Category Archives: Indonesian

Pagi Sore

Kangkong Belachan Tahu Telor Ayam Bali  Cumi Bali

Pagi Sore
Far East Square Outlet:
No 88-90 Telok Ayer Street
Far East Square
(Opp PWC Building)
Singapore 048470
Tel:  6225 6002
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday (Closed on Public Holiday)
                         11.00 am – 3.00 pm   6.00 pm – 10.00 pm
 
Jurong Superbowl Outlet:
No 1 Yuan Ching Road #01-02

Jurong Superbowl
Singapore 618640
Tel:  6266 3200
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday (Closed on Public Holiday)
                         11.00 am – 3.00 pm   6.00 pm – 10.00 pm
 

My parents and I visited their Far East Square outlet on Mother’s Day (11 May 2008).  Whenever we eat at an Indonesian restaurant, we never fail to order the tahu telor and the avocado dessert.  These to us are the representation of local Indonesian food.

We wanted to order the Petai Pedas but sadly they didn’t have it available.  So we ended up ordering the Kangkong Belachan (S$8.80), Tahu Telor (S$8.80), Ayam Bali (S$5.80 per piece; we ordered 2 pieces), Cumi Bali (S$13.50), 2 alpukat (S$4.20 each) and 1 chendol and of course, who can forget the rice!.

The food came pretty fast considering it was a lunch-time crowd and on top of that, Mother’s Day!  We barely had to wait for more than 15 minutes before the vegetables start arriving.

The level of spiciness in the food is indicated in their menu – 0 spoon means no chilli at all, 1 spoon means not that spicy, 2 spoons mean spicier, etc.

The first to arrive was the Kangkong Belachan.  This dish wasn’t too spicy (they only had 1 spoon) which is great coz you’ll have some people who can’t take spicy food.  Quite an ordinary dish.  I mean you really can’t go wrong with this dish unless you used really lousy belachan to fry the vegetables.

Next came the tahu telor (deep fried bean curd with egg).  Again another fail-safe dish.  The tahu (bean curd) is soft on the inside and a little bit crunchy on the outside (because of the egg).  Not spicy at all.  They poured a special sweet sauce over the tahu telor but you don’t really find it overwhelmingly sweet.  Wish they could make it a wee bit spicier so you can have the kick!

After a short while, the chicken and the squid arrived.  Both were cooked in the same style – bbq with a kind of sauce spread on top of the meat.  I find the chicken nice but it was a tad too sweet.  Too much of the sweet sauce!  Not so crunchy despite being bbq.  Tasted more fried rather than bbq.

I love the squid!  It was done just nice; you know if you overcooked the squid, it becomes too tough but this was perfect!  A bit on the sweet side but not as sweet as the chicken.  Pagi Sore also stuffed the tentacles inside the squid before bbq.  I don’t know if this made the squid a wee bit juicier but it was good.

The rice…. I love the rice too! Each portion was served wrapped in a banana leaf so that you get the nice fragrance when you unwrap the rice.  Somehow, you can never stop at just one portion.  Even small eater like me had 1.5! 😛  They charge you S$1.50 for unlimited servings of rice for each person, so if you are a huge rice eater, it’s really worth it.

The belachan… they charge you S$0.30 for each small plate of belachan so don’t be too happy and order as much belachan as you like, thinking it’s free.  The belachan is nice BUT not spicy at all!  You do get the taste of belachan but somehow, I would have much preferred it to be spicier.  No kick if it’s not spicy! However, if you love the belachan here, you can always buy it by the bottle – 230g for S$7 and 380g for S$10.

We had the alpukat (avocado dessert) which is nice but always too sweet!  Very thick and I wish they would go easy on the gula melaka (brown sugar) which makes the avocado too sweet.  Dad enjoyed his chendol – no bad comments so I guess it must be nice for him.  He has a sweet tooth so if you don’t, ask them to go easy on the sugar.

I must say that I am pretty impressed with the service here – very friendly!  Mom was even given a stalk of rose after the meal and as a Mother’s Day special, we were each given a bowl of dessert on the house.  It was a cold dessert – white fungus, wolfberry and 1 more item I can’t describe (we call it lian zhi but I can’t find the English word for it).  Nice but I liked better the one I tried before at Crystal Jade Shanghai Restaurant.

Overall, excellent service and good value for money.  We paid something like S$70 for the meal and we felt so stuffed thereafter.  Most importantly, my parents love the quality of the food.  A definitely will go again restaurant!

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J Co Donuts & Coffee

J Co @ Raffles City Glazzy Doughnuts
J Co Donuts & Coffee
252 North Bridge Road #B1-44M/N
Raffles City Shopping Centre
Singapore 179103
Tel: (65) 6333 4258
Website: http://www.jcodonuts.com/

Finally, I don’t have to go to Batam to purchase these donuts! I love those donuts especially when they are still warm when I buy them.  Oohh…. then I can’t wait to sink my teeth into one of those.  Cost is about S$1 per donut from the branch in Batam.  Be forewarned t.hough – some of the flavors are very sweet (e.g. Green T).  Because I’m not a donut fan, it is difficult to taste all the flavours that they have.  So my advise is to try them all out and see which are your favourites. 

The two-and-a-half-year-old Indonesian brand is known for its light-as-air doughnuts and premium coffee, and has 32 outlets in Indonesia and two in Kuala Lumpur. It was brought in by the BreadTalk Group, which aims to open a second Singapore outlet at Bugis Junction in a couple of months’ time.

At present, the cafe offers 25 types of doughnuts in a variety of flavours and textures, such as the signature Glazzy glazed variety and the Crown series.  The latter features a chewier dough that’s made without yeast, which is great if you prefer your doughnuts with more bite.

The cafe also serves up a range of beverages that includes coffee made from quality Arabica beans.

Note:

Part of the review was extracted from TodayOnline.com and the pictures were extracted from J Co’s website.

Ayam Penyet @ Changi Village

Sri Bistari Nasi Ayam Penyet
Sri Bistari
Changi Village Famous Nasi Penyet
Blk 3 Changi Village Road #01-40
Tel: 96172446/96176360 (Mr Mohd Fadzil)
Opening Hours: 10am to 2am, daily
Website: http://www.sbestfood.com/sribistari.htm

They have 4 other outlets, namely, Malay Village, Simei, Tampines and Beach Road.  Click their website to see the address and opening hours details.

“A new dish has over taken Nasi Lemak as the people’s favourite at Changi Village food centre. While there are at least five decent stalls still touting it, I counted at least six outlets now offering the latest craze there, Nasi Ayam Penyet.

It’s a traditional kampong staple from Indonesia and the last time I noticed, I suspect there are about 40 stalls all over our island selling this batter-less fried chicken on rice with a killer sambal and a pretty cherry tomato salad served on a traditional wooden platter.

Nasi Ayam Penyet means flat chicken rice. Mr Faisal Rashid set up the first specialist stall at Changi Village about two years ago after “ traveling through Jawa Timur in Indonesia and realized this dish could be a hit in Singapore.”

“The first thing my brother Fadzil and I did was to tweak the sambal. The Indonesian version has no sugar and we believe Singaporeans won’t like because of their familiarity with the sweeter nasi lemak sambal here.” So they added not one, but three types of sugars, “ Secret la, cannot tell you what sugars and how we use it but our spicy sambal has taste and fragrance of sweetness.” I pry for another secret, “ usually others don’t, but we pre-fry our belachan like the Nonyas, it gives better aroma”.

It’s strange, but their most important and secretive ingredient, which can make or break them, is doled out free, even when you ask for refills. But that’s the Singapore way, give them what they want, preferably free, and they’ll happily let you charge for what seems almost insignificant to them. It’s fair trade to them.

They believe that Nasi Ayam Penyat won’t be some fad as it has the same appeal Nasi Lemak has but is way healthier. Not a drop of coconut milk is involved and they use chicken flavoured, instead of plain rice.

And at $4.00 a portion which comes with a fried quartered chicken, done Indonesian style with spices and no batter, a plate of chicken flavoured rice, a fat dollop of sambal, chicken soup, a lettuce-cucumber and cherry tomato salad served on a thick wooden platter, it seems they are making an insignificant profit.

“My bother Fadzil don’t believe in charging a lot and don’t think people will pay more for it.”. Handling about two hundred fowls day at their Changi outlet is as much as the six staff and cooks can handle at the little outlet.

They actually have fourteen staff running this outlet on two shifts. Some of the bugbears of doing so is a high staff turnover and inconsistency in quality. So they hired a manager who does nothing but ensures all is smooth and recipes are adhered to but “ we don’t tell him the sambal recipe. We make it ourselves at night’, Faizal smiled, “also, we pay the staff 25% over market rate and it helps lower staff turnover.”

They are very successful, and as if to thank Providence for this blessing, they installed their parents as a middle-man chicken supplier, allowing them to pocket the takings. They even let customers refill their rice at no charge.

