290 Indonesia – Homey Malay Food in Jalan Besar
Homecooked food is magic to me. The ingredients are usually cheap, and the methods might be relatively simple, but it always leaves me more satisfied than any other meal does.
We arrived at 290 Indonesia in Jalan Besar for some Malay dishes. The stall was highly recommended by a friend of mine. In all honestly, the stall does not look too different from any other Malay stalls, but don’t let the unassuming storefront fool you.
I chatted with Chef Anna, 44, over the counter as I was placing an order. She learnt her craft at the age of 14, which was when she started out as a cook. She has been cooking at 290 Indonesia for 2 years now. During this period, she has received many compliments as well as suggestions. Each of these suggestions had been taken seriously, as Chef Anna continually fine-tunes her food to suit the local palate.
I went for the bestsellers — Curry Chicken and Beef Rendang. I paired the Curry Chicken ($3) plate with an onion omelette ($1), ikan bilis ($1) and vegetables ($0.80). The Beef Rendang ($3) plate was adorned with a few huge Assam Prawns ($3) and curry vegetables ($0.80).
I dug into the Curry Chicken first. Anna gave me a whole chicken thigh which tore apart rather easily. The fragrant and slightly creamy curry coated the rice grains so well, creating a satisfying mouthful.
The Beef Rendang was not the most tender, but it didn’t require an exceptional amount of effort to pull apart. The accompanying rempah was incredibly tasty. The aroma and spiciness of the dish really left an impression!
The Onion Omelette was packed generously with slices of onion. The sweetness of the onion was unmistakable and very pronounced in the egg.
I saved the best for last. The size of these Assam Prawns was astounding — you can hardly find prawns of this size at hawker stalls! I irresistibly stripped the whole prawn of its shell and took a bite. I loved that the assam flavour permeated the crunchy prawns thoroughly.
Anna gets all of her ingredients from Whampoa market every morning. Everything that’s on offer, from the chillis to the rempah, are all made in-house.
I really enjoyed my lunch at 290 Indonesia and asked Anna for some tips on cooking good Malay food. Anna smiled and answered, “As long as you have the heart for cooking, no matter what you cook, the taste will come out great!”
Address: 290 Jalan Besar S208953
Phone: +65 9646 9231
Opening Hours: 6am to 5pm daily.
MissTamChiak.com made an anonymous visit and paid its own meal at the stall featured here.
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