Ernie came back for a quick visit over the weekend, which meant that our standing Saturday lunch date was back on. You know, when he first left for Hongkong, I was so upset because I thought that I'd only get to see him once or if I'm lucky, twice a year. He's going to kill me when he reads this, but he actually teared up when he left for the airport. Wahahaa! As it turns out, he manages to fly back so regularly I hardly feel like he's relocated to another country.
Ernie was craving some spicy Indonesian food so we went to Tambuah Mas at Paragon. Like most of the tenants in the food basement of Paragon, Tambuah Mas has been relocated to a different lot in the basement. It now occupies a space previously housing Soup Restaurant.
The first dish Ernie ordered was his favourite, the Tahu Telor ($8) a tower of fried cubed beancurd and eggs topped with spicy sweet dark sauce. This is one of the best versions around, the beancurd was soft and smooth, with a crisp eggy crust and sweet black Kecap Manis drizzled over the towering concoction for flavour.
I like the Soto Ayam ($5) here, a hearty chicken broth with shredded chicken, beansprouts and potato croquette. Tumeric and delicate spices provide a Malay influence to the classic comfort food.
The Rendang Lembu ($7.90) of braised beef cubes in spice blend and coconut milk was another stellar dish. The tender beef cubes were simmered in the coconut spice blend for such a long period of time they practically melted in the mouth.
The Ayam Korma ($6.90) of tender chicken pieces simmered in mild yellow curry was a fine balance between the richness of the curry and mildness of the spices utilised.
The Sayur Lodeh ($6) is a medley of long beans, cabbage, carrots and beancurd in spicy coconut milk. Rich, flavoursome and robust.
The obligatory appetizers of Belinjau Crackers and Nuts ($1.50).
The crackers should be eaten with the kickass Chili, it made my nose all runny but it was worth every leaking gobbly mess.
Tambuah Mas Indonesian Restaurant
290 Orchard Road
Tel: 6733 2220
Open daily from 11am to 10pm