Mark Wiens and Zermatt Neo order 51 dishes at renowned nasi padang place - here's what they like

Mark Wiens and Zermatt Neo order 51 dishes at renowned nasi padang place - here's what they like
Mark Wiens (centre) with Ray Tan (left) and Zermatt Neo (right) along with the 51 dishes at Hjh Maimunah Restaurant
PHOTO: Screengrab from Youtube/Mark Wiens

At its core, nasi padang is steamed rice accompanied by a host of delectable hearty pre-cooked dishes.

Mixing and matching these dishes can be a fun experience given how many choices are available at any one time.

Famed YouTuber Mark Wiens was recently in Singapore and he took the nasi padang experience up a notch by ordering a massive 51 dishes when he visited Hjh Maimunah Restaurant in Joo Chiat.

For the uninitiated, this is no regular nasi padang joint. This Michelin Bib Gourmand-approved restaurant is a massive hit with locals and Mark could not wait to get tucked in.

While most of us would have experienced the "what-should-I-order" jitters when in a queue for nasi padang, Mark did not.

He knew exactly what he'll be ordering. 

Ask and you shall receive

"Can I please order one plate of everything?" he asked.

After some confusion, the restaurant staff understood that Mark wasn't kidding. In this case, "everything" amounted to 51 dishes.

With Zermatt Neo as his eating buddy, there's always a chance that all the food will be polished off.

Zermatt is a well-known local competitive eater, having burst on the scene when he won Singapore's first Food League title in 2017 by eating 92 chicken wings in eight minutes.

The duo was joined by Ray Tan, director of Daisy's Dream Kitchen.

Throughout the 31-minute-long YouTube video, you can see them gobbling down dish after dish as they try to make out how the food could be this delicious.

Here's a quick summary of the three dishes the trio unquestionably approves of.

1. Lemak siput

When it comes to this dish, you either love it or hate it. 

There'll always be those who can't get over the mental hurdle that they're eating slimy snails but this was of no issue to the trio.

Of course, it always helps when you're eating it at a place that is well-known for preparing a banger version of this dish.

Colloquially known as siput sedut, this traditional dish of sea snails cooked in a spicy coconut gravy infused with chilli padi and lemongrass packs a punch.

"You gonna need a bit of technique with that one, to suck it out," Zermatt explained.

However, none of them seems to face any difficulty on their first try.

Mark gave his stamp of approval by mentioning how he enjoys sucking out the snails as it "gets all the flavour with that coconut milk and a little bit of chilli".

2. Beef rendang

An all-time favourite in the region, beef rendang received international acclaim when it was voted top of CNN's World's 50 Best Food in 2011 and 2017

It's a signature dish at Hjh Maimunah Restaurant and a rendang-less meal here would just feel odd.

The trio cleaned up their plate of rendang in no time with Zermatt particularly impressed.

"This one we can definitely finish. Oh wow, that looks good," the 34-year-old said.

As Mark attempts to break down the potential ingredients in the rendang, Zermatt and Ray were quietly chomping down their food.

Their silence says it all.

After a few mouthfuls, Zermatt admitted it was one of the best rendang he's ever had while Ray pointed out how "nice and tender" the meat was.

3. Sotong hitam

A plate of sotong hitam, or squid in black in sauce, made its way to their table halfway through the meal.

This classic Malay dish came fresh out of the kitchen and that immediately caught the attention of the three men. 

"So that makes it 51 dishes?" Mark asked aloud.

Zermatt had no qualms that they could finish one more dish. And why not, especially when it's a piping hot plate of sotong hitam.

"That sauce is really good, wow. That's one of my favourite now," Zermatt exclaimed after slurping a mouthful of it.

Mark and Ray were equally blown away.

if you ever find yourself at one of the many Hjh Maimunah outlets in Singapore and are a bit overwhelmed at what to order, you can consider these three dishes.

51 dishes might seem rather excessive, unless you're a competitive eater of course.


ALSO READ: 'I just wanted to be on TV': Meet the food delivery rider praised for elevating Malay cuisine on MasterChef Singapore

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