My new-found hidden gem is Simple.簡. Forget about the rest. Tucked away inside an industrial building, the location can be confusing for first-time patrons.
A short walk from Bendemeer MRT, it’s right beside Deliveroo Editions at CT Hub 2. The shop itself is rather nondescript, with a small signboard that displays the Simple.簡 brand name.
There are two separate counters – for take-aways and dining in. We opted to dine in this rather tiny, probably eight-seater indoor space, with about eight more outside. Anyway, most customers opted to take-away so it’s no big deal finding seats.
The Queen of Spicy Food (!!), Cheryl, got the Chicken Rendang Butterfly Pea Nasi Lemak ($6), while I chose the Har Cheong Gai Chicken Cutlet with Butterfly Pea Nasi Lemak ($6).
It didn’t take that long for our food to arrive. The whiff of the Har Cheong Gai (prawn paste) was really strong. I could smell it as the server was frying the cutlet. It’s like in heaven.
Besides the aromatic prawn paste, it even looks extremely appetising. Look at that luscious blue rice. It’s really intriguing.
The blue rice is really unique. It’s not heavily soaked in coconut milk as most nasi lemak dishes, but it’s still aromatic in its own right. It’s as flavourful as well-established nasi lemak stalls.
Just running my fork against the batter to feel the crisp was enough to get me drooling, hypothetically. It’s really important that nasi lemak dishes come with eggs – fried or boiled. They got that right. However, the eggs here are semi-hard boiled, and I’m not sure if they were having a go at making onsen eggs or just hard boiled eggs.
The vegetables are nothing to shout about. What got me excited here, is rightfully, the chicken cutlet. It was so crispy on the outside, but really soft and juicy inside. The batter was spot-on, and I like how it’s strong but not overpowering. The marinade had also soaked in to the meat, giving flavour in every bite.
Next up, the chicken rendang. The meat is really generous, we thought that it packed some bone(s) underneath that thick, creamy rendang gravy. But no, it’s all meat! And not only just chicken meat, it’s really fine and soft. The meat was so easy to pull apart that I didn’t need my fork to hold the larger piece in place. Also, the gravy was sweet and smooth, and was perfect in all ways.
We were rather disappointed the chicken rendang isn’t crispy for world-class standards though (ha ha).
Anyway, for both dishes, the sambal is on the sweeter side. This works well for the butterfly pea nasi lemak. Unlike most nasi lemak dishes, the ones here don’t come with anchovies and peanuts. Not sure why, though.
Remember to quench your thirst! We got the Butterfly Pea Chocolate Latte ($2). Very pretty, but rather average. It tasted like McDonald’s ice-cream sundae.
Simple.簡 is officially my new favourite nasi lemak joint. It’s fresh and different. Skip your go-to Selera Rasa and try this, unless you really need the Halal option or authentic Malay nasi lemak!