In Singapore famous coffee shops or hawker stalls are usually named after their original location. The place that first made them famous. So it can be a little confusing to people who don’t know about this. For instance, Nasi Padang River Valley (Malay dish consisting of rice plus an array of dishes you can chose from) is not at River Valley Road but at Zion Road. This coffeeshop is actually located just opposite Great World City.
B raves about this Nasi Padang at Zion Road. Me not as much, as I like my curries thicker and not so watery. I think probably the best item is the beef rendang and since I don’t eat beef I don’t partake of this. He told me that this place is so famous that the recipe for the dishes are kept locked in a safe.
To a foreigner the photos may not look very appetising, but to a local who is a fan of the place, I am sure it’s making them drool as they are reminded of the sweet and spicy yumminess. I am figuring the photos don’t make it look very palatable as it’s dished out sloppily and so some of the oily curry gets splashed onto the edges of the plate. But yummy local food is not about presentation and all about taste. A full meal like this is also cheap and will come up to about S$10 per person.
Among the items the curry chicken is lemak (rich in coconut) and so yummy with the rice.
The thing about Nasi Padang is that it’s all about the mixture of various curries and that’s what ups the taste factor. You can’t just have one dish. It just wouldn’t be the same. I love adding the sauce from the sayur lodeh as well (another curry made with boiled cabbage, french beans, carrots and coconut curry). I wish I could pile on like 10 different sauces!
For me it’s all about the curries and not so much the meat. The assam fish curry adds a lovely sourish spicy element to the rice.
You can also get some chilli padi which makes the dish really hot and sets your tongue on fire! The steamed rice is probably the only healthy element of this dish.
During the spicy meal I needed to take sips of a soda I haven’t had in a long time – Sarsi (which is out local version of rootbeer, but slightly different). I had this drink a lot during my childhood. We didn’t have root beer or even ginger beer then.
It’s really hard to get parking space at the public carpark nearby, so we often give up on lunch here, in frustration. The place was probably quite empty for that very reason.
Nasi Padang River Valley
55 Zion Road
11am – 6pm (closed on Mondays, and Sundays/Public Hols)
on the web I read that some items are sold out by 2pm
Tel: 6734 3383