If you were to google “Geylang Serai Nasi Padang”, the first name that appears in the search results is — you guessed it — Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang. Even though Geylang Serai Market is dotted with nasi padang stalls, there is no competition, really. This stall, in particular, comes out on top.
Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang is basically a household name in the hawker centre. Their name translates into “morning light”, which is pretty apt since queues for their food faithfully begin from 9am every morning.
The stall was started by Mr Haji Nasir Kiram in the 1960s, who served up Kapau-style nasi padang. Nasi kapau originates from Bukit Tinggi, the birthplace of the founder. It differs from nasi padang in some ways, such as the types of curries offered and the way the rice is cooked.
When planning a visit to this stall, you’d better have a rough idea of what you want. The selection of dishes is simply overwhelming for a hawker stall, with a staggering variety of vegetables, proteins and curries. You could easily spend a good ten minutes deciding.
But, it does help that each dish is clearly labelled so you know what’s hiding underneath all the potently red gravies.
We ordered three plates’ worth of food. Each ingredient was plated aesthetically on a fresh banana leaf. Way to get our appetites going.
One of the stall’s best-selling dish is the Ayam Bakar/BBQ Chicken in Rich Coconut Gravy (S$5), and it’s not hard to see why.
The chicken was decently tender and had a gorgeous char on the outside. But the winning component was the sauce it was coated it. Rich with coconut fragrance and spiked with turmeric, the gravy was so addictive. The combination of spices and seasonings in the gravy worked in perfect balance and harmony.
The Sambal Goreng (S$1) was another crowd favourite. The cubes of fried tofu and tempeh had a nice outer crisp, and were coated in this sweet, formidable sambal sauce. Really solid.
The Omelette (S$2) was wonderfully done too. Egg was golden and crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside.
Assam Pedas Fish (S$5) is one the staple dishes of nasi padang, and their rendition was superb. The fish was faultless cooked, retaining much of its fresh juiciness. The gravy was very well-balanced and was a careful blend of sour and spicy.
Nasi padang fanatics, do yourselves a favour and bookmark this place.
Even if you’re not one, do it anyway. If there’s anybody who could teach you a thing or two about nasi padang, it would be this stall.
Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang
1 Geylang Serai, #02-137
Tel: +65 9067 8907
Daily: 9am – 8pm
Nearest Station: Paya Lebar