You'd never know from this restaurant's name that it specialises in nasi padang. Apparently, Rendezvous Restaurant has its roots in a small coffee shop along bras Basah Road and used to serve western cuisine to British troops stationed in Singapore. After the troops withdrew from Singapore, the proprietors made the very shrewd decision to serve western Sumatran cuisine instead. Incidentally, Rendezvous Restaurant Hock Lock Kee was originally at Rendezvous Hotel, before its current location at The Central at Clarke Quay.
The decor here is spartan and old-school, reminiscent of its roots at its coffee shop at Bras Basah. The food's pricey (especially if you compare to the nasi padang places I'm used to along Kandahar Street), but I guess you're really paying extra for the expansive view of the Singapore river, centralised location and air-conditioning. The food's generally salty, but it's quite alright if you mix it with plain white rice. I've heard that the chendol and other desserts are quite good here, maybe I'll try them next time instead.
Jal and I had lunch here as his office is nearby and we started off with some Sambal Kang Kong ($3.60), suitably spicy and a fairly commendable, albeit a tad salty, version of this nasi padang classic.
The Curry Chicken Thigh ($8.20) was thick, creamy and richly spicy, and chicken was tender and succulent, but I still thought 8 bucks was too much for one chicken thigh.
I also liked the Chicken Begadel ($2.20), savoury mashed potatoes blended with moist flavoursome chicken cubes coated with a light batter and fried.Too bad it was loaded with coriander.
I liked the Hainanese style of the clear but robustly flavoured Beef Soup ($3.60), with tomatoes, carrots and potatoes lending texture and sweetness.This was also a little salty.
Rendezvous Restaurant Hock Lock Kee
6 Eu Tong Sen Street
Tel: 6339 7508
Open daily from 11am to 9pm