Have you ever been asked what would your last meal be? I have been asked this many times and I have also come across other people’s responses. I think that the given answer is not really what the questioner is after because most people would pick a dish of nostalgia; like the kueh that grandma used to make or the porridge that mum cooks on a rainy day.
I think this is what the questioner is really asking:
“What is the most palate stimulating, trance inducing, metaphysical gastronomic moment you have ever ever ever experienced………. EVER!?”
Don’t you think so?
Any foodie would agree that picking one supreme gastronomic moment is as tough as finding that morsel of chicken in a curry puff. However, compiling a list of ten all time favourite taste experiences is quite doable. If I were asked to do that, then the ayam bakar and bergedil combination at Warong Pariaman would be on the list.
What makes the food at Warong Pariaman so good is their insistence on doing things right. The chicken is first cooked in a fragrant coconut gravy made from fresh coconut milk before being grilled over charcoal to give it that irresistible smokey flavour. There are many nasi padang places which sell the light yellow curry which is known as Ayam Korma or Ayam Opor but I have yet to come across any other stalls which still grill the chicken over charcoal. Offer me a serving of the Ayam Bakar and a few bergedils and I might just be tempted to trade my birthright for it. 4.6/5
Now, of course, a birthright is a very precious thing, so I will also try to get the beef rendang thrown in as well. The beef is tender, yet moist and fully infused with the flavours of the rempah; a testament to the gentle, yet constant heat of a charcoal fire. 4.5/5
The one dish that I have never really learnt to appreciate was their ikan bakar which is also painstakingly grilled over charcoal. I have never really enjoyed the fishiness of selar, but lovers of this particular fish should find the dish very enticing.
Founded in 1948, Warong Nasi Pariaman could well be the oldest Nasi Padang stall in Singapore. It is now helmed by Encik Jumrin Isrin and three generations of his extended family.
I was so happy to see that they have moved back to the original coffeeshop where they have been since 1959. In the old days, they used to prepare the food at home and brought it to the coffeeshop to be sold. But after food safety laws were introduced, they had to start preparing their food on the premises instead. Business was so good that they soon took over the whole coffeeshop.
A few years back, they re-located to the coffeeshop across the road while their old place underwent renovations. This took longer than expected and at one stage, I was told that the owner might have other plans for the place. That would have been a shame as we would have lost another landmark restaurant! Now they are back and have an air-conditioned area on the 2nd floor with handicap lift access as well!
If you have already embarked on your gastronomic pilgrimage, then Warong Pariaman must surely be one of the necessary stops on your culinary journey.
Been eating here with my Dad since I was in primary school (30 odd years now) … It is really the best … SHIOK AH !!!!
Wow, that is what I call a food memory!
Definitely !!! Same as you I am still unable to appreciate their ikan bakar … but I think the squid gulai is simply divine
Sounds so good! I will have to make the trek out there!!~
I have been eating here off and on over several years. On my last visit I found that there was a distinct change to the flavours of various dishes that I ordered. At least to my tastebuds, the standard has dropped considerably. But I guess people would prefer to have their fond memories of this place cloud their current judgement.
I would rate this place (now) a slightly above average score. It used to be an Excellent Must Try score.
Thanks for your feedback!
I have eaten at NWP many hundreds of times, and consider it the finest food on the planet. Isrin was kind enough to give me a tour of the kitchen years ago, and I feel blessed for this. So, so many visitors and guest I have taken there for lunch, and all were amazed. It is truly a gem of Singapore’s dining scene.
Yes, that is why we awarded him the WGS Hall of Fame award this year! Well deserved!