Food Review: Wild Coco (Nasi Lemak) & Laksa Labo In McNair Road | Enjoy Malaysian-Style Nasi Lemak & Old School Laksa In One Coffeeshop
The Place Located in the quaint estate of McNair Road which I grew up in, the estate does not get more hip than before with the opening of Wild Coco Nasi Lemak early this year. The stall is located in a cosy coffeeshop at Blk 122 McNair Road within 5-10 minutes of walking distance from Boon Keng MRT Station, Wild Coco serves up Malaysian-style Nasi Lemak by owner Wayne, touted as the more affordable version of The Coconut Club by numerous online reviews.
Within the same coffeeshop by the same owner is a newly launched stall and brand, Laksa Labo which sells laksa with various side dishes to go along.
The coffeeshop is not huge, and it can get busy during peak meal hours. That said, there are ample parking lots within the HDB estate for drivers.
The Food From the Wild Coco Nasi Lemak menu, the one signature dish to try is the Ayam Berempah ($9.80) where you can opt for chicken leg or breast.
Ayam goreng berempah basically means ‘spiced fried chicken’, a Malaysian-style of Nasi Lemak which has been trending in Singapore in the past year with the likes of Dickson Nasi Lemak. Wild Coco uses frozen chicken from Brazil at the moment due to the current import restrictions from Malaysia, where you get a huge piece of chicken.
The marination of the chicken could be more flavourful for me, though the meat is reasonably tender. And of course, it is not fair to compare this against what I had at Village Park Nasi Lemak in KL recently based on the chicken itself.
The rice is not greasy and I thought it could be even more ‘lemak’. The sambal is very spicy, which works if your spice threshold is high. I usually prefer my sambal to be a balance of sweetness and moderate spiciness.
Other components like the peanuts and ikan bilis are crisp.
From Laksa Labo menu, choose from the Classic Laksa (S$5.80) or Premium Laksa (S$8.80) where the difference is really just one extra tiger prawn.
My first thought when I had a sip of the laksa broth is the old-school flavour. I told The Rantee that it tastes like what I used to have in my school canteen eons ago, and true enough, the recipe for the laksa is from the 60s by an uncle in their kitchen. Each bowl of laksa comes with tiger prawns, fish cake and tau pok.
There is no particular style to this laska taste, which I shall just call old-school Singaporean-style laksa. If you are used to the Katong Laksa or Malaysian Assam Laksa flavour, you may not appreciate it as much.
For sides, there is the Grandpa’s Tauhu Goreng (S$6.80), another old recipe where you get a nice drizzle of the sauce over the tofu. The portion is relatively generous for the price.
For drinks, I had the refreshing Double Grass (S$3.80) which has lemongrass, grass jelly and honey; and a Fresh Young Coconut (S$5.80).
Rants It is a pity that fresh chicken is not used at the moment due to ongoing supply challenges, which makes a big difference to the taste of the Nasi Lemak overall. Quite a small coffeeshop as well, where it can get busy during peak meal hours.
Will I Return Again? A decent plate of Malaysian-style Nasi Lemak to try in McNair Road within a modern looking coffeeshop. It is more expensive than what you get at hawker centres, but it makes up for its finer presentation and portion. You also get to try old school flavour laksa from Laksa Labo within the same coffeeshop.
This was an invited tasting, though all opinions expressed are our own.
Taste bud: 3.5/5
Hole in the pocket: 3/5
Overall Experience: 3.5/5
Wild Coco (Nasi Lemak)/Laksa Labo
122 McNair Road
Tel: +65 9119 3822
Monday to Saturday: 10:30am to 8:15pm
Sunday: 9am to 3pm
Ranted by The Ranter
Visited the restaurant a few occasions recently and was happy with the food though prices are on the high side. Visited again today (30/12/22) and ordered the chicken berempah Nasi lemak. The ikanbilis is no longer fresh and crispy and rice soggy and seemed to be of different grain variety. If this is the result of cost-cutting measures I think their business will suffer..
Hopefully the restaurant will note the dip in quality! =(