Lawa Bintang took Singapore’s culinary world by storm last August when video of its ground-breaking lobster cheese nasi lemak being prepared & served went viral. As with anything to do with food in Singapore - the moment a new fad is announced, the whole island’s foodies just went nuts. This is a city where people queued 2-3 hours for the latest food fad, be it donuts, soysauce chicken noodles or burgers. 1,000 people queued for 7 hours in advance to watch a Gordon Ramsay cook-off against local hawkers a few years back.
So, when Lawa Bintang rocked the social media/food-blogging space in Singapore in August, hundreds flock each day to a little foodcourt in an isolated corner of Tampines HDB estate where industrial buildings & workshops are located, hardly a dining precinct. I wasn’t too keen to join 2-hour-plus queues, which was the order of the day back then, so I chose to sit it out & wait.
Fast forward 3 months later, the crowds have dissipated somewhat, and I was pretty lucky to be the first in the queue on a Friday when I arrived there 5 minutes before their opening time at 10am.
And after ordering and paying, you get one of those buzzer devices which tell you when your order is ready to be picked up. All very pleasant and quiet at the foodcourt.
The nasi lemak set also comes with “ikan bilis” (crisp-fried anchovies), groundnuts, cucumbers, sweet-spicy sambal, and a fried egg. I opted for another of my favourite add-ons: “bergedil”, a Malay potato hash.
The lobster was fresh & meaty, smothered with a béchamel & topped with cheese before grilling, then dusted with paprika and herbs before serving. The creamy béchamel, when paired with sweet-spicy sambal, was heavenly.
Try and come here before lunch. The lobsters are priced at half of similar-sized ones in other, more formal dine-in restaurants in Singapore. A friend of mine went there late last week, and the lobsters were sold out by the time she got there.
9008 Tampines Street 93
Opening hours: Tue-Thu 8am to 2pm,
Fri 10am-2pm, Sat & Sun 9am-2pm. Closed on Mondays.