisine is evident, one of the intriguing twists that the Japanese Nasi Lemak presents is their take on coconut rice. Departing from tradition, their dishes uses Japanese sticky rice instead of the more typical long-grain variety here. We had seen other establishment also applying this fusion of Japanese rice with Asian flavors, like Ding Tai Fung with their fried rice, and affordable clones such as mala fried rice meets Japanese rice for instance.
Nasi Lemak goes Oink, Moo, Cluck
Furthermore, their menu options focuses on a medley of staple meat choices ranging from fish, chicken, beef to pork. Among their highlight dishes, the Signature Pork Belly ($7.90) and Black Pepper Shabu Pork Belly ($6.90) are holds its own with succulent appeal.
Moreover, for the beef enthusiasts, their Black Pepper Beef ($7.90) variant commands attention with its generous portions and tender shredded beef strips. The beef stripes are soft, tender with a thin layer of fat running along each edge. Also, the dish features thinly shredded beef, taking its inspiration from Japanese beef-bowl concepts. This similar to those embraced by renowned chains like Yoshinoya and the more recent Sukiya Japanese fast dining.
Meanwhile, the poultry lineup comprises three enticing options. The recommended staple Garlic Chicken ($6.90) tantalizes the taste buds, while the Fried Chicken Karaage ($6.90) exudes a crispy allure of the Japanese fried-favorite. Also,the culinary journey culminates with the Chicken Leg ($7.90), rounding off the poultry offerings. It is quite a behemoth of a large juicy chicken leg in a otherwise tiny bowl.
Vast seafood menu offering
Interestingly, their seafood offerings are the larger menu offerings. Selections here includes their traditional Muah Otah ($6.90) and the Mentaiko Dory ($7.90). The latter is a remarkable blend of Asian nasi lemak, Japanese rice, and the familiarity of Western-style battered and deep-fried fish. Encased in a crispy coating, the juicy fish fillet harmonizes delightfully with the drenching of creamy mayo on its surface.
Additionally, on top of their Butter Prawns dish ($7.90), an interesting item is their Blackpink Calamari ($7.90). The dish drawing a probable nod from the popular Korean pop band. Also, this creation boasts a luscious black battered crust enveloping rings of calamari, adorned with a striking pink mayo drizzle.
Also, every Nasi Lemak dish comes accompanied by sides of Tempura Enoki Mushrooms, Daikon, and the addition of Peanuts Ikan Billis for a textural accent. All main courses also comes with a nestled Osen egg at their center, completing the Japanese flair.
Moreover, a stand-out condiment, their Sambal chili, is served alongside your dish. It imparts a delightful sweetness without overwhelming oiliness, blending harmoniously with the relatively mild coconut-flavored Japanese rice. Those sensitive to spiciness can cautiously control their spice intake by portioning out the chili as needed.
For those seeking additional variety, Nasi Don also offers optional add-ons side like edamame, corn, achar, and fried sides grace the menu. However, these selections may not be the primary choice for most diners.
Great for the price
Remarkably, the pricing structure remains accessible, with most dishes priced between $6.90 and $7.90. An option to enjoy the original Nasi Don “vanilla style” without any supplementary ingredients comes at a wallet-friendly cost of $4.90. Also, this uncomplicated “basic” rendition forgo any main staple (chicken, fish, etc), featuring just coconut rice infused with the essence of coconut and basic sides, albeit without additional embellishments.
For the discerning diner seeking customization on your dishes, you do have the option to build a personalized Nasi Lemak combination. It allows you to select of any two a-la-carte staple items for $9.90. It’s noteworthy that premium selections such as Black Pepper Beef and several seafood choices incur an additional dollar per topping.
Moreover, I found their portion sizes cater to the appetites for most without leaving you overly satiated or wanting. Ideal for a satisfying lunch, these servings might fall slightly short for those seeking a hearty dinner. Expect notable lunchtime queues, as Japanese Nasi Lemak experiences its highest footfall during this period. Operational hours mirror those of the food court, spanning both lunch and dinner slots. Interestingly, dinner hours usually see a lesser crowd, making for a more relaxed dining experience.
All in all, Nasi Don’s Japanese Nasi Lemak at Raffles City unveils a culinary journey that marries diverse influences. As a visitor, you’ll be treated to a medley of flavors that traverse the boundaries of traditional culinary realms, offering a remarkable rendezvous of Japanese and Malay cuisines.
Must Go! | Actually pretty Good | Worth Trying | Shortlist Optionally | Should Avoid
Nasi Don Raffles City Locality Map
Japanese Nasi Lemak store
Food Junction, Raffles City,
252 North Bridge Rd, #03-15/16/17,
Opening Hours: 10 am- 10 pm daily.