Food review: Non Entrée Desserts' Nasi Lemak
We visited the Non Entrée dessert cafe recently and ordered the nasi lemak dessert. I expected an ordinary sweet dessert that looked pretty and fun. But what we got instead was mind-blowing.
To fully experience how mind bending this dessert is, let me list out the ingredients:
- coconut milk sauce was layered over a wafer biscuit to create the "rice"
- pandan mousse and gula melaka sauce was used to fill the inside of the rice wafer
- a “hard-boiled egg” made from mango "yolk" and yoghurt "whites"
- strawberry jam as “sambal chilli”
- salted (and slightly candied) ikan bilis
- the most baffling of all, the “kuning fish” tulip made out of shallots
When you first dig your spoon into the "rice", the wafer cracks and you see the pandan mousse inside. The coconut milk wafer and pandan mousse have a very nyonya/peranakan taste to it, almost like eating a creamy and crispy kueh.
Then you decide, oh, you can't eat nasi lemak rice without the sambal chilli, so you add a bit of the strawberry coulis to the "rice". And the flavours just match perfectly. It's sweet, slightly tangy, with the depth of flavour of coconut and gula melaka (which has a caramel twist to it).
The "egg", while not quite as creative as the "rice" and "chilli", was well-executed. It's a tasty mango yoghurt dessert all by itself.
And, of course, the star of the show must have been the "ikan kuning" fish. Made up of shallots and perhaps fish sauce, it's this really delicate, crispy thin wafer that tastes just like fish. But isn't fishy. It's savoury and has umami. It's a culinary wonder all by itself. But together with the sweet "rice" and "chilli", it creates a whole new experience of sweet and savoury.
As it was with MacGriddles when it first came out, this is probably a love it or hate it experience - a mix of strong-headed sweetness and saltiness is always offensive to some people. But you can't deny the intense experience from the "fish" shallots and sweet coconut/pandan mix.
To top it all off, almost like a garnish, we ate the ikan bilis and peanuts. This just adds more flavour to the dessert. The ikan bilis is the actual, salty fish fried to crispy perfection with some sugar. It embodies the ethos of the dish - sweet and savoury combined in a culinary fest.
Non Entrée's nasi lemak dessert is not meant to make you feel full, or even to satisfy your nasi lemak craving. But it's an unexpected culinary experience waiting to happen.