A Nasi Goreng Round-up

Colombo's finest takes on Nasi Goreng.

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Nasi Goreng is essentially a dish born in Indonesia, and it's pretty much their take on fried rice. And while the facts of its origin can be interesting and all, nothing, and we mean nothing can get as interesting as a steaming plate of beautifully made Nasi Goreng. 

Oily (not in a bad way) and packed with flavour, Nasi Goreng is an island favourite and while we've got our fair share of versions of it all, good, bad and ugly, we've decided to bring you some of Colombo's popular takes on Nasi Goreng.


The Nasi Goreng at Isso went more along with what we're used to. Served as a pretty nice looking dome of rice that smelled divine, the Nasi was accompanied by the usual prawn crackers, a few slices of salt and peppered cucumber, a can of EGB to pull it all together and a prawn satay topped with a smooth peanut sauce.

The rice itself, we found, was speckled with an abundance of cut-up bits of prawns so the seafood presence was a lot more than just subtle. Complemented by the veggies and the sides, the Nasi Goreng at Isso turned out to have an almost overpowering amount of prawns included. 

Santai Colombo

Santai Colombo is known for delivering stellar Malaysian fare and we weren't surprised by their take on Nasi Goreng either. They actually have 3 varieties of Nasi Goreng rich with spinach and cut up red chillies. The rice wasn't all that oily and the kang kung - chilli combo didn't disappoint either. It turned out to be a lot more flavourful than when you first see it. 

Santai doesn't serve prawn crackers, instead, they choose to serve their Nasi with fish crackers in case the plate should land in front of someone with an allergic reaction to prawns. And while the pickle added a lovely tang to each mouthful, the chicken was a story in itself. Yes, the chicken is basic in terms of being cooked as it had only been deep-fried, but, baring a beautiful mix of saffron and brown, it had a distinct turmeric presence to it. With a flaky shell covering most of it and a super soft inside, the meat, albeit subtle, was done quite well. 


Sponge has been around for ages, and we've all grown to love them with every experience we've had with them. The Chicken Nasi goreng here is a mix of deep brown rice topped with a bulls-eye egg, chicken satay and a couple of prawn crackers to kick it all off. Also, there was an abundance of prawns and a rather clumpy bunch of batter-fried cuttlefish in the mix as well.

A string of sour chicken to carry it to the edge, what better way to wash it all down with some strong ginger beer? 

The Gardenia Coffee Shop: Ramada Colombo

A view of the pool, the hot afternoon sun and a Nasi Goreng to top off our afternoon, the nasi goreng at the Gardenia Coffee Shop (Ramada Colombo) was a dome of steamy brown rice topped with a sunny side up egg, chicken satays, prawn crackers and a couple of slices of cucumber. 

Spicy with just the right kicks and an assembly of veggies and accompaniments to go with it, we're glad that they've managed to keep the consistency of this one for many years. 

Colombo Court

Found in the heart of Colombo, the ambience at Colombo Court is brilliant. Immediately pulling you away from the buzzing city, the nasi goreng was accompanied by a couple of tender batter fried prawns, a skewer, a mound of fluffy rice, prawn crackers and veggies. The fluffy, flavourful rice with an abundance of meat, the whole thing went beautifully with a chilled glass of EGB.