In a city state where there's a dearth of upscale Indonesian restaurants, The Moluccas Room stands out with its elegant and modern sensibilities. Chic and sophisticated, the low-lit restaurant offers an expansive view of the bay facing the CBD.
Classy digs and pretty view aside, the food was largely middling and mostly forgettable. BUT, at only $40 per pax for a dieter's portioned 10-course rijstaffel, I would consider the dinner relatively well-priced. Just be sure to tamper your expectations. This ain't no Pagi Sore-standard food.
I suggest bringing your own bottled water, because they apparently don't serve tap water here (major pet peeve!). Even if you order a chargeable drink, you'll still have to fork out $11 for a large bottle of Acqua Panna if you want plain, still water. Besides, the Es Teh Serai ($10), lemongrass drink, was just as exorbitant. At least it was fragrant and refreshing.
That said, at least the crackers were complimentary. This helped quell hunger pangs while waiting for our excessively late friends.
The Gulai Kambing, a citrusy lamb curry, was creamy and lively. I liked that the lamb had nary a whiff of game.
The Ayam Paniki, grilled chicken marinated in traditional Indonesian paste and coconut milk, was succulent and bore bold nutty elements.
The Daging Rica Rica, beef braised in a robust shrimp chilli paste and aromatic pandan, could have been a mite more melty, but it was tender enough.
The Ikan Bakar Jimbaran, grilled barramundi marinated in lemongrass and basil leaves was blanketed in a sweetish sambal and juicy cherry tomatoes.
The Orek Kentang, deep fried julienned potato strips with kecap manis and chilli, was highly addictive. You've been forewarned.
The Lawar Kacang Panjang, long bean dice sauteed with garlic and coconut was staid and one-dimensional.
The Terong Kecap, eggplant sauteed in thick kecap manis, was imbued with a smoky sweetness.
The Orek Tempe Teri Kecan, of the trio of deep fried julienned tempe, peanut and ikan bilis with chilli was another addictive snack.
The Soto Ayam Ambengan, chicken soup Indon-style seasoned with tumeric, hit all the flavour notes, but was served tepid, a big no-no in my book for soups.
The lackluster Soto Betawi, of beef chunks, fried potatoes and cherry tomatoes was dunked in an overwhelmingly cloying coconut milk broth.
The Nasi Kuning, tumeric and coconut milk rice, was fragrant and flavousome on its own.
The Moluccas Room
The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands (South wing facing Fullerton Hotel)
2 Bayfront Ave #01-81
Tel: 6688 7367
Open daily from 11.30am to 3pm for lunch; 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner