Category Archives: Malay

Penang Place

Penang Place 
Penang Place
6 International Business Park #01-05
Atrium Building (off Boon Lay Way)
Singapore 609918
Tel: 6899 9446
Opening Hours: 11.30am to 2.00pm (lunch) and 6.30pm to 9.00pm (dinner); Closed on Sundays

Went to this place for lunch one fine working day and first impression simply didn’t gel with the quality of food here.

First impression was hmm… ordinary. Got the feeling that it’s a Peranakan Jack’s Place. Went round the buffet table and ok, not too bad a spread for a weekday lunch.

Being at a Penang makan place, of course I had to try the char kway teow, the Penang laksa and the chendol.  These are after all the “die die must try” dishes when you are at Penang.

And oh boy, I must say that the char kway teow here is the most authentic Penang char kway teow that I’ve eaten in Singapore. It’s truly like having the same dish at Penang. Not oily, not spicy and don’t have too much of the black sauce that you find in normal char kway teow in Singapore. One helping is never enough of this good stuff.

The Penang laksa here is good but not as tasty as the ones that they serve at Chilli Padi.  It doesn’t have the oomph that I was looking for – a bit bland and not enough of the prawn paste (heh koh).

Chendol chendol chendol – I always love the chendol that they serve in Malaysia because of the pandan jellies.  The ones that they serve in Singapore are the dark green ones and has the plastic-like look that I never liked.  The ones that they serve at Penang Place here are the same ones that they serve in Malaysia – light green and has that tinge of pandan taste.  You basically have to make your own chendol (like all buffets).  The red beans that they served here are the big ones (small kidney like), but since I am not a red beans person, I typically skipped that stuff.  I had literally 2 full bowls of the chendol – just like the ones that they serve in Penang.

Don’t try the otah at this place – it simply does not taste nice.  They attempt to make it like the Thai otah by steaming their otahs but the coconut simply overwhelms the otah.

I managed to squeeze 1 seasame chicken – I couldn’t taste much of the seasame but the chicken drumstick is crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside.

Since I am a small eater and I think I did very well by eating quite a fair bit, I wasn’t able to stuff any more of their food in.  But am happy coz I had a taste of Penang here at home. Now I don’t have to fly to Penang any more to fulfill my char kway teow/chendol cravings. Overall, great but there are hits and misses.  Just simply enjoy those that you love.  🙂

If you are not a buffet fan, they also have ala-carte dishes available, so you can always order from the menu.

Prices are reasonable –  S$19.80++ for weekday lunch and S$21.80++ for weekday dinner.  Add another S$2 if you are dining on Saturdays, Public Holidays eve nights and on Public Holidays.

Rosie’s Nasi Padang @ Maxwell

Rosie’s Nasi Padang @ Maxwell
Stall No 100, Maxwell Road Food Centre
Tel: 9238 9305 (for catering and other enquiries)
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat: 7.30am-8pm; open on Public Holidays; Closed on Sundays

A new nasi padang stall at Maxwell Food Centre is fast gaining popularity among the working crowd there. Being the only nasi padang stall in the area, and offering a wide variety of dishes at reasonable prices, Rosie’s Nasi Padang @ Maxwell has acquired a loyal following since it opened earlier this month.

Rosie’s Nasi Padang @ Maxwell was set up by Eric and Rosie Gohres. Eric, who is Dutch, and Rosie, a Singaporean, were unsatisfied with the limited and expensive dishes offered by many nasi padang eateries. When a stall at Maxwell Food Centre became available, the couple jumped at the chance to open their own nasi padang stall and roped in Rosie’s parents to manage it. Rosie’s mother Mdm Hajjah Rafiah has over 10 years of experience in cooking Malay food at food centres and factory canteens, and is the head cook of the stall.

One of the draws of Rosie’s Nasi Padang is its wide variety. With over 20 different dishes to choose from, one is spoilt for choice. Looking at the variety of meat, seafood, vegetables and side dishes, I wasn’t sure which I should try first.

I started off with the Ayam Masak Merah (sweet and sour chicken). This dish, with its dark red colour, looked appetising, and the chicken meat was tender. Unfortunately, it was too sour for my liking.

However, I wasn’t disappointed when I tried the most popular item on the menu – Beef Rendang. The beef is really tender and juicy, and is just irresistible when it is enveloped in the thick and spicy coconut gravy. Another dish that you should try is the Chicken Curry. The meat is tender and the flavourful dish is full of different spices and curry. The Sambal Goreng, consisting of tofu and mixed vegetables stewed in coconut-based sauce, is another must-try. It is also rich in flavour and the long beans are really crunchy.

And who can miss the belacan? I was blown away by the first spoonful of this humble chilli dish which was cooked to perfection. Its spiciness immediately made my scalp perspire, while the judicious blend of ingredients gave a balance between the sweet and sour flavours. It also looks appetising with its fresh orangey-red colour. I was told that there was a customer who liked the belacan so much that she bought a tub of it home.