But what when the next round of bird flu fear comes a calling, “no problem” a prepared Faizal adds “ we also have the fried fish version, which now accounts for 25% of business. In fact, we will offer many types of fish, not just ikan kerapu, when chicken is not available.”

Note: The review was extracted from Makansutra.

Ayam Penyet RIA

Ayam Penyet RIA Fried Pomfret Set Ayam Penyet Set 
Ayam Penyet RIA
#04-25/26 Lucky Plaza
Tel: 6235 7385
Opening Hours: 11am to 9pm
350 Joo Chiat Road
Tel: 6247 9445
Opening Hours: 12 Noon to 9pm
Website: http://www.ayampenyet.com/index.php

They hammered the chicken before deep-frying it, resulting in meat that’s tender and pulls apart quite easily from the bone. At Ayam Penyet RIA, which is a franchise originating from Indonesia, the smashed fried chicken is served as a set.

What you get is about a quarter of a small chicken, a piece each of fried beancurd and tempe, some boiled kangkong, a slice of cucumber, sambal belachan, and a separate plate of rice. It sounds like a lot, but the portions are really small.

Massaged with a light but aromatic mix of spices, the chicken was fried till crisp but hardly oily. What made it even more special was bits of tempura-like fried batter on the chicken, which was pleasantly crunchy.

At S$5.50, the set is a little pricey, considering the miserly amount given. Nevertheless, the fried chicken is a real gem, worth at least once a try. Besides the signature dish, they have other stuff like smashed beef and oxtail soup, but most are here for the hammered bird.

Ayam Power Cuisine

Ayam Power Cuisine Ayam Penyet Ayam Penyet 2
Ayam Power Cuisine
#02-87 Amoy Food Centre
Tel: +65 91819857

What this stall sells is Ayam Penyet (smashed fried chicken). What made us eat at this stall was the amazing wooden plate that they used to serve the ayam penyet.

We were lucky to get a taste coz we managed to get the last 2 plates! Since it is smashed fried chicken we ordered, I don’t know why my chicken wasn’t smashed.  In the very first place, I wonder why it must be smashed! Either way, the chicken was crispy and tasty.  Maybe I was too hungry! 😛 Must go for a 2nd round to truly appreciate the taste.

My advice is go early! They usually sell out by 1 or 2pm.

House of Sundanese

House of Sudanese Ikan Gurame Goreng Taupok Goreng Isi
House of Sundanese
55 Boat Quay
Tel: 6534 3775
#B1-063 Suntec City Mall
Tel: 6334 1012
#02-18 Great World City
Tel: 6887 5535
Level 3, Changi Airport Terminal 2
Tel: 6546 4839
Website: http://www.sundanesefood.com/

This has remained one of my most favourite Indonesian restaurant.  When your order has been taken, you will be given a small basket of emping (slightly bitter crackers made from Buah Melinjo) .  Ask for the restaurant’s sambal belacan (a malay style chilli mixed with belacan) and dip the emping into it.  But be careful, their sambal belacan is spicy!

One dish that I must have when I am there is their Ikan Gurame Goreng (literal translation is fish gurame fried). The gurame fried to perfection and is very crispy and tastes superb with the restaurant’s sambal belacan and warm rice.

Another dish that I love is their taupok goreng isi. What this dish is they take the fried taupok (bean curd skin) and stuff them with scallops, prawns and mushrooms and deep fry the taupok.

Ayam Panggang (Grilled Chicken)

Ayam Panggang
Riverside Indonesian BBQ
Kopitiam @ Plaza Singapura
Level 6, Stall 10

From only S$4.30, you can get a grilled chicken drumstick (ayam panggang) OR cuttlefish OR fish. After the marinated chicken leg/cuttlefish/fish are cooked, the grill cook dipped the chicken/cuttlefish/fish into a pot of sweet, black gravy, and plonked it beside the rice (smothered with some coconut curry gravy) AND a slice of plain omelette (as shown in the picture) AND a bowl of plain cabbage soup (I like the plain soup as it is a sharp contrast to the sweetness of the main dish). For another 50 cents, you can add stir-fried cabbage and carrots.

If you’re not keen on chicken or cuttlefish or fish, you can also opt for satay (4 sticks) or fried chicken or curry chicken.

Help yourself to the sambal outside the stall.  I love this sambal because it comes with fried ikan bilis and is not that spicy, a bit sweet though.

I’ve eaten at similar stalls at food courts in Raffles City & Tiong Bahru Plaza.  Not sure if they belong to the same branch as this, but they’re all equally good.