A pizza, much like a sandwich, is quite magical if you think about it. In that the dough base, or in the case of the sandwich (or a burger, even), the bread is merely the vessel in which the fillings are transported.
Much in the same way that our bodies are merely skins for our immortal souls, the latter of which will surely be whisked off to Valhalla when we die, where we will eat McDonald’s Quarter Pounders (and certainly not the horror that is a Big Mac, because that's what they serve in snack hell) for all eternity at the side of Ronald McDonald.
But only if you have previously accepted him as your lord and saviour, and the Quarter Pounder as his chosen corporeal incarnation on this earthly realm.
Anyway, see the thing about pizzas and sandwiches is that you could theoretically put anything on it and still taste decent.
And the best part is you can eat the vessel, which is more than you could say about you and me. I mean, yes, you could technically eat people, but that sort of thing is generally frowned upon.
But back to pizzas. I’ve some some weird ones in my time. A fettuccine carbonara pizza, for starters. Which is exactly what it sounds like—pasta on a flat disc of dough.
It was odd, to be certain, but also oddly compelling. The noodles were crisp from being in the oven and the sauce creamy and absolutely bursting with umami goodness. The best part is, you don’t need to have a plate to eat your pasta with, which is a valuable bonus.
Don’t even get me started on dessert pizzas, which are an abomination, but as with the carbonara pizza above, also oddly compelling.
And now, armed with the knowledge you never knew you needed, but are now unfortunately saddled with like herpes, we can finally begin to talk about Swensen’s latest pizza offering: Nasi Lemak Pizza.
As with McDonald’s take on the burger, there’s no actual coconut rice content in this, though there’s more nasi lemak-iness than what the Big M did with their burger.
Instead of tomato sauce coating the base, you get sambal chilli, with omelette strips spinkled on top, along with ikan bilis, peanuts and cucumber bits. The crowning glory is some boneless fried chicken wings, which is a bigger abomination than the pizza itself.
Even I, The Snacktivist, great culinary (mis)adventurer and debaser of self for your entertainment, balked at that one. Oddly enough, only two chicken wings are provided per pizza, which is odd considering there’s around 8-10 slices.
I can only assume the reason for that is Swensen’s would like you to enter into a blood-soaked battle royale with your dining companions to see who gets to eat it. Although in the end, there can be only two, since, uh, there’s two chicken wings.
Unless of course, your friend, as I did balked at the prospect of eating it. In which case, hooray for you. You don’t have to fight your friends in a chicken wing trial of possession.
At any rate, for better or worse, the rest of the pizza is… kinda blah. Apart from the base, which follows the usual Singaporean trend of turning it into some form of hard tack biscuit. The sort you can use as a hunting discus that instead of stunning your quarry, results in a messy decapitation.
But the pizza itself isn’t meh because it’s bad. It’s bad because it has so much potential for weirdness. Or at least, it’s weird in concept, but not so much in execution.
Granted, there’s only so much you can do with a foodstuff that theoretically could have anything on it, and in all fairness, the things that go into an actual plate of nasi lemak is the furthest thing you could think of as strange.
In short, it’s basically most of the condiments you’d normally find on a nasi lemak, but now thrown on top of a pizza. Whether you think that’s strange enough to give it a special mention is subjective, but for the Snacktivist’s money, it simply isn’t weird enough.
But that’s a good thing, isn’t it, Snacktivist?
Yes, it would be, if I was a normie. And you’re not a normie as well, if you’ve stayed with me up to this point.
And on that note alone, the normie execution of Swensen’s Nasi Lemak Pizza barely gets a passing grade.
10-word review: Works better as a concept than as an actual foodstuff.
Best paired with: A prayer to McDonald's to bring their Nasi Lemak Burger back.