decent indonesian food at the newish 100am mall – a great spicy precursor to a sweet japanese treat. I had been craving indonesian food for a while now – which is rather strange seeing as how 1. I don’t really know what indonesian food entails and 2. all I know of it are indistinct memories of a meal I probably had a couple of years ago.
this probably means that when I said I was craving indonesian – I really meant a hankering for something spicy and flavorful, and this took care of it.
I know I just came back from bali – but really, I was a tourist and so ate like one, which means I returned not much more enlightened about indonesian food. if you haven’t had much experience with it either – it’s a cuisine founded on coconut milk, fragrant chili pastes, and lots of strong flavours that go well with rice.
we started off with a basket of fried bittergourd chips dipped in a lime-doused chilli sauce – I’m a weakling when it comes to that gourd but my parents enjoyed this.
dishes arrived quickly in succession – but first lets talk rice. they serve it here wrapped and steamed in banana leaves – I can’t quite decide if it’s truly old-school or just gimmicky, but it was subtly fragranced and sure didn’t hurt any.
the beef rendang came in a delicious pile that was brilliant with rice – the beef chunks had that characteristic dry stringiness that the creamy gravy made up for, and we also got butter prawns topped with a brown-sugar type crumble and basil leaves – tasty but rather greasy; a smattering of mixed vegetables sautéed very expertly; and squid rings twined with soft onion strips in sambal. all good.
we finished with a plate of sambal kangkong (morning glory) and curry fish head – both of which were decent but not the best I’ve had. I preferred the mixed vegetables over the spicy kangkong – the former was outstandingly fresh in its simplicity, the latter a bit more in-your-face. I suspect it’s probably subjective.
the curry fish head could be a little creamier, and the portion of fish was rather small in such a large pot; there were some vegetables swimming around but the sparsity of fish made this rather disappointing. my local cze-char store does a better rendition.
it’s an open-space dining area – so you eat in full view of strolling shoppers, which is fine on a weekday-night with low traffic; but it therefore isn’t napkin service, so much as one-step-above-café treatment. reasonably-priced, simple but flavorful food that’s relaxed enough for post-work – and the sheer winning factor of bombarding our tastebuds with enough heat to require respite from tsujiri downstairs; it’s a good choice if you’re in the area.
Pagi Sore Indonesian Restaurant (Amara Shopping Center Outlet)
#02-28 100AM (Amara Shopping Center)
100 Tras Sreet
tel +65 6636 1373
$$: one-zeho-zeho for four
p.s. my dad kindly dissected the fish eye for your viewing pleasure – I have an abhorence toward any sort of gelatinous fish bits so this really isn’t my sort of thing – but perhaps you might find you enjoy that sort of thing?
p.p.s. he terms it a delicacy, which is what we all say when we like something we recognize other people might identify as disgusting, and so choose to use a euphemism that makes it seem like we know something others don’t – as opposed to merely having weird tastes.