Interesting Indo

Interesting Indo

A list for interesting Indonesian delights that I have tried!
Xing Wei Chua
Xing Wei Chua

Funan has recently been seeing quite a bit of movement of its F&B tenants; with former tenants such as that of Carl’s Junior, Yu Kee Braised Duck and Hawkerman which have all moved out of the mall recently, new entrants such as GyoGyo (a establishment focusing of Japanese grilled fish by Minor Food Singapore) and Five Foot Lane has established their presence in the mall. Taking over the former premises of the now-defunct Hawkerman outlet within Funan, Five Foot Lane is a new concept that focuses on serving up Indonesian dishes inspired by the street hawkers of Jakarta; the establishment is non-halal however, considering that they do serve dishes that contains pork. Whilst the layout of the space has not seen much changes the days which it was occupied by Hawkerman, there are some slight changes made to the furnishing and fittings overall; the space now sporting a slightly more colourful interior with splashes of pastel pink, green and bright yellow against wooden furniture and fittings — all that for a fun look that would attract the target audience which usually frequents the mall. We visited Five Foot Lane during their soft launch phase where they are serving a soft launch menu; the menu comprises of what one would typically expect out of an Indonesian eatery — think Fish, Beef, Pork and Chicken dishes such as that of Grilled Pomfret Fish with Rice, Signature Beef Rendang with Rice, Pork Satay, and Smashed Fried Chicken with Rice. The Noodles section features Indomie dishes served with different meat options, while there is also the Vegetables and Sides sections that would work well as a communal item to share across the table. Choice of beverages were rather limited during our visit; these were mainly restricted to canned beverages, as well as bottled drinks such as Tehbotol — all displayed at the counter and not listed anywhere on their printed or online menu.

Having skimmed through the menu, we found ourselves going for the Indomie with Pork Belly Sambal Rica; the item featuring elements such as Sambal Rica marinated pork belly, assorted vegetables, thinly sliced egg omelette and prawn cracker as per the printed menu. It is noted that both the Pork Belly Sambal Rica and Indomie came in separate bowls, with the bowl of Indomie coming with the all the other elements mentioned in the menu description of the item. Being a rather safe bet on its own, the Indomie is pretty comforting as one would have expected it to be — the noodles being springy, while also just savoury enough and lightly spicy (the noodles come spicy by default) that should work just fine for those with lower levels of tolerance to spiciness. The assorted vegetables included with the Indomie also seems to have featured cubes of pickled cucumbers and carrots; these provided a light tanginess which we found to be quite refreshing when had together after all the spicy elements in the item — the egg omelette itself was nothing much to shout about, though we were not too big of a fan with how the prawn cracker felt a little limp on some parts as though it has been placed in the open for a little too long. Moving on to the Pork Belly Sambal Rica, the Sambal Rica is described as a special sort of sambal that is known for being hot and spicy. The chunks of pork belly served up with their Indomie with Pork Belly Sambal Rica were pretty chunky; though there are some bits that felt more gelatinous from all the fatty parts, we liked how there are also quite a fair bit of leaner meat that gave a good chew. The sambal rica didn’t come with much of the ingredients that went into the making of it (i.e. the chili, shallots, garlic etc.), but the oil that came with it does provide quite a piquant kick on its own that tingles the tastebuds for those who are tolerant to moderate levels of spiciness — would have went absolutely well with a bowl of rice on the side to drizzle the oil with.

Indonesian fare is something that seem to be a niche that very few eateries would dabble into — whilst that is a market for such cuisine in Singapore, there just isn’t quite the same appeal for such food as compared to Korean, Japanese or even Malaysian fare to begin with. Five Foot Lane does seem to be a daring move to provide the masses an option of Indonesian fare within the mall that isn’t a mass-market brand that one would be able to easily find in other locations. Having tried also the Signature Beef Rendang with Rice and the Fried Tofu Inside-Out (i.e. Tofu with chicken and carrot filling), we found their offerings to be relatively decent, though there were definitely parts where it could certainly be more refined for more impact. Perhaps it is the lack of familiarity to Indonesian fare in general for us and us not having tried authentic Indonesian fare for the most part — the food just seemed a little difficult to relate to; probably just something that stuck out with us. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to wait out till they have officially launched for a more complete experience of what they have to offer.