My meal was a pleasant one in spite of the rather dry white rice, as the Sayur Lodeh helped to moisten it a bit. This vegetable dish, which is a mix of crunchy vegetables such as long beans and cabbage, and fried tofu, all in creamy coconut gravy, has just the right amount of saltiness for balance.

You can also find other dishes in their menu which is changed every day for variety. They include fish curry, ayam lemak cili padi (chicken in coconut gravy with chilli pepper), chilli prawns, sotong masak hitam (black ink squid), sambal telur burung (chilli quail eggs), ikan assam pedas (spicy tamarind fish), sambal sotong (chilli squid), sambal kupang (chilli mussels), begedel (potato balls), and more.

A Nasi Padang set with one meat and two vegetables dishes costs only $3.50. Although the food is cheap, quality is not compromised as Rosie believes in using the best ingredients she can get.

If choosing your own dishes seems like a big hassle, Rosie also sells a Nasi Lemak set (above, first picture) with chicken wing, egg and anchovies ($2) and Nasi Ayam Penyet (Indonesian Crispy Chicken Rice, $3). On Fridays, you can appease your craving for Nasi Briyani Dam that comes with beef ($3) or chicken ($3.50).

The best time to go to Rosie’s Nasi Padang@Maxwell is during lunchtime when the food is still hot and a wider variety of dishes is available for you to choose from.

Rosie’s Nasi Padang is cheap and value-for-money, and its beef rendang (and belacan) is worth queuing up for.

Note: This review was extracted from AsiaOne.
Post-Makan Note:

I tried the Nasi Ayam Penyet (Indonesian Crispy Chicken Rice) set on 19 November 2007 and I must say I was very disappointed with the food.

The chicken was served cold and it was not crispy at all. The chicken was pretty tasteless and the chilli, although given very generously, was not spicy at all.  Doesn’t taste like sambal belachan.  The rice tasted very ordinary… perhaps a bit oiler than the usual plain rice.

Although the review said there were 20 different dishes for its Nasi Padang, I counted less than that. And most didn’t look appetizing at all.

Overall, I will still stick to my Nasi Padang Stall at River Valley.

Epok Epok Central

Epok Epok 2 Epok Epok Central 
Epok Epok Central
Block 4A Eunos Crescent #01-09
Eunos Crescent Market & Food Centre
Opening Hours: 7am to 7pm, closed on Mondays

Well before our beloved curry puff epoch, there was epok epok. A humble and non-descript looking Malay curry puff stuffed with spicy potatoes. The first recorded history of the curry puff was the Polar version when an old Indian man sold his curried potato puff pastry recipe to Polar Café founder Mr Chan Hinky not long before the Japanese Occupation.

But Mdm Hajjah Bayah Ahmad grandmother was already serving epok epok when she was born in 1930. “Then, nobody sold it on the street. It was my nenek’s (granny) recipe. My mother and I sold it on a push cart stall in “central” near Kaki Bukit.”, Hajah Ayah also recalls the “central” area as a street food haven in the sixties.

My memories of this simple curried potato pastry go back to my primary education era in the 70’s and it was simply “currypup” to us then. A Malay man would cycle into our then St Michael’s School (now St Joseph’s Junior) with a glass and steel cabinet behind loaded with freshly fried currypup. It cost about five cents each then (nothing cost five cents today), and for regulars like me, who eyeball the chili sauce each time, he’ll inject a couple of shots of his spicy, sour yet sweet chilli sauce in to the cuurypup with his homemade nozzled capped Coca Cola chilli bottle. It was soulfood.

Unlike today’s curry puffs, which gives you that rich sensation with an over-buttered pastry and over-curried potatos, epok epok pasty was simply done with a hint of ghee (clarified butter) and plain flour. Even the potato fillings were different- marinated with a light chilli rempah devoid of curry powder. It was just a softly crispy yet not oily pastry holding in soft sambal potatoes. The corners of the epok epok were hand-nipped and irregular. Delightful.

This is a sensation you won’t easily find even in Malaysia and Indonesia. The closest they have in Roti Boyan, a huge pizza shaped potato pie done without much spices. And if the likes of Hajjah Ayah decides to call it quits, it’s sayonara to this aspect of our food culture. Thankfully, her young son Lokman Kassimdid not have it good in the corporate world, “My work in the advertising industry was very stressful la. Cannot tahan.”, so he permanently logged off his computer eight years ago and took on the mantle at his mother’s stall.

“I have no regrets. I enjoy this, no stress, no deadlines and no headaches”, and Lokman also reveals that each epok epok is done by hand and “so as long as I can, I will continue to hand make it.”. They shift on average a thousand pieces each day and every ball of dough is measured and rolled thinly through a little pasta press, one by one. By now, “ of course I can measure each dough ball just by feeling it in my hand”.

