Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak at Adam Road Food Centre Singapore

Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak at Adam Road Food Centre in Singapore
Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak at Adam Road Food Centre in Singapore

One of the best places in Singapore to try nasi lemak is at Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak at the Adam Road Food Centre. While you can find nasi lemak all over Singapore, none are more famous than Selera Rasa, also referred to as Adam Road Nasi Lemak.

Adam Road Food Centre is a small but famous hawker center near the Singapore Botanic Garden. The center is known for authentic Singaporean dishes, including nasi lemak and prawn noodles.

If you are looking for more information about Singapore, I highly recommend you pick up a guidebook such as Fodor's In Focus Singapore

What is Nasi Lemak?

Nasi lemak is fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf often served with various sides, including fish, chicken, eggs, and cucumbers.

Over the years, the Prime Minister of Singapore, the Sultan of Brunei, and celebrity chefs have all visited this small, unassuming food stall. So, when I was in Singapore, I knew I had to try it.

Waiting in Line at Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak

It is not uncommon to have to wait for 30 to 60 minutes in line, Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak, Adam Road Food Centre, Singapore
It is not uncommon to have to wait for 30 to 60 minutes in line

One thing you should know about Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak is that the secret is out. You will have to wait in line no matter what time you visit.

I waited around 30 minutes on my visit during the week. On the weekends, you might have to wait up to an hour. But the wait is worth it.

A peak into the kitchen, Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak, Adam Road Food Centre, Singapore
A peak into the kitchen

While waiting in line, I peeked into the tiny kitchen operated by two men in black shirts. I couldn’t believe how much food they were pumping out.

Not only were these chefs making food for everyone in line, but they were also doing endless to-go orders. The operation was impressive to watch, especially for such a small space.

Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak Menu

The menu at Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak, Adam Road Food Centre, Singapore
The menu at Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak

As you wait in line, you’ll have plenty of time to review the menu posted above the stall. Dishes ranged in price from S$2.90 to S$5.90.

There was something for everyone on the menu at Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak. You had your choice of seven different meals.

Each meal came with rice, sambal, an egg, and cucumbers. You then could add a chicken wing, fish, otak-otak, or all of the above.

Royal Rumble Nasi Lemak

The Royal Rumble Nasi Lemak, Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak, Singapore
The Royal Rumble Nasi Lemak

If you’re hungry and want to try everything, go for the Royal Rumble (S$5.90 or about $4.29). This filling dish included rice, sambal, fried chicken, fried egg, fried anchovies, otak-otak, and sliced cucumbers.

The most crucial component of any nasi lemak dish is the rice. The basmati rice made the nasi lemak at Selera Rasa stand out. Basmati is a more expensive and higher-quality type of rice with long, slender grains. Other places tend to use a less expensive variety, such as jasmine.

To prepare the rice, pandan leaves, a type of palm tree common in Southeast Asia, and lemongrass were added to the pot. The pandan leaves added a unique herbal fragrance to the rice, while the lemongrass added a citrusy flavor.

Coconut milk, the dish’s backbone, was added just before the rice. The chefs then cooked the rice for 30 minutes and stirred it for another 10 minutes until it became fluffy.

I couldn’t believe how fluffy and light the rice was. It was perfect. Each grain was unbelievably fragrant after being infused with sweetness from coconut milk and the aromatics of pandan leaves and lemongrass.

Another crucial component of nasi lemak is sambal. Sambal is a type of spicy chili paste that is common in Southeast Asia. The sambal at Selera Rasa is made fresh and features chili peppers from India.

The deep red sauce was not only spicy and salty but sweet. It was like a smoky, spicy chili jam. The spicy sambal paired best with the coconut rice, yet it was delicious on everything or even by itself.

Chicken and Fish

In Indonesia, nasi lemak is usually served with fish, while in Malaysia, chicken is more common. Since Singapore is located between both countries, Selera Rasa decided to offer both.

I enjoyed how crispy and crunchy the chicken wings were after being dipped in batter and fried. What was in this batter was a closely guarded secret.

While the crust was crunchy, it was greasy and rich, so grab a few napkins. It wasn’t the juiciest chicken I have ever had, but the meat was tender and delicious. I enjoyed the difference in textures between the crispy crust and the tender meat inside.

I didn’t think I would enjoy the fried anchovies or ikan bilis, but these were great. After being lightly fried, they were extremely crispy and crunchy on the outside. Even though they were fried and salted, you could taste all the delicious fresh flavors of the fish.

Underneath the fried anchovies was a larger piece of fried fish. I don’t know what type it was. This fish wasn’t as crunchy as the anchovies and had a lot of bones. It wasn’t my favorite.

Finishing the plate was a lightly fried egg and fried potatoes. The rich egg was golden and crispy on the outside, but I was hoping for a runny yolk.

The yolk, while not dry, had been cooked thoroughly. The potato was somewhat strange, almost like hash browns. It was like they took mashed potatoes, battered them, and deep-fried them. The result was a tender potato on the inside but not too crispy on the outside. It was tasty, though.

Otak-Otak (Fish Cake)

The unique Otak Otak, Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak, Singapore
The unique Otak Otak

Wrapped inside a grilled banana leaf was a fish cake known as otak-otak. The fish cake was soft and moist with the texture of custard. After being charred in the banana leaf, the salty fish had a wonderful smoky fragrance and a hint of spiciness. I could also taste some sweetness from the coconut milk.


There is a reason Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak at Adam Road Food Centre> is a household name in Singapore. It serves the best nasi lemak in the city, and as a result, there is a long queue from when they open until they close.

If you want to sample a little of everything, I recommend the Royal Rumble. Not only was it filling and affordable, but it was also delicious. What stood out were the fragrant rice, crispy, moist chicken, spicy sambal, crunchy anchovies, and moist otak-otak.

If I lived in Singapore, I could see myself eating nasi lemak daily for breakfast.


  • The best nasi lemak in Singapore
  • There is a great variety of options to choose from on the menu
  • Large portions
  • Affordable


  • Wait of 30 to 60 minutes is not uncommon


Saturday - Thursday: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday: Closed


Adam Road Food Centre
2 Adam Rd,
Singapore 289876
GPS Coordinates: 1.324146,103.814268


Last Updated on April 7, 2024