It was a scoop news from Martin better known as Uncle SMART who could sniff out all the nice tasty mouth-watering food in Singapore.
His latest finding is a far fetched corner of Tampines where you can truly find authentic Indonesian cuisine and for those coming from the North, South West of Singapore, you need to map your way here first. Even if you are from East side of Singapore and within the Tampines vicinity, not many would have been here unless you are staying around Tampines Street 42. That was it ! Uncles SMART have relatives staying here and he first found out about this stall called INDONESIAN DELIGHTS in a coffee shop at Block 445 Tampines Street 42. It's Indonesian cuisine is simple yet delicious but mild in spiciness band the flavour kicks in and delights your tastebuds the moment you have your first bite.
This stall has just started business three months ago and being new at this decentralised location certainly does not help to promote even the best of business until, NOT UNTIL someone discovers the treasures of the pot and the golden hand that cooks it, only will you find foodies who will traverse across the island in search of comfort food. The followers are starting to trickle in...so do make your way here.
Yes! Uncles Smart fb me asking me to join him, Philip, Ian of The Silver Chef (thesilverchef.blogspot.com) and Samantha of Bonding Tool (bondingtool.blogspot.com) who hails from different parts of Singapore to a Wednesday lunch starting at 12pm in Tampines. It was a working day but since it is not too far away from my office, I have responded to Uncles Smart that I will gladly be there.
It's just a half stall in Boss Junior coffee shop opposite Gong Shang Primary School and the colourful signboard INDONESIAN DELIGHTS greets you.
We met the pleasant and affable owner Rita Lim (Qi Qi) and her elder sister and son wo helps her and they hail from the nearby island of Tanjung Pinang.
She can cook very well and has been thinking of setting up a food stall to "hawk" her tasty Indonesian cuisine to Singaporeans but her late husband knowing that its a tough call with long tiring hours decided it was not worthwhile and has in fact dissuaded her then but this feisty lady decides to follow her dreams now and to earn something for herself since she is a single income lady.
Uncles Smart did the ordering and when the food arrived, I recalled after my first taste, I acknowledged that it was better than I had anticipated. Every dish presents you with a different flavour each with a unique blend of spices or ingredients to savour. It's not your the ubiquitous one paste for all dishes that makes you 'jelak' after a few dishes. It's a laborious blend of spices for each dish that makes the "gulai" special.
Overall the dishes are not so spicy hot, having tuned to our local Singapore level of spiciness but each and every dish served has a remarkable yet simple and satisfying Indonesian "sedap" taste. You will get to enjoy true authentic Indonesian taste that satisfies the palate.
My accompanying lunch kakis recommendation of Rita's Indonesian Delights:
The long beans with tempeh and tau kwa has more "gulai" then the local Singapore Malay dish.
The Chicken Rendang is tender and aromatic with a thicker paste as in all rendang where water is reduced by heat to thickness for that shiok thick gravy.
We had the Pork Belly stirred fried with pig's ear slices and 'non toasted' belachan paste such that it is lighter in colour. You get a very flavourful deep prawn paste taste that is not overpowering to kill the pork belly slices and the blend is complementary. Very nice dish, authentic and truly simple in looks but great in taste and it is well recommended.
In fact, Philip gave many thumbs up for this.
The Fish head is fresh and do not have hint of fishiness.
The gravy is light, sweet sourish and it comes with brinjals, okras (lady fingers) and tomatoes. Fish has plenty of meat which suffice the five of us along with other dishes.
You can see from the picture the paste of chili with big onions is coursely blended as opposed to the other dishes.
Since we had chicken, fish and we must also have duck as well.
Here's a bit more Chinese of the authentic Indonesian cuisine that you usually dont get to savour except here at Indonesian Delights. It's braised duck to tenderness and comes with tau kee (processed beancurd)
Actually I enjoyed this dish very much as I find the sotong fresh, slightly slanted to be one step in doneness or otherwise it would have been delightful. Unusual to have sotong with potato in "gulai" indonesian style and very good to go with your rice as the gravy is fragrant slightly spicy and rich in flavour. The tentacles are all stuffed inside the sotong and as I do not eat the feely tentacles Uncle SMART snatched it from me!
All in we had one Fish Head Curry, Chicken Rendang, Sotong Tumis, Pork Belly, Long Beans with Tempeh, Selar Fish, Braised Duck and again some double helpings and the bill came in at $45 including the rice and per pax we spent $9.00 per head which is reasonable for the spread that we had.
|Having not enough and wanting for more, Uncle SMART has politely helped to bring in more for us to savour.|
|Candid camera to uncle SMART and all. |
The Selar Fish was really enjoyable dish as it was still warm perhaps Rita just individually warm it up again but this is where the right touch makes this simple "home cooked fish" so satisfying. I am not a fish person but with the freshness of the fish which was just warmed before serving, the spicy chilli spread inside the 'goreng' fish and the accompanying sambal chilli has won me over for such simple dish. Another thumbs up !
Look I was the only one with the lanyard and can only enjoy that one hour of lunch and grab the best that is being offered. Certainly good meeting up with you foodies, nice sharing and great fun to be with. I had to leave at 1pm knowing I have had one of the best lunch to start the next half time / day at work.
As you can see the popular dishes are going gone gone.......everyday it depends on the market produce availability and there are days you may not have the same dish you had the last trip you can to savour her dishes but the beauty of it is you get to enjoy the variety she offers in her best Indonesian cooked dishes that are truly authentic and hard to come by.
Block 445 Tampines Street 42
(inside Boss Junior Coffeeshop)
Hp: 9621 0182
Opening Hours: 9am to 3pm
Closed on Wednesday
(recently the coffee shop owner has requested her to operate in the evening as well so do check out first )