Uncle Martin has been raving about his newest discovery - the best value and tastiest Nasi Ambeng in Singapore. When a veteran foodie like Uncle Martin who has tasted a lot more salt than me gets excited about a stall, I pay attention ;-D As most of us happened to be free this Christmas morning, we assembled at Block 16 Bedok South hawker centre for an Indonesian style Christmas lunch.
It was special, indeed.
The stall is simply named "Enak" which is the Indonesian word for "delicious".
Does the stall live up to it's name?
Uncle Martin ordered a large dulang (tray) - a mini feast for 4 persons for SGD28.
The dulang was so big, I had to take off my shoes and stand on a chair to get this overhead shot (with my 35mm lens). I must have looked silly to bystanders ;-p Hope I didn't embarrass any of my companions ;-p
There were over 10 different dishes in the dulang. We enjoyed every one of them. The dishes were flavourful from the spices but they were just mild and well balanced without any spice being overpowering. The ingredients and spices were also fresh.
At Indonesian stalls, my first bite is always for the beef rendang. Enak's beef rendang is good!
The lean meat was tender yet moist and saturated with mild spices. There was still a bit of gentle beefiness beneath the spices, which was great :-D
Hidden beneath the fiery looking sambal were strips of tender squid with a jelly like, gummy texture.
The sambal terong (chili brinjal / egg plant) was spongy, juicy, sweet and laced with a spicy hot sting.
Begedil Kentang (sweet Malay potato patty).
Ayam Kleo. This is the first time I am tasting this dish. The fresh chicken is cooked till tender (not soft). It is eaten with a curry which is creamy with coconut milk, quite sweet with very mild spices and just hints of chili.
Of course, there was that quintessentially Indonesian tempeh (soy bean bar) - cubed, deep fried and then stir fried with sambal chili, tofu cubes and crunchy French beans.
Achar (pickled vegetables), mainly strips of fresh cucumber, carrot and chili pepper pickled in white vinegar. The achar adds a refreshing, citrus crunch to the tray of meaty and spicy food.
The lightly stir fried crunchy mix of slightly spiced cabbage, bean sprouts, long beans and serundeng (lightly fried grated coconut pulp) was the first to completely disappear from the tray.
Some more achar, this with chili padi i.e. fire crackers.
We had a choice of either the usual Thai fragrant rice or Basmati rice. We opted for the Basmati rice (I am not sure if Uncle Martin had to top up a little bit more money for this).
Enak serves two kinds of sambal chili. I like them both.
Both have layers of spiciness as they mix different types of chilies into the blend. One has lime while the other has a crustacean savouriness from fermented dried shrimps (belacan).
Of course, the best way to enjoy Nasi Ambang is together with family and friends, and using our fingers. This plastic "tea pot" is for hand washing.
In the background is the aftermath of our pleasure. Only bones and egg shells were left.
(From right to left) Boss Desmond, who is Peranakan, lady boss Bida, and Kak Illa from Tanjung Pinang (Indonesia) who is a key person in the kitchen. Lady on the far left is a friendly passerby :-D
Uncle Martin did it again. Spotted another hawker gem. Paid out of his own pocket to share his discovery with us some more. Thank you and Merry Christmas!
->> I am not sure where else in Singapore, we can spend just SGD28 and make 4 - 5 people feel they had a hearty, special meal.
Where is your favourite Nasi Ambeng place?
Restaurant name: Enak
Address: Blk 16 Bedok South Road #01-04, Bedok South Market and Food Centre, Singapore
Tel: 8161-8791 / 9666-6909
Hours: 7:00am to 4:00pm (Closed on Tues)
Date visited: 25 Dec 2015
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