Lawa Bintang takes nasi lemak to a whole new level
Whether it’s nasi lemak burger, cake, or even ice-cream, this traditional Malay dish seems to never be spared by contemporary twists. With the increasingly crazy modifications, competition to bring out the most unique nasi lemak seems to be getting stiffer, but Lawa Bintang has brought the fight to a whole new level with their Lobster Nasi Lemak ($22).
Food at Lawa Bintang
Located in Kenny Eating House at Tampines Street 93, this family-owned business sells nasi lemak with a variety of unique ingredients, such as salmon ($9), soft-shell crab ($9) and smoked duck ($9). For those looking to settle for the original version, Lawa Bintang also serves Nasi Lemak Ayam Wing at $3. Nasi Ambeng ($25), a traditional dish that is served in platter, is available for pre-order and can be shared among two to three people.
While we were there, we laid our hands on their most popular lobster nasi lemak. Aside from the show-stealing lobster, the dish came with a generous heap of fragrant basmati rice, a sunny side up, sambal sauce, and crispy anchovies with peanuts.
The lobster was covered with a creamy layer of three different kinds of cheese, and flavoured with herbs. At first bite, the cheese was slightly spicy but generally subtle in flavour and the taste of the lobster came after a few bites. With the herbs and cheese, the lobster was well-seasoned without the sauce overpowering its natural taste. The decent portion of lobster meat was chewy and each bite-sized chunk came off the shell pretty easily.
Unlike traditional nasi lemak stalls, Lawa Bintang serves basmati rice that is well-flavoured with fragrant coconut milk. The rice alone was rich in taste and relatively greaseless although I would have preferred it to be slightly more moist.
One of the more memorable aspect of the dish would be the sambal sauce, which was intensely sweet, salty, and spicy. Though it left me sniffling throughout the meal, the house-made sauce enhanced the overall taste of the dish and went well with both the rice and lobster. The fried egg, along with peanuts and anchovies that were mildly coated with sambal sauce, added to the nasi lemak experience.
Another dish that captured the attention of people at the kopitiam was the gigantic Sotong Nasi Lemak ($7.50). The huge squid, which took up more than half the space of the plate, was coated with a thin layer of golden brown batter and spices. The smooth and white flesh of the squid was thick and so chewy that trying to tear the meat with just a spoon and fork became an unavoidably messy affair.
The springy flesh was relatively light and enjoyable, and the flavour-packed batter complemented it superbly. Though thin, the batter was salty and the spices coating the crispy layer reminded me of Taiwanese chicken cutlets. Overall, the crunchy, savoury, and chewy sotong was delicious and not overly greasy.
The only downside was that it was almost impossible to tear the meat from the satay stick without using our hands or having the batter fall off the meat.
Ambience at Lawa Bintang
Nestled in a kopitiam underneath an industrial building, Lawa Bintang is a pretty far walk for those visiting via public transport. Once there, it is impossible to miss the insane queue that starts way before lunch hours. The kopitiam itself is spacious, clean, and well-ventilated, making our hour-long queue less painful. There are ample seats available, along with other stalls that sell the usual hawker fare like duck rice and yong tau foo.
I would recommend coming early in the morning as the lobster nasi lemak usually sells out by 11am. The stall owner also clarified that other Lawa Bintang outlets in Kaki Bukit and Tai Seng are no longer operating, so Tampines is the only place to head to for their nasi lemak!
As a whole, I enjoyed every aspect of the experience at Lawa Bintang. The hour-long queue was not uncomfortable and the food proved that it was a worthwhile wait. Although the price of each dish is more expensive than traditional nasi lemak, the large portion and unique ingredient would make your splurge justified. For a similar experience, Route 12 also offers supersized nasi lemak for big eaters!
Address: 9008 Tampines Street 93, Singapore 528843
Opening hours: Tue-Thur 8am to 2pm, Fri 10am to 2pm, Sat-Sun 9am to 2pm
Lawa Bintang is a Muslim-owned hawker stall.
This is an independent review by Eatbook.sg.