Sunday, May 4, 2014

Rumah Sayang Cafe - A Gem of a JEM

Mention malls and the last thing you think you'd find is a decent nasi padang or zhe char eatery in it. Most malls tend to fill their F&B spaces with the usual suspects of Din Tai Fung, Crystal Jade etc.

And so, it was a lovely surprise to find Rumah Sayang that is serving tasty local delights in the basement of JEM.

The cafe essentially cooks up a mixture of nasi padang, nyonya and other local favorites like prata and so forth.

It looks like any other local cafe you'd find in a mall these days, and the rather modest looking outlet betrays no sign of being an eatery discovery.

But do not let the simple exterior fool you. Step in and you will be somewhat wowed by the food on offer here.

Tahu Goreng

The tahu goreng looked and tasted sumptuous. The beancurds were nicely fried to a crisp on the outside whilst within, the smooth silky texture of the tahu simply melted in the mouth. Topped with a slightly sweet, spicy and flavorful sauce, this is an ideal starter.

Prawn Fritters

This dish of deep fried prawn fritters was simple and yet a delight. Looking and tasting like an oversized fried wanton, the batter was light and crispy on the outside and the minced prawn mixture on the inside was nicely seasoned and packed bags of flavors.

Salted Egg Yolk Chicken

The deep fried goodness continued with this well cooked salted egg yolk chicken dish. The chicken was well fried again and retained a nice moist texture within, nary a hint of overcooking in sight. The salted egg yolk sauce was even more impressive, resembling a smooth hollandaise that coated each morsel of the chicken superbly.

Curry Fish Head

Finally, we were treated to a really afforable fish head curry that was utterly delicious. The curry sauce had the right amount of consistency and flavors and was filled to the brim with a luscious array of ingredients.

The fish head itself, whilst not the largest around, was nevertheless fresh and succulent. For what it is charging here at $18, it is a real value for money deal, considering you are paying much more for much less in non-air conditioned kopitiams and zhe char stalls elsewhere.

Rumah Sayang has slightly altered my perception of F&B in malls somewhat. Though this is actually an exception, it does prove that given the right circumstances and the right cooking talent, you can still find pretty decent fare in such air conditioned places.

When we were there on a weekend afternoon, the place was fully packed and getting a table was almost nigh impossible. It shows that when you have decent offerings, people will still come to shopping malls for a meal, and provided you do not price it out of the stratosphere, local F&B fare can still be viable here.

Look for Rumah Sayang at JEM. Yes, as corny as this may sound, it is one heck of a gem.

Rumah Sayang
50 Jurong Gateway Road

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