pagi sore indonesian restaurant, tanjong pagar

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
Singapore 079027
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.

10 thoughts on “pagi sore indonesian restaurant, tanjong pagar

  1. Delicious looking spread!

    I haven’t been to Indonesia, but I loved eating sambal morning glory when we visited Malaysia. Such a tasty way to eat your daily quota of vegetables. I usually have a hard time eating healthy when I’m traveling. There’s so much delicious, rich and meaty stuff that I have to make an extra effort to eat greens.

    I used to eat fish eyes. As a child, my parents gifted them to me and my sister as a wonderful treat. I guess that’s one way to introduce foods to kids.

    I haven’t eating one in a long time though. The yuckiest thing is eating the head and finding a set of fish teeth in my mouth. My teeth on their teeth is a weird feeling that I like to avoid.

    • the malaysian/indonesian vegetable dish that I am most enamoured of is the gado-gado. have you had it? it’s basically boiled/steamed vegetables that’s served with a sweetish peanut sauce much like the one you get during satay. the peanut-buttery flavour got me hook.

      the teeth on teeth I can completely understand – but I’m still a bit squeamish about fish bits. the part of the head I most enjoy is that tender portion around the cheek (which you must snatch for in my family because everyone knows it’s the best part!)

      • Ah yes, my parents let us have a cheek each. I think it’s very diplomatic when you have 1 fish, 2 cheeks and 2 kids.

        I’ve never tried gado-gado but I have heard of it.

        Fish collars (or wings) are a great cheap cut if you aren’t so keen on heads. I’ve seen fancy restaurants glorify hapuka collars as a main course and salmon collars are meaty and fatty. I’m salivating just thinking about it!

  2. Indonesian food is wonderful. Ok the fact that I´m part Indonesian may have something to do with my subjective thinking. Haha I used to eat the fish eyes when I was small! I don´t do that anymore….

    • did you stop liking it, or are they less available where you’re at? and it’s completely fine to be biased – I think cantonese food the best of all :D

  3. I honestly think I can be adopted for dinners. I love eating fish everything – yes, the eye dissection (and digesting of it eventually) is beautiful :p

    • my dad might welcome you as a fellow fish-eye eater.. I can barely even look at him eat while he’s at it. there’s just something about all that jelly that makes me squeamish :(

  4. Balinese food is nothing like the usual Indonesian food that we get in SG because the Balinese peeps are mostly hindu. that’s why their food is far from spicy hot. which was why i got a huge culture shock there. spent most of my Balinese holiday eating western food coz their Balinese food had no kick…their intl restos are awesome though!

    pagi sore’s sayur lodeh is ze best! shd order it next time. oh and the ayam gulai too!

    • I spent nearly the entire balinese holiday basically eating like a caucasian expat too! their international restaurants are totally the bomb (and so much cheaper than singapore too!) I felt a bit ashamed that the only proper balinese meal I had was babi guling – and I didn’t quite fancy it either.

      I’ll keep the recs in mind when we next return (thanks for them!) – the folks really like this place.

  5. Dear Sonya,

    I’m glad to read that you and your folks enjoyed your lunch at Pagi Sore. I hope this is not an intrusion but I found a hobby in surfing around blogs to see what people say about my restaurant and most of all to see the beautiful pictures they produce. Thank you for taking your time to blog about your experience with us. Pagi Sore really really (no, really) places utmost effort into maintaining our food quality and flavours so nothing pleases us more than a happy customer. We are a family-styled, Singapore born restaurant, helmed by an Indonesian Executive Chef (aka my Mom) and as a mother-and-son team, we love it when people bring their families around :)

    A little about the fish head, I don’t eat the eyes either despite growing up with that dish, but yes, it is *supposed* to be a delicacy (haha). However, that isn’t a curry dish, but an ASAM or Tamarind dish. We use the actual dried fruits in our cooking, in order to bring about the sour-ish tangy flavour you get. We lean towards a more refreshing-spice flavour rather than a rich cream flavour. For something rich and creamy, try our Signature Ikan Otah Kukus when you next drop by! And for the crackers, it is similar to bittergourd (i’m a bittergourd lover, hanging out with my grandma did the trick) but its actually more of a “bean” called Belinjo which is smashed flat and then deep fried ;)

    Once again, thank you for dropping by Pagi Sore and I hope we will be just as tasty the next time!

    Yours in Food,

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