Hjh Maimunah Joo Chiat is a huge nasi padang restaurant at the Geylang Serai end of Joo Chiat Road. Lots of traditional Malay & Indonesian dishes await those who believe that variety is the spice of life.
Hjh Maimunah Restaurant and Catering has two large restaurants and a few smaller outlets in Singapore. The two large restaurants are Hjh Maimunah Joo Chiat and Hjh Maimunah Jalan Pisang. Their other outlets are in Hong Leong Building, City Square, Tampines Mall, Woodlands Height and Yishun Block 925.
Lunch at Hjh Maimunah Joo Chiat : Step 1 – Choosing the Food
At lunch time, there is always a queue at this Joo Chiat nasi padang restaurant. The only question is: how long. We were fortunate on the day of our lunch as the queue was just moderate. It moved quite fast as there were several servers in attendance. They do not handle payments and so the food picking sequence is quick.
Being my first time there, I felt like being on a fast moving conveyor belt. How could I choose when I have not seen what lies ahead? Tip for first timers like myself – do a quick survey before joining the queue! The restaurant is said to have around 40 dishes to choose from. There is a menu / price list at the start of the counter. Here are some pictures of a small section of the food display.
The fried chicken and fish were two dishes that I would want to order on my next visit. After we selected our food, we found ourselves at the end of this row of the food display. We collect our tray of food and head to the next section: Desserts and Payment.
Step 2 – Payment and Dessert
There is a separate dessert and cakes section on the other side of the room. We decided not to have dessert on that day and proceeded straight to the cashier for payment. The cashier was an expert at identifying the food on our plates and keyed in the amounts in the machine very quickly.
These were the items that we bought and the Hjh Maimunah Joo Chiat prices: Siput Sedut (mud snails) $7.50, Sotong Hitam (squid) $7, brinjal $5, lady’s fingers $5, BBQ selar fish $7, rice $1.20 each and iced tea $2.
Step 3 – Finding a Table
There are a few small tables on the ground floor. The main seating area is upstairs. It is a large space and could easily accommodate the lunch crowd. There are a few service staff ready to assist diners who need help to bring the food upstairs. Seeing that we had a rather full tray, they kindly approached us and offered to carry our food upstairs. We were happy to accept the offer. There was no problem finding an empty table upstairs.
Our Lunch at Hjh Maimunah Joo Chiat
Being our first visit at Hjh Maimunah Joo Chiat, we thought we should try something familiar and something more unusual. Our two seafood choices were the latter. The grilled selar fish was ok, but felt a bit dry. We felt adventurous and tried the siput sedut (right picture below). These were small snails cooked in a lemak gravy. It looked like a popular item as the container was less than half full. With the sharp end of the shell cut off it was easy to suck out the meat from the opening. They mainly had a texture like escargot, which was nice. But also an ending that was a bit jelly-like, which is probably something that we need to get used to.
The two familiar items of lady’s fingers and brinjal were the most enjoyable. Cooked just right, they were nicely soft yet maintaining a firm texture. The seasoning was well done and there was the brilliant chilli paste to enhance the flavours. For a future trip we think we should stick with the tried and tested items – such as beef rendang and fried chicken.
20 Joo Chiat Rd, Singapore 427357
Joo Chiat Outlet Tel: +65 6348 5457
Hjh Maimunah Joo Chiat opening hours
8 am to 7.30 pm
Closed on Mondays
Jalan Pisang Outlet Tel: +65 6297 4294
Catering: +65 6291 3132
The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog