Ujong at Raffles Hotel – Madam Tan Brings Back Local Delights with a Twist (CLOSED)
It has been more than a year since Wok & Barrel closed its door. Owner Shen Tan (or many call her Madam Tan) has already made a name for herself among Singapore foodies for serving yummy nasi lemak since her hawker days, hence we were sad about its closure.
But when I saw Madam Tan’s instagram posting this year, I knew that I am able to eat her nasi lemak again. And true enough, Restaurant Ujong is born last month. Taking over the Empire Café at Raffles Hotel, Shen has brought back many mod-sin dishes with some of her signature dishes from Wok & Barrel.
We started our Labour Day’s lunch with a plate of Yusheng Salmon Ceviche and Salad ($25.90). With salmon dressed in fresh lime and plum sauce, the salad is served with crunchy cucumber, coriander leaves, lettuce and carrots – a great way to cool off the heat. Yes, we love the sashimi grade salmon but I don’t think we would pay so much for our appetizer.
I initially wanted to go for their Bak Chor Pasta because I had it at Wok & Barrel and enjoyed it. But the boy wanted to try a new dish so we ordered Hae Bee Hiam Mentaiko Capellini ($25.90) instead. It was a simple dish with mentaiko pasta tossed with hae bee hiam and crispy lardons, flavoured with garlicky prawn infused butter and lard. Yes the hae bee hiam was fragrant but I wish there is more sakura ebi.
Madam Tan’s Nasi Lemak and me, has a story to tell. About 2 years ago, I was doing a cooking column in the newspaper whereby I will visit different restaurants to learn how to cook their signature items. Shen happily agreed to let me step into her kitchen and taught me how to cook her nasi lemak.
To be honest, it was a very tedious process because the rice was steamed twice. Imagine, me a petite lady trying get a heavy tray of rice filled with fresh coconut juice into the commercial steamer. After that crash course, I learn to appreciate the plate of nasi lemak more and concluded that it is so much easier to be a diner. LOL!
So I ordered her signature beef rendang ($19.90) to go with the fragrant and fluffy nasi lemak rice. Still the best out of the dishes we ordered. The two accompanying sambal chili sauces (again made from scratch), sweet or spicy, gave it a real kick.
We met Weeteck at UjonG and he recommended the Fish Curry Laksa ($23.90). I was expecting a bowl of soupy laksa but instead, the rich curry laksa sauce had just enough to smother the beehoon and poached fish. The sauce is very lemak and tangy with assam notes.
I also ordered a plate of Pulut Hitam Pudding but the melted ice cream did’t look too good on photos. The gula melaka butterscotch comes with a scoop of coconut ice cream ($15.90). Slightly too sweet for me, I still prefer Madam Tan’s Shendol Delights ($15.90), a coconut panna cotta served with gula melaka, chendol and red bean ice cream.
Ujong @ Raffles Hotel
Address: 328 North Bridge Road, Raffles Hotel Arcade #01-10
Opening hours: 8am – 10pm daily