This is an Indonesian rice meal with a dizzying array of spicy meats, seafood, curries, eggs, and vegetables. Originally a farmer’s or poor man’s meal in Padang, Indonesia, it became a hit with local city dwellers too. Some cooks use tenderloin for the signature beef rendang, and deep sea squids for sambal sotong too.
2 Joo Chiat Cplx #03-1111 (Map) 10am – 6pm Mon
This is regarded as the most decadent and value for money nasi padang buffet in Singapore. To begin with, former vegetable hawker, Ibu Siti Khadijah Syariffudin, offers at least 10 types of sambals on any given day, from tempoyak, mangga, petai, ikan bilis, budu, cincalok (just to name a few) plus the garden belacan variety. And there's a salad bar for dipping into them. Over 40 Padang and Malay varieties beckon: sambal eggs, siput lemak, rendang, whole tempura quail, spicy gong gong (whelks) soto, ayam korma, assam pedas, blanched cockles, spicy coconut sweet potato leaves, fried chicken, sambal fish roe, fish ball and vegetable soup, deep fried ikan selar, sambal kangkong, tempeh goreng, mussels, sambal bitter gourds, sambal prawns, ulam salad, chap chye, chicken curry, ermm, there’s more. You can just come for the set rice meals like Nasi Kerabu (herbed rice sets). Prices are fantastic value for money and did we mention there's also a dessert section with stuff like kueh lopes and a richly delectable pengat pisang.
Hajjah Mona Nasi Padang
1 Geylang Serai #02-166, Geylang Serai Mkt & Food Ctr (Map) 8am – 7pm Wed
The founders of this stall have both passed on but they also handed over the reins to thier son Razak. They begin cooking in the wee hours of the morning and get this, up to 50 dishes (mostly very complex rempah or spice paste laden) are ready to be topped on your plate of soft fluffy rice by 8am. It is a feat and you will be spoilt for choice. The stunning icons you should choose are of course the beef rendang (not denture friendly soft and has some bite to it, like how it is in Indonesia), the urap salad with serundeng (fried grated coconut), ayam korma (white curry chicken), siput lemak (curry snails), fried sambal fish, among many others. Do put a dollop of their sambal over the rice to fully feel the authentic heat in this dish.
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