Crave - Local Favourite Nasi Lemak
Ever loved a certain dining establishment so much that you dreamed of opening franchises and outlets all over Singapore to share the wonders of their food? Well, that's exactly what happened to Crave. Initially, Crave had a humble shopfront and they were dubbed Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak. Of course, they had their fare share of loyal customers who would travel from all corners of Singapore just to get a taste of the local favourite nasi lemak that was fragrant and mouth-watering, but one customer took it a notch further. Chiang Zhan Xiang basically kept propositioning Selera Nasi Lemak's owner to open outlets islandwide, saying that he felt that his food was worth investing in. In fact, he came so often and was so persistent that Crave was born and in 2020, there are officially 28 outlets islandwide! Can you believe that?
Not only that, he roped in Raifk Corner's teh tarik in hopes of providing access to iconic local flavours that were done well and done right. Now, tourists and Singaporeans alike can visit Crave to enjoy a piping hot plate of nasi lemak, with various sides such as chicken wings, fish fillets, begedils, egg and many more!
I visited Crave at Changi Airport Terminal 2. It shared a food court space with several other food vendors but the place wasn't too crowded. I liked that one place had access to different food items to cater to people with different tastes. I, however, was only there for their nasi lemak. They had a glass display for you to see the employees load up your plate with your preferred side dishes. I could see every single thing and this only whetted my appetite. They scooped up a generous portion of rice and like clockwork, they loaded up some meat, ikan billis and last but not least, the sambal.
The seatings were free seating and I could see that this place could potentially get quite crowded, especially during peak period but the ambience and atmosphere was chill and clean.
I ordered some signature sets such as the Chicken Wing set and I tried the Ambeng Set with my friends. The Ambeng Set is a great sharing platter meant for 3 - 4 persons and when it arrived, the sheer size of it shocked us and it finally sunk in that we had ordered a 4 pax set meal but it seemed like we had gotten a 6 pax set instead!
We also got some drinks like bandung (rose syrup with milk), iced lemon tea and not to forget, the essential teh tarik!
The ambeng set came with a huge mound of fragrant rice, sambal, begedil, fried fish fillets, fried chicken, an egg and many more. This was a feast and we happily dug in. The fragrant rice paired perfectly with any other ingredient and with such a big platter, the combinations are endless! Every single aspect of the plate had something to add to the dish. These ingredients are basic nasi lemak add-ons and everyone has a favourite. While nasi lemak stalls usually offer you a chicken wing with the rice, ikan billis, sambal and some cucumber, the ambeng set gives you everything. That way, you have a chance to try every single combination - rice with chicken, rice with fish fillet, rice with fish fillet and chicken; it's up to you! Every mouthful was great and I did not have a single complaint about any of the ingredients on the plate. The rice was amazing. The chicken wing was juicy and crispy. The begedil was fragrant. I could go on but there are so many things on that plate!
While you usually don't expect a huge franchise with 28 outlets to serve good hearty nasi lemak, you have to remember that the OG of this nasi lemak place was the Selera Rasa one and it's amazing how this tastes as good as the original outlet. It is certainly difficult to maintain consistency among so many outlets but Crave managed to do it and I'm proud that this is the face of the local favourite nasi lemak we present to tourists who come visit.
Terminal 2, 60 Airport Blvd, Singapore 819643 (Nearest MRT Changi Airport)
Mon - Sun: 24 hours