Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Indonesian Delights - Exquisite Food in a Kopitiam

Hidden away in one corner of a rather obscure Tampines coffeeshop is this rather delightful discovery of Indonesian cuisine. Yes, it may be housed in a kopitiam, but the lady owner serves up some rather delicious dishes.

And she has only been at it for a couple of months, and business has been slow due to its rather quiet location. Nevertheless, this place is something to shout about.

The lady owner is also the main cook in the stall, and she makes all her rumpah and sauces herself, instead of relying on 3rd party sources.

This itself is admirable for a start up stall and what is more amazing, is that she makes more than the usual amount of spices and sauces for her tasty food. It is almost unheard of these days for a hawker to do something like this, and yet she does it.


Just the acah itself was memorable, with it perfect balance of the sweet and sour infused into the crunchy vegetables and finished off with the right amount of spices. Most of the time, this dish would be just a side kick that nobody notices, but here, it is a highlight in itself.

Steamed Otah

We are used to grilled otah, and there are some good ones lurking around in Singapore, but seldom do you get steamed otah done this well. It was packed full of flavors and spices, and it was infused with a generous dose of lemongrass that just lifted the flavors even more.

Served in chunky and cut up cubes, it had the perfect texture that exploded the fish and spices flavors right into your mouth with every bite. This dish might have just converted me to steamed otah over grilled ones for good.

Batang Fish in Assam

We all enjoy a good assam fish head when we can, but here they use Batang instead and it is just as good with its slight variation on the assam sauce. It was more watery, but nevertheless still as robust and flavorsome as it comes.

The fish was fresh and well cooked, and the sweetness of the fish meat was beautifully soaked up by the sour tasting assam and the accompanying vegetables. This was perfect with plain rice and a dish that would please any assam fish head lover anyday.

Fried Fish with Spiced Stuffing

The other fish dish we had was this equally sumptuous fried fish that had a spice stuffing inserted into the belly. The stuffing itself was memorable for its rich combination of spices that had enough kick but was never overpowering.

The fish itself was amazingly cooked to perfection, the flesh perfect to the flaking of a fork and moist within. Well it was a tad dry, if you take it with a bit of her homemade chilli, it would be an absolute delight and pleasure.

Pork Belly in Satay Sauce

The highlight of the meal was undoubtedly this amazing and surprising pork belly braised in a sauce that I can only describe as satay sauce like. The sauce was slightly sweet, and had a hint of lemongrass and full of crushed nuts that added a nice texture to the sauce.

The pork belly was well braised and was cut to very small pieces to cook better and it certainly showed in the final dish. The meat was tender and juicy, and meltingly soft to the bite. The combination of the robust pork fat flavors was perfectly complimented by the sweet tasting sauce. Gorgeous!

There were other dishes as well, and the curry chicken was actually quite decent too, but not as excellent as some of these other dishes. Which came as a surprise as the owner said her curry chicken was her best seller.

Goes to show, that a number of Singaporeans cannot distinguish the great from the good when it comes to eating. That said, there was nothing that was not good from the dishes we sampled, and there were certainly a number of highlights. The otah and pork belly being the stars of this newly operated stall.

I do not find much authentic Indonesian food here, and even rarer to find good ones. This one is exceptional. If you fancy something from Indonesia, you owe it to yourself to try this one.

Indonesian Delights
Tampines St 42
Block 445

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