Tar Pau Nation: Crave nasi lemak offers National Day discount for August

The Nasi Lemak With Sambal Cuttlefish from Crave.
The Nasi Lemak With Sambal Cuttlefish from Crave.PHOTO: WONG AH YOKE

SINGAPORE - To celebrate National Day, some eateries are offering goodies in the form of special dishes and discounts for the whole month.

Among them is nasi lemak chain Crave, which is offering a 30 per cent discount for orders of $20 and more. The brand is a spin-off from the popular Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak stall at Adam Road Food Centre.

Nasi lemak is one of those dishes that are often eaten at room temperature, even for dining in. Only the rice is served warm while toppings such as sambal and fried ikan bilis are cooked ahead and allowed to cool. That makes it an ideal dish for delivery.

Crave's nasi lemak is cooked with basmati rice and comes with toppings of a fried egg, fried ikan bilis and peanuts, sambal chilli and cucumber slices. In addition, there is a choice of a main protein ranging from a fried chicken wing, selar fish, otah or curry chicken. Prices for the dish start at $6.10, depending on your pick.

I decided to go for the Nasi Lemak With Sambal Cuttlefish from the Nex outlet. I paid $10.90, but the price is flexible. It was $13.70 the following day when I checked before dropping back to $10.90 again a day later. Even at the lower price, it was the most expensive item on the menu, but cuttlefish cooked this way - with its springy texture and sweet, spicy flavours - is hard to resist.

The version here did not disappoint and I was happy to find a good amount of the seafood in the box. It was cooked perfectly and the sweetness of the sambal complemented the other sambal chilli, which was a little sour.

The other toppings were decent and I liked that the egg had a runny yolk. The rice lacked the fragrance of coconut milk though.

To reach the $20 order to qualify for the discount, I also got some Sambal Long Beans ($1.30) that were available that day. The dish was off the menu the following day. It was good and came packed with the rice as an additional topping - a good idea that cut down on excessive packaging.

I also ordered the Nonya Otah and Spicy Thai Otah ($2.20 each), and liked the latter a wee bit more because of the aromatic kaffir lime leaves in it.

What did not work for me were the deep-fried side dishes. The Chicken Cutlet ($2.70), while crisp, was sliced too thin and felt dry. I think cutting it thicker would help it keep its juices better.

It's rare to find a fried chicken wing I don't enjoy, but the one here ($2.10) was crusted with such a thick and hard batter that it was a chore biting into it.


Crave

Where: Multiple outlets, including at Nex, City Square Mall, Bedok Mall and Clementi Mall
To order: Go to foodpanda's website. Delivery available for only selected addresses. There is no minimum order, but for this month, you get a 30 per cent discount for orders of at least $20.
Delivery charge: Calculated on checkout. I paid $4.29.
3.5 stars