Rumah Makan Minang Indonesian Restaurant in Kandahar Street is a casual eatery in a unique location for an authentic local dining experience. It is a family business that can trace its heritage back to an immigrant from Sumatra, who served nasi Padang dishes using recipes from the Minangkabau people.
Rumah Makan Minang occupies a prime spot in Kampong Glam, between the iconic Masjid Sultan (Sultan Mosque) and the Malay Heritage Centre. It attracts its fair share of tourists but its clientele is predominantly locals in the know.
The restaurant is a small coffeeshop occupying one of the 2 storey restored ornate prewar shophouses along Kandahar Street. The food preparation area, nasi Padang food counters and cashier take up the whole of the ground floor. Seating on the ground level is really out on the five-foot way and roadside pavement. It can get muggy there but that is part of the authentic local dining experience. It is also a great spot for people watching. If you must eat in an air-conditioned sanitized environment, there is a dining hall on the second level.
Rumah Makan Minang Menu
Rumah Makan Minang Indonesian Restaurant operates like a typical nasi Padang stall. The myriad of available dishes are on display. You order by pointing out what you want. In keeping with the times there are menu boards to let you know what are available and the prices. Rumah Makan Minang is now also offering red and brown rice for the health conscious and all day breakfast for the cafe crowd.
Padang is the capital of Minangkabau, a region in West Sumatra. Minangkabau people are also known as Minangs. So Rumah Makan Minang simply means eating house of Minangkabau people. Minangkabau food is characterised by the use of coconut milk, herbs, spices and colourful curries and gravies. One of the most famous dishes of Padang is Beef Rendang, which has been voted as the most delicious food in the world in a CNN poll.
The Padang dishes offered by Rumah Makan Minang are numerous. They include the famous Beef Rendang and Tahu Telur as well as Ayam Belado Hijau, Ayam Belado Merah, Ikan Bakar, Ikan Selar Belado, Sotong Sambal, Sayur Lodeh and Sayur Gulai Nangka.
A good range of traditional kuehs is available. The drink list is quite extensive – you can get the traditional teh tarik and teh alia or something more fancy like Thai Iced Tea and Teh O Lychee.
Lunch at Rumah Makan Minang
You can order an individual plate or you can tell the staff how many persons you are ordering for, and they will scoop the items into small plates and dishes. We ordered two individual plates (about $6 each) and an Indonesian Tahu Telur ($6) to share. The items we tried included ayam belado merah, egg omelet, long beans, beef rendang and sambal goreng.
The Ayam Belado Merah came with a very generous topping of red chilli marinate. It was not too spicy and the chicken was tender. It was a dish that went very well with plain steamed rice.
The beef rendang was aromatic and flavourful. It was not very tender but that was the way it was intended. The Minangkabau marinated beef was supposed to be a bit dry and chewy so that the flavours could be released when you chomped slowly on the meat.
The sambal goreng with the slightly crunchy tempeh and beancurd was only mildly spicy. We like the combination of flavours and thought it was very enjoyable.
The Indonesian Tahu Telur was a large piece of fried tofu mixed with eggs. It had a nice soft but firm texture. The sauce was quite sweet. On the whole it was delicious.
We ended our meal with a few pieces of kueh kosoi and sipped tea as we watched the people walking by. It wa rather relaxed way to have a nice local meal.
Affordable delicious food
We would not mind eating at Rumah Makan Minang Indonesian Restaurant more often. It was a simple meal on a roadside pavement but the food was affordable and the dishes we tried were delicious. There is so much variety there we will have to eat there many times to try the many other interesting dishes.
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs
Rumah Makan Minang Indonesian Restaurant
18 & 18A Kandahar Street
Tel: +65 6294 4805
Opening Hours: 8.30 am – 7.30 pm
Nearby MRT Stations: Bugis, Nicoll Highway
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog