Updated: Nov 2
SINGAPORE: At the southern tip of the Malayan Peninsular, Singapore is surrounded by Indonesia on three out of four sides of the island. Therefore, many of the cuisines in Singapore are also influenced by immigrants and travellers from different islands of Indonesia.
Here are four different Indonesian restaurants we love. Do leave a comment here if you think there are other good Indonesian Restaurants we ought to try.
Pondok Jawa Timur
Pondok Jawa Timur, literally means Cottage of East Java, has been serving Eastern Javanese Cuisine since the 2000s. Located at the fringe of Orchard Road, along Scotts Road, this is a popular halal-certified restaurant for residents and tourists alike.
I felt so uninformed since this was my first time here despite the restaurant being over 15 years old. So, we tried to have as many dishes as possible to make up for all the years I have missed.
Emping Manis is sweetened crackers you can commonly find in Indonesia. It is made by deep-frying thinly sliced Gnetum Gnemon Seeds. It is slightly bitter if you get the plain version. The sweetness in Emping Manis is due to caramelising palm sugar. This cracker is usually eaten as a snack or as a starter before a meal. The plain version is also used to accompany traditional Indonesian dishes like Mee Soto or Gado Gado.
To start, we had Sate Ayam and Mie Goreng Jawa. The Sate, which is chicken satay, was covered in thick peanut sauce and Ketchup Manis, a perfect mix of savoury and sweet. As for the Mie Goreng Jawa, I love the charred flavour of the noodles. This is perfect for carb lovers.
We also got the Sop Buntut, Bakwan Jagung, Tahu Telor, Terong Balado and others. There are so many items on the menu, and we couldn't try them all.
Rawon is a rich-tasting Javanese beef black soup made from Keluak nut. This special nut is also commonly found in Panarakan cooking, which is poisonous in raw form. It is what gives the soup its dark colour and nutty flavour. This beef soup goes very with rice.
Finally, Es Kelapa Muda and Avocado Juice complete the meal.
Address: 14 Scotts Road #05-22/23 Far East Plaza, 228213
Jtown Cafe is tucked in the basement of an old building, Midpoint Orchard, in the middle of Orchard Road. Jtown specialises in Indonesian street food such as Bakmie ayam, Bihun Bakso, Siomay and Martabak Manis.
It opens at noon daily, except for Sunday when it opens at 11:30 am, they serve only lunch and dinner. A queue can be spotted even before they open.
Bakmie is a type of wheat-based noodles brought to Southeast Asia by Chinese immigrants. It is a typical noodle in Indonesia and is usually consumed as a quick meal. At JTown, their Bakmie is very al-dente, to the point that one of my Indonesian friends said it is not cooked enough. However, I like my noodles with a chew; therefore, it is acceptable for my palate. I am a noodle fan, and this bakmie is in the top five I have ever tried.
Siomay is an Indonesian steamed fish dumpling served with vegetables and peanut sauce. It has its origin from Chinese Siu Mai, but it is an entirely different thing even though it is also eaten as Dim Sum. I find the texture of siomay way too soft to my liking. It is an acquired taste that is not for me.
Martabak Manis is just like Singapore's Chinese Pancake, except with different fillings. Here we got chocolate and cheese. It is a bit too sweet for me, but nevertheless, it is a lovely dessert.
Address: 220 Orchard Rd, B1-03/04/05, Singapore 238852
Fangko Cafe serves authentic Indonesian food with other cafe food and fantastic coffee. It is a cosy little cafe on the ground floor of ibis budget Singapore Clarke Quay on Hong Kong Street. Upon walking in, you need to walk straight to the counter and place the order.
When I see Indomie, I can never resist, so I ordered the Indomie Goreng with smash chicken. You get to pick a spicy level between 1 to 12. Knowing that I can take quite a bit of heat, I confidently ordered spice level 6, only to be advised by the owner to get level 2. Fortunately, I followed the advice as it turned out to be quite spicy even at level 2.
Nasi Rames, also commonly known as Nasi Campur, is rice served with several dishes. Nasi Rames in Fangko Cafe comes with flavorful and creamy chicken rendang. This is really good.
Spicy Fried Chicken Burger at Fangko Cafe comes with pickles and aioli. It is good if you need a burger fix. However, I will say this is not the best burger you will get, but it is still a decent burger. You can upgrade to truffle fries too.
Address: 20 Hongkong St, #01-03, Singapore 059663
Indonesia Chinese is an understated cuisine always overshadowed by other Chinese food. You can get famous Indonesian fares like Mee Goreng, Nasi Campur with Chinese ingredients; you also get classic Chinese dishes like roast duck, roast pork belly and Fu Yong egg with an Indonesian twist. Click on the link below to read the full review.
Address: 907 East Coast Road, #01-02, Singapore 459107
Bebek Goreng Pak Ndut
Bebek Goreng is an Indonesian Deep Fried Duck that can be commonly found in street stalls and restaurants all over Indonesia. Usually served with rice, sambal and lalapan which is a raw vegetable salad consisting of cucumber, lettuce and cabbages.
At Bebek Goreng Pak Ndut, the Bebek Goreng (S$9.9) comes with fried tofu, a serving of Kang Kong, tempeh and some raw cabbage. If you love your fried chicken, you will definitely love this. The duck is very crispy on the outside and moist inside. It is fingers licking good.
Address: 304 Orchard Rd, #01-42 Lucky Plaza, Singapore 238863