Rumah Bendahara (or Chief Minister’s Residence) at No. 73 Sultan Gate, built in the 1920s, is located just outside the Istana Kampong Glam palace grounds. Today it is more commonly known as Gedung Kuning (or Yellow Mansion) and is home to Mamanda, a Malay fine dining restaurant. Mamanda offers authentic Malay cuisine in an elegant palatial setting.
It is easy to find good Malay food in Singapore. There are many small stalls selling authentic home cooked style Malay food. However, it is not so easy to find a full-fledged Malay restaurant with refined service and decor. Mamanda in the iconic Gedung Kuning fills that niche.
The restaurant is beautifully decorated. It hits the spot the moment you walk through the door with its classic furniture, wooden carved arches, decorative swing doors and historical artifacts on display. The sumptuously appointed dining area is small and cosy. The nicely laid out tables, sprays of flowers and charming display cabinets make you feel as if you are dining in someone’s stately home. Al fresco dining in the courtyard is an interesting option.
Mamanda has an a la carte menu, a communal menu and a buffet menu. It also offers special set meals and its signature Nasi Ampeng platter, which is a complete sampler meal enough for four. The Nasi Ampeng is priced at $88 but on Fridays the promotion price is only $59.90. For communal dining, they also have the “Palace Selection”, “Kings Selection” or the humbler “Warrior Selection” with prices ranging from $49.90 to $120 per person.
There are many interesting items in the a la carte menu such as traditional Ulam salad, grilled chicken in banana leaf, rendang chicken and jackfruit in coconut gravy. We ordered the Tahu Telor ($5.90), Beef Rendang ($17.50) and rice ($2 per plate). Ice water was served without asking while we waited for our food. A complimentary basket of keropok (prawn crakers) was also served. Free wi-fi was available. We did not wait long for our food.
The food came nicely presented and the portion was quite generous. The Tahu Telor (or Bean Curd Omelette) was served with salad and peanut sauce. The bean curd was silky smooth but we found it to be too soft and we could hardly discern the taste of eggs. It was a dish that looked better than it tasted. The beef rendang was good. The chunky beef cooked with spices in coconut milk was tender and aromatic. It was delicious whether eaten on its own or with steamed rice.
Although the Tahu Telok we tried was a little disappointing, we enjoyed the dining experience at Mamanda as a whole. The beef was good. The service was friendly and excellent. The setting was elegant and charming. Go there with a group of at least four and you can try a wide variety of authentic Malay cuisine. When we like authentic Malay food in a nice setting, we would certainly like to go to Mamanda again to savour the many other interesting items they have to offer.
Food : 3
Service : 4
Value : 4
Atmosphere : 4
Overall Rating : 4 TOPs
73 Sultan Gate
Tel: +65 6396 6646
Opening Hours : 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
Nearby Stations : Bugis, Nicoll Highway
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