Saturday, 11 January 2014
Mamanda Singapore Nasi Ambeng
I enjoy visiting Mamanda Restaurant because their mission to preserve Malay heritage culinary culture resonates with what I am trying to contribute with Johor Kaki blog. I am happy that Ahmad from Mamanda invited me to taste their Nasi Ambeng, a traditional Javanese communal dining and bonding experience which is also popular in Singapore and Malaysia.
In Singapore, there is no Malay fine-dining finer than at Mamanda. You see, Mamanda is the exact same 170 plus year old heritage building known as Bendahara House that the old Sultan used to hold meetings with his Ministers.
Enche Jafar fondly known as the Bendahara (Prime Minister) proudly presents the Nasi Ambeng platter.
This platter enough to feed four adults is available at the promotional price of SGD59.90++ on Fridays. I thought that this is very good value for such fine-dining.
The traditional and best way to enjoy Nasi Ambeng is to use our hands, mix the food and eat together from the same platter. These elegant pots are for hand washing. I didn't get to use my hands as I had to take photos during the meal :(
Now let's take a closer look at what is on the platter.
Tender flavourful beef rendang - that quintessential Malay spice perfumed meat. Traditionally made by cooking thick chunky beef in a large pot of coconut milk and spices until the liquid is reduced to a sauce. All meat fibres are saturated with sensual flavours and aromas that literary burst in your mouth, rush up your nose and trigger your pleasure sensors. Average cooking time is 7 hours, not counting ingredient preparation like cutting the meat.
Prawns fried in mildly spicy and sweet sambal. This style of cooking makes the prawns a little too stiff for my liking. But, I love the sambal so much that I was sucking it from the prawn heads :P
I love this creamy, mildly spicy curry chicken a lot. The chicken flesh was tender and infused with the full bodied fragrance and flavours from the herbs and spices. Actually, this is my favourite from the platter.
I took more than my fair share of this from the communal platter :P Crunchy vegetable salad tossed with grated coconut fried with turmeric.
Fried beef lungs. I love its interesting chewy, spongy, grainy texture and savoury taste.
Vegetables with tempeh and bean curd cubes stir fried in curry spices.
Potato patties (perkedel kentang) made by deep frying mashed potato. I know people who must have their perkedel, though personally I am not a big fan.
Fried grated coconut. I like to mix this into my white rice.
Heavenly sambal chili.
I like this salted fish. Paper thin and not overly salty. Good enough to eat it on it's own like a fish keropok (fish cracker).
Nice cool serai (lemon grass) drink. I had two of this :)
Seriously, this Fridays only Nasi Ambeng experience in such a regal fine-dining setting at this price is too good to miss.
Date visited: 18 Oct 2013
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