Singapore is experiencing heightened COVID-19 regulations and no dining in is allowed at all F&B establishments. This is indeed a huge bummer for us, as eating out is a crucial part of our social fabric: Singaporeans usually meet – that’s right – to eat.
Without dining in, we turn to the joy of ordering in, which isn’t quite the same but enjoyable nonetheless. I don’t know about you, but I still feel a sense of excitement whenever I hear the bell ring, even though I know exactly what's on the other side.
Pizza Hut Singapore sent me their latest Nasi Lemak Sedap Box ($34.50; $8.60 per pax), suitable for 3-4 people. Its namesake, the Nasi Lemak Pizza, takes the spotlight here – featuring a combination of spicy chicken chunks, eggs, cucumbers and ikan bilis, topped with Pizza Hut’s house brand sambal. The Sedap Box also includes a Sambal Chicken Pasta, spicy Chicken Pop with Sambal Sauce, and their classic Garlic Bread.
We all know what appears on the ads is usually not what we see in real life. So here’s a real life snapshot (unedited to maintain authenticity) of the Nasi Lemak pizza we received vs. the one that’s professionally taken.
Verdict: 4/10. The freebies I received made the sight a little more appealing.
1. Nasi Lemak Pizza (6 slices: $15.45; 9 slices: $19.45)
At first glance, yes, the pizza does not look as appealing as the brochure, but isn’t that the same for most pizzas? I shall look past this. Give chance. Nonetheless, I did get a good whiff of the rich sambal sauce.
Biting into the pizza, I tasted a hint of Nasi Lemak, with the sambal, egg and ikan bilis. The egg and ikan bilis were ordinary, but I appreciated the crispiness of the latter nonetheless. The sweetness of the sambal sauce was a welcome surprise to me, as I thought that it would be more spicy. This pizza therefore serves fans of non-spicy food well, although spice lovers have the option of adding chilli flakes to ‘spice’ the pizza up too.
As a fan of thin crusts, however, the pan crust felt a bit too thick. Perhaps cheesy stuffed crust would have been a better complement to the dish – but that’s just me.
So far so good. However, I did feel that something was missing, and that was the rice – the nasi. To me, the quintessential ingredient of nasi lemak is the rice, so without it, it did feel like the pizza wasn’t complete. I'm not sure how they'd incorporate rice into the dish, but hey, I'm no chef. I just write the reviews.
Verdict: 6/10. Not too shabby, not enough nasi.
2. Sambal Chicken Pasta (from S$13.50)
Homely. That is the main takeaway from this dish.
Fusion cuisine usually goes both ways – fusion or confusion. Uniquely though, my verdict on the pasta falls right down the middle. The texture and taste of the sambal sauce is reminiscent of a tomato-based pasta. The sweetness of the Pizza Hut sambal felt oddly comfortable and homely (I mean, I did enjoy it at home).
That being said, as much as it is ‘homely’, the pasta did not taste ‘restaurant-quality’ to me. It could be because of the sense of expectation that comes with ordering a meal from a proper restaurant – it should elevate our palate. After all, we are experiencing a novel taste.
3. Spicy Chicken Pop with Sambal Sauce ($5.90)
Think KFC’s popcorn chicken, with a topping of sambal sauce added to it. Interestingly, the popcorn chicken combination worked best for me, compared to the other dishes. The sweetness of the sambal sauce made a perfect counter to the slight saltiness of the popcorn chicken, giving it a rather balanced taste. It is easy to get addicted to this side dish.
4. Garlic Bread (available with the Sedap Box)
My favourite Pizza Hut dish. Enough said.
Overall, the Nasi Lemak Sedap Box was a refreshing take on sambal and nasi lemak. A bit of a sambal overload, but it's still bearable when you share it with your family/friends. The price of $34.50 is quite affordable too.
Now, for the key question, should you try it? Or should you just order good ol' Nasi Lemak from the makcik downstairs?
If you want a pizza that gives you a taste of home, and you like sweet sambal, go for it.
If not, I would recommend pairing the Nasi Lemak Pizza with other pizzas on the menu to get a good blend of flavour for the whole family.
The Nasi Lemak Pizza is available for takeaways and delivery until 14 July 2021. You may order the Nasi Lemak Pizza or Sedap Box online on PizzaHut.com.sg and via the Pizza Hut app available for download on iOS and Android. New customers who download the app receive S$10 off their first order. The Nasi Lemak Pizza is also on offer at 50% off when you order two pizzas for delivery or one pizza for takeaway.