Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Indonesian food in Singapore: Sundanese

with family

The House of Sundanese has been around in Singapore for a long time...I remember being introduced to it by a foodie colleague of mine way back in 1990, where the restaurant was just opened, and was located in East Coast.

I have been a fan ever since the first taste, so during the Eid/Lebaran holidays (Hari Raya Puasa), we went to indulge ourselves in some fine Indonesian cooking.



Now located just by the Fountain of Wealth in Suntec, the restaurant was modeled to look somewhat like a Sundanese home...replete with timber rafters, batik wall decoration and wood fixtures.

We started with some chicken satay:



The skewers of chicken were very tender, and had a nice marinade with a fragrance which permeates the entire meat. The charring caused by the open charcoal fire also complemented the beautiful fragrance with great flavour. Nice satay. And unlike the Malaysian/Singapore satay sauce which has crusched peanuts within, the Indonesian sauce contains peanuts, but pulverised before being made into the sauce, so providing only the flavour of the peanuts, unlike their Malaysian/Singaporean cousins where the crushed peanuts also provide a crunchy texture.

Next was rice to be eaten with various dishes...I begin with the chicken curry



The chicken was stewed in the curry (I think), for a long time...it was so tender that it fell to bits on the slightest provocation...like a nudge from a fork...and was totally imbued with the flavours of the curry sauce. I love my chicken curry to be so tender that it just falls off the bone, and flavourful...this does not disappoint.

Next we had a barbecued fish:



This is my absolute favourite. A simple dish...sea bass, barbecued over an open charcoal fire, and coated with a very special sweet black soy sauce known as kicahp manis (literally translated as sweet sauce). The sauce is basted over the fish, many coats over several hours. The sauce is only based on the generic kicap manis, as there are also secret ingredients within to provide it with more flavour which in turn allow it to bring out the natural flavours of the fish.



Masterfully grilled, the fish was perfectly done...moist, smooth flaky meat works very well with the sweet, slightly sticky, and crisply charred exterior and skin. Excellent. Shiok.

We also had some grilled squid



Squid, when grilled can very quickly turn into a rubbery mess if not watched properly. But the chef's skills were apparent. Not only was the basting sauce special, but also the master griller watched carefully over the squids, so that it was done just so. At this level of doneness...the squid was succulent, tender, with a springy bite. Again very delicious.

One of my favourite Indonesian restaurants...on par with Pagi Sore I reviewed earlier...and will remain so. The only negative about The House of Sundanese is that I feel the chef is a bit of a heavy hand with the MSG...increasing the umami/savouriness level, but also the dryness of the throat later.


The House of Sundanese
B1-063 Suntec City Mall
Tel: 63341012
Fax: 63341012
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