When you get a craving for nasi lemak, where do you normally go? I usually head to Qi Ji, which has ten locations scattered across Singapore.

The no-frills eatery first became popular for its popiah (spring rolls). Nowadays, it has diversified with a much larger offering of local dishes that include laksa, mee Siam, and of course, nasi lemak.

The halal eatery is operated like a fast food restaurant. Queue up, order, pay, and collect your food immediately. The process is pretty much quick and fuss-free. In true fast food style, the nasi lemak even comes in eight “sets” comprising different selections of ingredients!

Nasi Lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk)

Spicy Nasi Lemak (rice cooked in coconut milk)
S$4 / 4.90

All sets come with the staple accompaniments of ikan bilis (dried anchovies), fried peanuts, cucumber slices, egg and sweet sambal chilli. The coconut rice bears a slight greenish tinge, and has a nice fragrance. For more oomph, always ask for extra sambal! In my opinion, the chilli is at the perfect spice level – mouth-tingling hot but not to the nostril-flaring extent.

My favourite nasi lemak set is the one that comes with otah (spicy fish paste), an omelette slice and a fried chicken wing that I love. On the occasions when my tummy calls for a fuller meal, the chicken cutlet set does the trick.

For a nasi lemak with even more pizazz, go for grandma’s!

Mee Rebus

Spicy Mee Rebus

Also worth a mention is the mee rebus. The garnishes include a hard boiled egg, fried tofu, fried shallots, green chilli and beansprouts. It may not be the best, but the tasty sweet potato gravy is good enough for me.

Homemade drinks

Homemade drinks

To neutralise the spiciness of the food, Qi Ji offers a range of homemade drinks with cooling effects. There’s barley, chrysanthemum, grass jelly, and many more. Speaking of which, does anyone know how frequently these “homemade” beverages are replenished? I tend to stay away from them because, frankly, they don’t look very fresh!

Having visited the branches at Marina Square, Tiong Bahru Plaza and Century Square, I find that the outlet that serves consistently yummy food is the last one.

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Qi Ji ( Halal certified)
– Bugis Village
– Century Square
– Changi General Hospital #01-09/10/11 (24 hours)
– Funan DigitaLife Mall #01-17
– Heartland Mall #01-133/135
– Hougang Mall #01-41
– ICA Building #01-B-3
– Marina Square #01-06
– NEX Mall #03-10 Nex
– Shaw Towers #01-01
– Suntec City Mall #01-181/183
– Tiong Bahru Plaza #02-11