Which is what makes their epok epok stand out. The pastry is consistenly thin and crispy and not overly stuffed. The little pocket of air in their kentang(potato) epok epok adds to the lightness. Bite into it and you’ll know it’s not the curry puff we popularly know it to be today. They offer four versions which Hajjan Ayah claims is with a recipe faithful to her nenek’s, seventy years ago – potatoes, sardines, egg-potatoes and vegetables. Their vegetable version is rare, stuffed with towgay and chives and wok tossed in a sweet, spicy and vinegared chilli sauce. They don’t make it daily but there’s a good chance they’ll serve it on weekends.

I can easily cruise through five of these and then begin a meal. It helps that they make it a tad smaller than usual so two bites will do make it disappear. And remember to take Lokman’s advice, “wash it down with the perfect beverage partner- a hot cup of kopi.”

Note: This review was extracted from Makansutra.

Cendol Geylang Serai

Cendol Geylang Serai Cendol
Cendol Geylang Serai
#01-372 Geylang Serai Temporary Food Centre
Tel: 9485 5845 (Faizal)

Generally I do not like the cendol in Singapore because of the cendol itself.  Too green and you can’t really taste the cendol.  My fav is always the one in Penang which is really shioks (will try to get you the location someday).

Came across this recommendation for cendol on the web and from what I can see, they serve the genuine cendol.  A definitely must try for me.  I let the pics speak for themselves. 😀

Please note that not only is the cendol different from other stalls in Singapore, their Cendol dessert only comes with cendol, and no red beans, chin chow or agar agar in it.

Express Food Delivery

Express Food Delivery 
511 Guillemard Road #02-27
Grandlink Square
Singapore 399849
Tel: 6747 4368 Fax: 6747 4113
Opening Hours: 11am to 2am everyday except on the 2nd & 4th Friday of each month


I know they have been around for a very long time.  This company specializes in food & fruits from Geylang.  Yes, they do deliver durian! and even rambutan, lychee & longans! Wow! They even have bubble tea for those who have the craving for it. 

And fear not! They have food from Chinese to Malay to Indian to vegetarian.  If you’re tired of ordering tingkat dinner, you might want to try their set dinner too.

If the order is less than S$15, an additional charge of S$2 will be imposed.

Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak

Selera Rasa 
Selera Rasa Nasi Lemak
Stall No. 2 Adam Road Food Centre
Tel: 9843 4509 (Mr Hj Hassan)
Opening Hours: 6.30am to 10pm

Their slogan is “No. 2 Adam Road is the No. 1 Nasi Lemak”.  Can’t say I disagree with them as they are the best tasting nasi lemak in Adam Road Food Centre. 😀

Choose from a regular set (S$2 for rice, 1 fried egg, ikan bilis and chilli) to Fish/Chicken/Otak set (S$3 for additional fish/chicken/otak to the regular set) to the full house (S$4)/royal flush (S$4.50)/full house (S$5) (check their website for pictures). Add S$0.20 more for take-aways. 

They also do free delivery for 30 packets (check with Mr Hassan to see if he delivers to you or not first) and above or you can call and order in advance before collecting.

I love this stall’s fried chicken wings and the cuttlefish in chilli. 

Nasi Lemak @ Tanjong Pagar

Nasi Lemak
Nasi Lemak
Blk 6 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #02-40
Opening Hours: 6am to 2pm; closed on Sundays & Public Holidays

One of the tastiest nasi lemak I’ve ever tasted can be found in this stall at Tanjong Pagar. It’s managed by an old couple. For S$2, you can get the fragrant nasi lemak rice, egg, otah, chicken wing & kuning (a type of small fish; typically deep fried and comes with the nasi lemak).  Plus a delicious dolop of chilli.

Xing Xing Tapioca Cake

Onde Onde
Xing Xing Tapioca Cake
Stall 31, Maxwell Road Food Centre
Opening Hours: 8am to 1pm; closed on Sundays & Public Holidays

Known to be of Indonesian origin, ondeh ondeh has been adopted by Malay and Peranakan food cultures here.

The skin is usually made with steamed sweet potato, which is mashed into a paste with glutinous rice flour and pandan juice added.

It is then used to wrap small, marble-shaped gula melaka (palm sugar) and dropped into boiling water. When the balls float, they are ready to be fished out, coated with dessicated coconut and eaten.

Expect to pay S$1 for 3 pieces of onde onde.  Real value for money for such good stuff.

It is an addictive snack but quite tedious to make. Which explains why excellent versions are increasingly difficult to find in Singapore.

Nasi Padang River Valley

Nasi Padang River Valley Nasi Padang Dishes
Nasi Padang River Valley
55 Zion Road
Tel: 6734 3383
Opening Hours: 9am to 9pm; closed on public holidays

This is THE place to go for if you want good nasi padang. Sure there are dozens of good nasi padang stall but this is the one I love to go to. 😀

Prices are not cheap at this stall but they do have a huge variety of food where you can choose.  Do try the beef rendang which is really tender.