Warong Nasi Pariaman

It is believed that Warong Nasi Pariaman is the oldest surviving stall in Singapore that serves nasi padang – rice with mixed dishes, originating from the city of Padang in West Sumatra, Indonesia. The stall is famous for its authentic Padang dishes, particularly beef rendang, which is cooked without coriander and cumin unlike other rendang dishes.1 A family-run business, Warong Nasi Pariaman has been serving nasi padang since 1948. It is located in a shophouse at 738 North Bridge Road, at the corner of North Bridge Road and Kandahar Street, near the Sultan Mosque.2

Established by a man named Isrin, Warong Nasi Pariaman (Pariaman is the name of a town in West Sumatra) commenced business in 1948 as a warong (coffeeshop) at the corner of Kandahar Street.3 The coffeeshop has remained at the same location, but Isrin has since retired and the business has been passed on to his wife and children.4

Padang food constitutes white rice eaten with a variety of pre-cooked dishes and condiments. The dishes are richly flavoured with coconut oil, lime, fresh chilli, tamarind, lemongrass and lengkuas (galangal root).5

In 1992, Warong Nasi Pariaman was reported to prepare between 50 and 60 kg of rice a day. The stall owners said that the ingredients and the ways in which the dishes are prepared have remained true to the original recipe since the warong first started. Isrin’s wife, Hajah Rosnah, who owned the stall in 1992, claimed that she had never once let anyone else take charge of the ingredients in her 47 years of selling Padang food.6

In 1998, the second generation of the Isrin family ran the stall together with their wives. The team was headed by Isrin’s son, Sudirman.7

In 2013, the restaurant underwent major renovations, so the stall was moved to a temporary location. Subsequently, it returned to North Bridge Road.8

Food preparation at Warong Nasi Pariaman begins at 4 am and all the dishes are ready by 10 am.9 Fridays are particularly busy for Warong Nasi Pariaman as Malays visit in droves after their Friday prayers at the nearby Sultan Mosque.10 Many of the stall’s customers have been frequenting it for two generations.11


Marsita Omar


1. Salma Semono, “Nasi Kukus, Ramuan Asli – Rahsia Enak Masakan Pariaman,” Berita Harian, 23 August 1992, 9; Clarissa Oon, “Fandi Ahmad Used to Drop By on Friday,” Straits Times, 13 September 1998, 11. (From NewspaperSG)
2. Oon, “Fandi Ahmad Used to Drop By,” Semono, “Nasi Kukus, Ramuan Asli”; Ervina Mohd Jamil, “Ini Nasi Padang Yang Kusuap,” Berita Harian, 13 April 2014, 8; Atiyyah Mohd Said, “Perniagaan Keluarga Tanggungjawab Bersama,” Berita Harian, 18 May 2011, 4. (From NewspaperSG)
3. Oon, “Fandi Ahmad Used to Drop By”; Semono, “Nasi Kukus, Ramuan Asli”; Mohd Said, “Perniagaan Keluarga Tanggungjawab Bersama.” 
4. Oon, Fandi Ahmad Used to Drop By.”
5. Semono, “Nasi Kukus, Ramuan Asli.”
6. Semono, “Nasi Kukus, Ramuan Asli”; Oon, Fandi Ahmad Used to Drop By”; Mohd Said, “Perniagaan Keluarga Tanggungjawab Bersama.” 
7. Oon, Fandi Ahmad Used to Drop By.”
8. Adli Yashir Kuchit, “‘Ikon’ Di Arab Street Tukar Padang,” Berita Harian, 31 May 2013, 9. (From NewspaperSG)
9. Oon, Fandi Ahmad Used to Drop By.”
10. Oon, Fandi Ahmad Used to Drop By.”
11. Sheena Chan, “Street Food,” Straits Times, 11 January 2004, L40 (From NewspaperSG); Oon, Fandi Ahmad Used to Drop By.”

Further resources
“Full Listing of Eateries Recognized as Singapore’s Heritage Heroes,” Straits Times, 22 November 2016. (From Factiva via NLB’s eResources website)

Kenneth Goh, “Eating in the Spotlight,” Straits Times, 27 September 2015, 19. (From NewspaperSG)

National Heritage Board, Kampong Glam Heritage Trail (Singapore: National Heritage Board, 2012), 20.


Sumiko Tan, “Opinion: Why Football Legend Fandi Ahmad Will Always Say ‘Hi’,” Straits Times, 10 Aril 2017. (From Factiva via NLB’s eResources website)

The information in this article is valid as at May 2019 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.



Coffee shops--Singapore
Heritage and Culture
Ethnic foods
Cookery, Singaporean