This nasi padang stall has been serving non-crispy rendang to its guests at Geylang Serai since the 1960s. And because people working in the CBD need our fix of rendang too, Sinar Pagi has a three-storey outpost along Circular Road as well. The queues form early and the tables upstairs are difficult to secure but it’s all worth the effort. The spicy flavours are intense and vibrant. Seriously impressive is the tender barbecued chicken that is dropped into a sunny, coconut curry sauce, while the towering stack of tauhu goreng is sweet, crunchy and peanuty, and the braised brinjal – coated with ruby-red sambal – deserves a plate of rice all to itself.
"I like the rendang flavour, there's a coconut sweetness. However, the chicken skin isn't crispy. It can't be eaten and all the sauce is on the skin so I can't eat it." This was the critique MasterChef UK judge Gregg Wallace gave Malaysia-born contestant Zaleha Kadir Olpin's on her nasi lemak dish that she served with a side of chicken rendang. She was subsequently eliminated from the show because of the dish, triggering #rendangate – a barrage of criticism from Malaysian netizens and people from the region.
Anyone who's ever tried rendang, a slow-cooked curry typically cooked with chicken or beef, knows that the skin isn't expected to be crispy and you want the sauce to coat every square millimetre of the meat for maximum flavour. Now, we don't blame Wallace – maybe he's never had proper rendang before – so the best thing we can do is educate him by asking him to check out these places in Singapore that do a killer version of the dish.