Crave (better known as a spinoff of the vastly popular Adam Road nasi lemak by Selera Rasa established in partnership with Pezzo Group) is one culinary gold standard much feted by palates of both the ordinary and famous. The multiple award winning brand (including accolades bestowed by Makansutra and The Straits Times) has fed the likes of the Singapore Prime Minister and Indonesian President; even the Brunei sultan swears by it for breakfast. Premium basmati rice is plated piping hot with ikan bilis, fried egg, choice of chicken or fish plus a generous dollop of homemade sambal chilli on the side. Read: orchestrating a potpourri of contrasting flavors - sweet, savory and spicy all at once.

Granted the aesthetic presentation of the nasi lemak dish invokes considerable hunger pangs, more importantly is it so very delectable to warrant the lavish praise heaped upon by so many?

Crave Outlet At Plaza Singapura

Sampling and thoughts:

The basmati long grains were full of fluff and incredibly fragrant the first time round, then again we were monumentally disappointed during a repeated visit to a different outlet at Orchard Ion shopping mall. Our portion came from a batch which was evidently undercooked, as such we found ourselves ingesting slightly tough kernels. Apparently there is room for improvement as far as maintaining consistent quality of food across all Crave's kitchens are concerned.

The fried chicken wing set featured one hearty wing basted in a sensationally seasoned crisp batter with succulent, moist meat happening right beneath. The chicken cutlet set unfortunately couldn't satiate our carnivorous appetites, as the quantity of breaded poultry (admittedly also most tender and lip-smacking) served leaves much to be desired.

Chicken Wing Set ($5.90)

The fish fillet set didn't get the fish part right to say the least - we struggled to shove what seemed to be thick, rubberized morsels of mere filler paste down our throats. Rather thankfully the accompanying bergedil (potato patty of dense curried goodness) was up to the mark and partially restored faith in an otherwise lacklustre platter.

Fish Fillet Set ($5.90)

Yes, The Bergedil (Included In the Fish Fillet Set) Sorta Saved the Day. It Also Comes As A Separate Add-On For $1.20

The ikan bilis (completely devoid of peanuts to our surprise) turned out to be quite a crunchy, yet not overly salty affair; however it was the sambal chilli which made our knees go weak. Derived from a blend of Indian and Japanese chillies, this was the appropriate amount of feisty vs fiery infused with subtle candied undertones - diners who aren't too competent at tolerating the piquant can dig in knowing they won't end up a severely sweaty, panting mess.

Personally we felt the squid otah underwhelmed; despite appearing sumptuous it didn't pack a wallop as expected. Texture-wise things just weren't ringing right, though a finger cannot precisely be put on what required tweaking. The item could also be more thoughtfully priced, if you get our drift.

Up Close And Personal: Squid Otah ($2.00)

We opted to wash them somewhat heaty, calorie-laden meals down with chilled beverages; while the drinks themselves weren't excessively sugared, they weren't exactly full-bodied to sufficiently impress either. Still we had our thirst adequately quenched, so no major gripes.

Iced Bundung ($2.50)

Iced Teh Tarik ($2.40)

Note: Prices subject to change without prior notice. Kindly clarify with restaurant before visiting or ordering.

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Score: 7.5/10


Editor's Note: Crave Nasi Lemak has shuttered its operations at Ion Orchard and Plaza Singapura, subsequently opening three new outlets; their addresses are included below as well for convenient reference.


Hougang Mall Bedok Mall Punggol Waterway Point Ion Orchard
90 Hougang Mall Avenue 10, 311 New Upper Changi Road, 83 Punggol Central, 2 Orchard Turn,
#B1-11 #B2-22 #B1-K7 #B4-58/59
Singapore 538766 Singapore 467360 Singapore 828761 Singapore 828761

Junction 8 City Square Mall Plaza Singapura VivoCity
9 Bishan Place, 180 Kitchener Road, 68 Orchard Road, 1 Harbourfront Walk,
#B1-K8 #B2-K2/K3/K4 & K11 #B2-43 #B2-K23
Singapore 579837 Singapore 208539 Singapore 238839 Singapore 098585

Compass One Mall Tanjong Pagar Centre Clementi Mall Northpoint City
1 Sengkang Square, 7 Wallich Street, 3155 Commonwealth Avenue West, 930 Yishun Avenue 2,
#B1-02/03 #B2-26/27 #B1-K4/K5 #B1-45
Singapore 545078 Singapore 078884 Singapore 129588 Singapore 769098

White Sands Mall Our Tampines Hub Changi City Point
1 Pasir Ris Central Street 3, 1 Tampines Walk, 5 Changi Business Park Central 1,
#B1-K16 #01-106 #B1-06
Singapore 518457 Singapore 528523 Singapore 486038