“Fandi used to come every Friday.” Warong Nasi Pariaman could well be the oldest surviving Nasi Padang store in Singapore. And least my family has been coming here since I was a baby.
Warong Nasi Pariaman began in 1948 as a warong (coffeeshop) at the corner of Kandahar Street, set up by Mr Isrin. Pariaman is the name of a city in West Sumatra, where padang food hails. The third-generation owner Cik Jumrin Isrin would tell you about the football son of Singapore coming here after mosque, and used to bring his wife Wendy here as well.
Of course the food here was authentic Padang style Indonesian cuisine. Unlike Nasi Padang served in Indonesia, Pariaman does not plate everything and let you choose due to hygiene reasons. However, Warong Nasi Pariaman has acquired a solid reputation for serving delicious but cheap Padang food. One has to be there early to get a seat at the warong. By noon, all the tables will be taken, as the office crowd swarms the stall. To get packed lunches, one may have to queue for at least 15 minutes.
I really enjoyed their ayam gulai (chicken curry) and sayur lodeh (curry vegetable). But their piece de resistance is their sayur nangka (young jackfruit curry). The bright colours of the different curries and rendang just spark joy for me. While the tastes seemed to be better in those days, you can still distinguished between the different curries as the rempeh used for each is different, unlike other Malay stalls that used the same rempeh for everything they cooked.
But more importantly, this place reminded of a simple time when we would come and packed the nasi padang for everyone in my dad’s factory. They were so generous with their portions and rice, two persons can share a packet and the guys in the factory would look forward to our usual Friday nasi padang day.
Now I wanted to continue the tradition with my family. Must try if you are in the vicinity.
Warong Nasi Pariaman
736/738 North Bridge Road , Singapore 198704
Tel : 6292 2374 / 6292 5958
Date visited : Jan 2019