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Checking off yet another one of those spots that I had wanted to check out in the list — had came across Mrs. Hen previously at East Village; that outlet being a standalone eatery on its own, but they do actually have another location at Telok Ayer that is situated in the same coffeeshop where Uptown Nasi Lemak is at. With a focus on Ayam Geprek (Crispy Smashed Chicken), Mrs Hen serves up their Ayam Geprek with different choices of sambal — some options available on the menu include the Ayam Geprek Sambal Hijau (Green Chili) and Ayam Geprek Sambal Signature (Red Chili; also available in varying levels of spiciness); patrons who are looking for non-spicy options do also have the Ayam Geprek Salted Egg to go for. Aside for Ayam Geprek, Mrs Hen also offers Ikan Geprek, patrons also can go also for various forms of carbs such as that of the Nasi Kuning (Yellow Rice) or Indomie at an extra cost should they opt for those instead of the standard Nasi (White Rice) served by default.

Of the various types of sambal served with their Ayam Geprek available, the Ayam Geprek Sambal Matah was the one that stood out the most to us when we skimmed through the menu here — listed as Balinese Lemongrass Chilli, the Sambal Matah is best described as a Raw Onion Sambal according to some online sources. Whilst we initially wanted to go for Indomie, we had to end up with the default Nasi option since they were already out of Indomie when we made our visit during weekday lunch hours. Going straight for the slab of crispy smashed chicken, we were already impressed with this one — it’s tender, juicy and crisp; fried to a golden brown batter, it it is nothing short on being especially delicious. Topped off with the Sambal Matah, the chili is especially zingy yet umami — a very refreshing flavour that cuts through the fried nature of the dish and takes most of the heaviness of the dish away. There is not only some crunch from the raw shallots, but it is subtly spicy — nothing too distinctively hot at the start, but it does build up fast; yet addictively so especially with other elements like lemongrass which sets it apart from the usual red or green sambal that other stalls serve up. Each order also does come served with a side of Acar (Indonesian pickles)— juicy, crunchy cubes of pickled vegetables that resets the taste buds with a zing if all gets a little too spicy to handle.

Given its price tag of $7.90 for the Ayam Geprek Sambal Tambah, Mrs Hen does seem like one of the more affordable options to dine at within the Central Business District — no doubt still more considerably higher-priced than other spots like Market Street Food Centre (i.e. CapitaSpring) or certain stalls at Amoy Street Food Centre, it does seem much of a reasonable choice to go for on a weekly basis. We liked how Mrs Hen does serve up a good variety of sambal with their Ayam Geprek — there are plenty of spots doing Sambal Signature and Sambal Hijau but items like Sambal Mangga (Mango Chili) is difficult to come by. Portions are also on the larger side — definitely filling for those who have slightly bigger appetites even. Crowd management at the coffeeshop may be a little haphazard now that most folks have started to return to office (expect people who find themselves queueing up at the wrong spot, coffeeshop staff moving tables around when patrons are dining since they are too close by the queues etc.), but I guess Mrs Hen is a spot I would consider dining at again when there is a table available; also a good alternative to Uptown Nasi Lemak when the queue for that is a little too long.

Checked out the new Kulon over the previous weekend; a new Muslim-run establishment run by the same folks behind of the now-defunct Indo Java. Situated along Bali Lane, Kulon serves up Indonesian Bakmi, alongside rice dishes (think Nasi Ayam Geprek) and burgers in their menu here.

The Bakmi Spesial is essentially seasoned Indonesian-style dry noodles, served with braised sweet soy sauce chicken, Bakso beef balls and blanched bak choy. It’s the first time I am actually having Bakmi (yes, I know), but this was something I would certainly not mind having again — the noodles are akin to that of Chinese U-Mian 悠面, tossed in a savoury yet sweet sauce that gives it plenty of flavour; the noodles carrying a good bite as well in terms of texture. The minced chicken bits helped to further enhance those notes, whilst giving a meaty bite to the bowl considering how it laced around the strands of noodles — all that without being too dry, while the Bakso beef balls gave a substantial bite and some chew without being particularly gamey.

