Location: Across OG Mall, Albert Street, Bugis, Singapore
No, I am not here to talk about the legendary Singaporean Laksa, where the name literally means a thousand flavors. Singapore is like a bedrock of many cuisines ~ and Malay cuisine is no exception. When you’re in Singapore, and you want to unlock its cuisine that tells so much about its history, try the Nasi Lemak. And where do you find the best Nasi Lemak, stripped to the bare minimum and authenticity? You’ll find it at Dragon Tree Katong Laksa.
Dragon Tree Katong Laksa can be found directly across the OG Mall at Albert Street in Bugis Junction. It’s just a very very small stall, but you’ll be surprised with this hole in a wall.
Photo credits: Foursquare
In Malay, Nasi Lemak literally means “fatty rice”, but its meant out of context for the rice to be creamy and rich hence “coconut rice”. It used to be served for breakfast, but nowadays everyone can eat it at any time of the day. Traditionally, Nasi Lemak is served with coconut rice, Ikan Bilis or anchovies, roasted peanuts, Sambal spicy sauce and hard boiled egg all wrapped in pandan leaves. Nowadays, Nasi Lemak has been transformed into a more fulfilling dish, with fried chicken or beef rendang sometimes accompanying the dish.
Here at Dragon Tree Katong Laksa, they take things at a minimum, which you’ll find out later. Best if you order a cup of Kopi-O. This reminds me of a Filipino breakfast.
The Nasi Lemak is steamed before it’s served. You can also order this dish for to-go.
At Dragon Tree Katong Laksa, the Nasi Lemak has coconut rice, Ikan Bilis, dried fish herring and the Sambal spicy sauce. I love the coconut rice. This is just rice cooked with coconut milk. The coconut taste is just subtle and the rice is steaming hot and fragrant. Pairing this with the Sambal and it’s a Malay dream. I’m a huge fan of spices especially when the rest of the accompaniments are just bared.
I can’t imagine eating this with fried chicken or any other else. I like it just like this.
Otah or Otak-Otak: 鲤鱼包
Otak-otak is actually a cake made of a mixture of fish paste, coconut milk and spices, sometimes scallions. Commonly known in Singapore as “Otah”, you can pair this with your Nasi Lemak also at Dragon Tree Katong Laksa.
The Otah is chewy in texture with a hint of spice and is often eaten for a snack with bread or rice. I think this is best paired with coconut rice. The combination is just great.
Sambal: Hot Spicy Sauce
One interesting thing to note is how the Sambal sauce strings everything together as one cohesive dish. One moment the texture is just dry fragrant rice then bam! there’s the touch of spice of the Sambal. Sambal is made of pounded chilis and in traditional Malay cuisine, made along with shrimp paste. Some say the Sambal is the most important element in the Nasi Lemak and you can never make a mistake with the Sambal.
For any of you heading to Singapore for a food trip, I’d recommend you to stop by Dragon Tree Katong Laksa and have the authentic Nasi Lemak.
Stay tuned at Candid Cuisine
We’ve set our taste buds on Ng Ah Sio Pork Rib Soup Eating House’s Bak Kut Teh and the Nasi Lemak of Dragon Tree Katong Laksa, and that’s basically the heritage of Singapore that’s rarely touched by many. Let’s unlock Singapore in the wide variety of cuisines that it is today, a foodie’s haven. Get ready for a Japanese royal’s meal, a celebrity chef, some unlimited basket dumplings and the ever Candid Cuisine trademark, ramen. All of this soon at Candid Cuisine.
Dragon Tree Katong Laksa 樹龍 Rating:
|Taste and Originality:||(3.5 / 5)|
|Customer Experience:||(3.0 / 5)|
|Value for Money:||(4.0 / 5)|
|Brick and Mortar:||(2.5 / 5)|
|Average:||(3.3 / 5)|
Check out the rest of Candid Cuisine’s Singapore Series:
Singapore Airlines Inflight Economy Cuisine
Food Republic Suntec City
Lau Pa Sat
Crystal Jade Steamboat and Xiao Long Bao Buffet, Holland Village
Din Tai Fung
Ng Ah Sio Bak Kut Teh
Dragon Tree Katong Laksa