The Place Mention gourmet Nasi Lemak in Singapore and The Coconut Club is one brand which comes to my mind. Established since 2016, the popular restaurant has opened its new flagship on Beach Road this weekend as an all-day dining experience, and is now part of The Lo & Behold Group.
Located in a three-storey conservation shophouse, a large communal table the level one space, which operates as the main all-day dining room.
Level two doubles up as a more intimate dining space, where you can expect charcoal mural by local artist Aeropalmics on the walls, complete with rattan furniture and terrazzo.
The Food Other than the namesake Nasi Lemak dish, expect a showcase of local and regional dishes on the new menu.
The Coconut Club’s signature Nasi Lemak Sets will be served through lunch and dinner, where you can choose from the likes of the Ayam Goreng Berempah Set (S$18.80), Ikan Bakar Set (S$18.80) or Otah Set (S$10.80). All sets come with a serving of coconut rice, fried egg, anchovies, peanuts, cucumber, sambal.
For starters, I had the Kerabu Udang Kacang Botol (S$18), a tangy salad with prawn, wing bean, shredded chicken, peanut brittle, sambal belacan and lime.
For something more refreshing, go for the Gohu Ikan (S$16) which is a raw tuna salad that is commonly found in East Indonesia. This version uses Yellowfin tuna cured in calamansi juice, chilli padi, avocado, pine nuts and coconut milk.
The Coconut Rice with Accompanying Condiments (S$6) can be a separate order should you decide to go for the sharing dishes. When you learn that a proprietary cold-press machine was custom built by a Formula 1 engineer to extract the perfect, preservative-free coconut milk, you know the brand is serious about quality.
For sharing dishes, the Ayam Goreng Berempah (S$28) is a must try. The half-chicken portion is good to share for 2-3 persons and the spiced and fried organic chicken is served along with sambal balado and sambal hijau. The fried chicken skin itself is crispy and flavourful, while the chicken meat is tender and juicy even for the breast meat. The sambal sauces are fresh and punchy, painstakingly prepared by cooking slowly over low fire.
I am not a big lamb lover, but I say do give the Percik Kambing (S$38) a try too. The Australian lamb short ribs is marinated in coconut milk and tamarind, then charcoal-grilled. The taste is not gamy at all, and you can expect a tender texture and tangy flavour.
A more indulgent dish to share will be the Ketam Masak Lemak Cili Api (S$108), which is crab in spicy turmeric and coconut milk curry. The portion is about 800g-1kg and requires a pre-order of 2 days in advance. This is not quite like chilli crab as it has coconut milk curry sauce, which is not that cloying as it sounds.
For dessert, there is a selection of Malay and Nonya kuehs as well as cakes. My favourite is the Kueh Kosui (S$12.80), which uses very fresh grated coconut. Other kuehs to expect include The Kueh Bakar Keledek (S$9.80), a sweet potato cake served with a scoop of Birds of Paradise coconut sorbet; Kueh Bingka (S$5), a buttery tapioca cake made with fresh coconut milk.
For beverages, the new flagship also sees the launch of The Coconut Club’s first formal drinks programme where classic cocktails are given a tropical twist, such as The Coconut Club Mai Tai (S$21), a shaken blend of pandan, Plantation 3 Star rum, Plantation original dark rum, coconut milk, lime, and lemon juice; and Pineapple Old Fashioned (S$21), a sweet-smokey tipple with Scotch whisky, Laphroaig 10, pineapple skin syrup and finished with fresh coconut water. Non-alcoholic options include the likes of Coconut Shake (S$7.50) or Fresh Coconut (S$8.80).
Rants Upscale Nasi Lemak in a pleasant dining ambience is not exactly a bad thing once in awhile?
Will I Return Again? The Coconut Club has evolved tremendously from its early days at Ann Siang where it only specialises in Nasi Lemak. The new Beach Road outlet is a more ambitious take on the brand with its multi-level dining space, as well as the introduction of communal dining and dishes. Dishes are generally still good, though prices have also gone up as with most establishments in Singapore.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 4/5
Hole in the pocket: 4/5
Overall Experience: 4/5
The Coconut Club
269 Beach Road
Tel: +65 6635 2999
Level 1: All-day
Tuesday to Sunday: 8.30am to 10.30pm
Last order 9.30pm
Level 2: Lunch
Tuesday to Sunday: 11am to 3pm
Last order 2.30pm
Level 2: Dinner
Tuesday to Sunday: 6pm to 10.30pm
Last order 9.30pm
Ranted by The Ranter