Given how Kulon is just a 17-seater establishment, this is very a much an eat-and-go spot despite its slightly cafe-esque setting considering how the food was served fast and also how the queue was forming up pretty quickly when we were there. That being said, it’s a pretty decent choice to consider if dining in the area, considering how it’s definitely a refreshing change over the various cafes which are operating within the Kampong Glam neighbourhood.

From Kira Kira; a new concept by the folks behind Yoi Group which are also the people who brought us Chikuwatei, located right beside Kira Kira. While the menu focuses on Nasi Padang served in both sets with pre-determined condiments as well as in a mix-and-match style; the only non-Nasi Padang offering would be the Nasi Lemak Tradisional, which comes with Ayam Goreng, Telur Goreng, Ikan Bilis and Peanuts, served with rice.

While the rice lacks that full-on coconut-y punch especially when compared to that of more artisanal joints, the rice comes pretty moist and fluffy and pairs well with the zippy and moderately spicy sambal that is drenched above the egg which tingles the taste buds. The Ikan Bilis maintains sufficient crunchiness to provide a texture, whilst giving the dish a slight saltishness, though the chicken felt like it was out in the display for a while — a little dried out, though still was relatively tender and came with a hint of spiciness; wished they would serve a chicken leg for more meat though!

Interestingly, Kira Kira by Yoi Group serves up a variety of Japanese dishes, with a kitchen focusing on local cuisine also in the pipeline where patrons can also enjoy familiar local and Chinese dishes as well. Patrons can also choose to order items of Chikuwatei’s menu as well.

For those who wish to enjoy Kira Kira (or Chikuwatei even) at the comfort of their own home, they are taking orders through their website as well for delivery and self pick-ups.

Fresh Curly Noodles, Secret Seasoning, Onsen Tamago, Braised Chicken, Chicharron.

From Moonstone Bar; previously known as 21Moonstone, they had since moved out of their former premises and had moved into their own space at Amoy Street. This was an item which sounds simple, but absolutely flavourful and comforting that goes especially well with the drinks they have to offer; almost like a satisfying bowl of noodles that works great as hangover food. Essentially just their very own rendition of Indomie, the noodles were springy, tossed in a secret seasoning that is absolutely umami and coats the noodles perfectly; adding the Chili gives it a very apt spicy punch that tickles the taste buds, even for those who may have a higher tolerance of spiciness given the heat it provides. Braised chicken comes in the form of minced meat here; the minced meat giving it a savoury and meaty bite that bears a texture consistent to the noodles, while the Onsen Egg helps to provide a silkier touch to the noodles when mixed into it. Had never expected Indomie to be so flavourful; the dish being so addictive on its own and so satisfying — something which I would most certainly develop cravings for in the future.


Checked out the new Bebek Mas Ganteng at Jalan Kayu which had took over the former premises of the now-defunct Savoury, opened by the same folks behind Steak Me next door.

Had to give their Bebek Goreng Original a try; after all, a Bebek Goreng specialty shop is still considered a rare find in Singapore. Thought the Bebek Goreng was decent; relatively crisp skin on the exterior without being particularly greasy, whilst the savoury flesh within is pretty tender and succulent, coming off from the bones rather easily without much effort. Each set comes Tahu Tempe, Rice and Soup on the side; the Tahu Tempe providing a beany crunch, while the soup comes pretty clear yet flavourful. The chili on the side packs a fiery punch; definitely tingles the taste buds even for those who are tolerable to high levels of spiciness and definitely not for the faint-hearted. Still find Bebek Goreng Pak Ndut at Lucky Plaza/Tampines1 my go-to spot for Bebek Goreng, but a pretty interesting option up around the North-Eastern part of the island considering the lack of such options around.


Finally made the revisit here to try their signature item — the previous time being years ago before their renovation and with their old menu. Always had a soft spot for duck; the Bebek is fried with a golden brown exterior — crisp outside, whilst being savoury and tender inside without being dry with the juiciness of the flesh still locked in. So on point, and still my favourite Bebek in town, and a dish that is seemingly hard to find in Singapore.


