Uptown Nasi Lemak Review: Ayam Goreng And Beef Rendang Nasi Lemak In Telok Ayer
Halal Hawker Reviews

Uptown Nasi Lemak Review: Ayam Goreng And Beef Rendang Nasi Lemak In Telok Ayer

31st March 2022

Uptown Nasi Lemak at Telok Ayer


One of the strengths of nasi lemak as a dish is its versatility. Unlike other fragrant rice dishes such as chicken rice, you have more liberty to use whichever meat, vegetable or condiment you think works best with coconut rice. Even the rice is up to your discretion, as you can decide how flavourful you want it to be.


Uptown Nasi Lemak, a popular stall at Telok Ayer Coffeeshop, recognises the many possibilities of this iconic malay dish. Taking influence from the food scene of Damansara Utama, a suburb in Selangor, Uptown Nasi Lemak has crafted several varieties of nasi lemak that will excite you with their diverse range of flavours.

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Food at Uptown Nasi Lemak


When deciding what to order, it was hard to resist the allure of the Nasi Lemak w/ Ayam Goreng Berempah ($8.20), with its large chicken leg that features prominently on both the menu and the stall’s logo. Such thiccness cannot be ignored for long, and so it had to be the first dish we tried.


Like many, I’m of the opinion that the coconut rice is the most important element in nasi lemak. However, in this case, the fried chicken leg was the clear standout. Biting into the ayam goreng berempah, I was met with a delightful crisp on the outside and oh-so-juicy meat on the inside, which was highly savoury. The spices and herbs that were infused into the chicken perfumed every taste with an inviting aroma.


The coconut rice, however, wasn’t as tasty as I’d hoped. Though it had a pleasing fragrance, the flavours were somewhat muted, so I had to reach out to the condiments on the side for a much-needed boost.


Thankfully, the triple threat of sambal, Nyonya achar, and a pile of fried peanuts and anchovies did the trick, giving each spoonful a tangy lift and a variety of textures. The sambal in particular was notably spicy and contained just enough sweetness to balance things out. These elements ensured that the flavours never stayed boring—when one component got too cloying, there was another ready to liven things up.


While the Nasi Lemak w/ Ayam Goreng Berempah had all its elements working together, the Nasi Lemak w/ Sambal Sotong ($7.60) was let down by a weak link: the sotong itself.

Though the cuttlefish sotong was not chewy, it was almost too soft and did not seem to carry the piquant flavour of the sambal well enough. The rest of the plate consisted of the same toppings as the previous nasi lemak dish, but with the meagre sotong replacing the big chicken leg, it felt as if the dish was far less substantial. And though it was one of the cheaper options on the menu, for something over $7, I felt that the other dishes were more worth the money.


The last dish we tried was the Nasi Lemak w/ Rendang Beef ($9.30). It’s always a good sign when you can smell the fragrant rendang from a mile away, and this was the case for the dish’s beef.


Though it was a little on the drier side, the beef stew had a robust flavour, and its rich spices made it all the more appetising. While it wasn’t as delicious as the ayam goreng berempah, it went well with the recurring parts—the sambal, achar, and so on—making this plate of nasi lemak a satisfying one.

Ambience at Uptown Nasi Lemak


Telok Ayer Coffeeshop is a one-minute walk from Telok Ayer MRT Station. As it is located in the CBD, it is a well-known spot for the weekday lunch, so go early if you don’t want to be stuck in the queue with smartly dressed office workers. The coffeeshop itself is clean, spacious and well-lit, making it a comfortable place to dine at.

The verdict


Uptown Nasi Lemak’s Malaysian influences are most successful in their ayam goreng berempah. They also have a decent selection of protein options to choose from, including sambal fish and curry chicken, which is a plus. However, the somewhat lacklustre coconut rice was disappointing. With more prominent flavours, the nasi lemak here could’ve made the leap from being merely ‘good’ to ‘great’.

If you’re looking for more nasi lemak places to check out, read our best nasi lemak list. For interesting ‘fusion’ nasi lemak, have a look at our Husk Nasi Lemak review.

Address: 121 Telok Ayer Street, #01-01, Telok Ayer Coffeeshop, Singapore 06859
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am to 2:30pm
Uptown Nasi Lemak is a halal-certified eatery.

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Photos taken by Tanya Tham
This is an independent tasting at Uptown Nasi Lemak. 

Uptown Nasi Lemak Review: Ayam Goreng And Beef Rendang Nasi Lemak In Telok Ayer
  • 7/10
    Uptown Nasi Lemak Review: Malaysian-style Nasi Lemak With Ayam Goreng, Beef Rendang And More In Telok Ayer - 7/10



– Ayam goreng berempah was delicious and juicy
– Beef rendang was fragrant and well-spiced
– Sambal had the right balance of spicy and sweet


– Coconut rice was a little bland
– Sambal sotong did not work as a main feature

Recommended dishes: Nasi Lemak w/ Ayam Goreng Berempah ($8.20), Nasi Lemak w/ Rendang Beef ($9.30)

Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10am to 2:30pm

Address: 121 Telok Ayer Street, #01-01, Telok Ayer Coffeeshop, Singapore 06859

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