There are many Indonesian eateries around Singapore, but not many serve Indonesian Chinese cuisine like what Kota88 Restaurant does. Serving up noodle and rice dishes as well as ala-carte sharing plates during lunch hours, one of their specialties is their Nasi Campur Babi; mixed pork rice that sees various components served with either white rice or chicken rice to the choice of the patrons. All the elements; Char Siew, Roast Pork, Sweet Pork Satay, Braised Pig Ear, Sio May (or more known as Siew Mai locally) and Ngo Hiang — each element well-executed to its own right to create a myriad of textures and flavours that is absolutely tasty. Would certainly see myself ordering this again!


Randomly ended up at Ayam Penyet President's new outlet at Northpoint for dinner and wasn't really impressed by the Ayam Bakar. Sure, the sweet sauce is thick and sticky while the chicken is decently tender, but serving this up within 5 mins after my order is made at the counter at a lukewarm temperature in a casual dining concept is certainly not something that is anywhere up my alley.


I like it when cafes try to serve their own versions of Asian flavours — this Iga Bakar is one good example where they serve a grilled beef rib (braised for 48 hours) with kecap manis reduction with polenta fries. I wasn't much of a fan of the polenta fries on the side for they tasted very much like salted tidbits but still decently crisp and fluffy, but the beef certainly was delicious with the sweet Kecap Manis despite it carrying just a slight gamey flavour profile; just that it could be more tender overall. What intrigued me the most was the crisp on the side; earthy yet spicy flavours like dried chili flakes in cracker form — very interesting indeed but felt isolated from the whole dish for there seem to be nothing else on the plate to pair the crackers with.


I wasn't even supposed to have lunch here, but the apparent queue forming outside the shop and the smell of fried chicken wafting through the corridors surrounding the shop proved too hard for me to resist. There are quite a number of dishes to choose from, seemingly prepared in Indonesian style, and a number of curries available too; I went for the fried potato, fried chicken (of course!) and the sunny side-up that seemed to be cooked with a kecap manis-esque sauce and onions for $7. All the dishes were delicious; from the crisp batter of the fried potato consisting of mushy and fluffy potatoes within carrying just a light touch of saltiness to the lightly crisp yet surprisingly succulent and juicy fried chicken done Indo-style with lemongrass and the egg; despite not being able to flow with its solid yolk, but the kecap manis worked really well for a little sweetness like how some love to eat their sunny side up with soya sauce. Opt to drench the rice with their Chicken Curry; extremely creamy, rich and Lemak with its deep coconut flavours and also one option that fits best with those who can't take spiciness. Two types of chili is served here; sweet or spicy — the latter is one that is similar to the Indonesian-style chili you get with Ayam Penyet. A particularly hidden gem in Orchard, and even though the place is modest and sits 17 with a little squeeze, it's definitely worth checking out for a meal below $10 in Orchard Road that gives a lot of bang for the buck — satisfaction guaranteed.

PS: Pardon me for this weird photo; Nasi Padangs aren't the easiest thing to take photos of especially when you are caught at a cramped communal table meant for 8 in a small eatery with all the patrons and people in the queue looking at you.


Honestly Dapur Penyet is quite a commercial brand that I usually don't pay much attention to when I pass by one in shopping centers, but I had to drop by after knowing that they serve Bebek on their menu which I have been hunting for a very long time. There are three variants here; this one comes with red chili while they have another one that comes identical except for a green chili and a grilled version as well. Fried till golden brown perfection, it's crisp and those little fried bits on top helps to enhance that with a slightly salted flavour. I have had better Bebek around, but the meat here was above average I found, though slightly less tender and a little dry with a little difficulty getting the flesh off the bones. That being said, you got a pretty spicy chili to go along, which I gladly ate along with both the Bebek and rice; manageable for myself but definitely not for those with a lower tolerance. The set comes with rice and soup on the side, where the rice also comes with five Garlic Crackers. Not the best Bebek I have had locally, but definitely a more affordable option as Bebek Tepi Sawah at CHIJMES and fixes any Bebek cravings that you might have considering it's rare existence in Singapore.


Up, down and everywhere around for food.

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