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Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Lunch at Ah Hoi's Kitchen @ Hotel Jen Tanglin

1A Cuscaden Road, Level 4, Hotel Jen Tanglin, Singapore 249716
Tel: 6831 4373

Ah Hoi's Kitchen is situated in Hotel Jen Tanglin (formerly known as "Traders Hotel"), and is famous for its Singaporean and seafood dishes.

The interior is a large dining hall with vintage Asian furniture whereas the alfresco area offers poolside dining. Coupled with friendly service, how could one not enjoy their meals here?

I knew not what to expect when I came for the lunchtime 12 For 12 Promotion - mainly featuring 12 nasi padang dishes for a mere SGD$12.00.

*Sidney and I had with some cooling Lime Juice and Keropok served with different dips, while waiting for our meal to be served.  The chilli were very good, and spicy enough for my liking.

They started us with Soto Daging (Spicy Beef soup), a light soup, tasty with infusion of beef's sweetness. It reminded me of Kambing soup (mutton soup), except that it was not spicy.

Then the huge wooden stand was being set up and the dishes began to fill the tray up.

I started with the Vegetables in Coconut Curry, a spicy and creamy concoction that reminded me very much of lontong broth.

Next, I had the Ayam Penyet (Fried Chicken with Spices) - very crispy on the inside and tender on the inside. The golden crispy crumbs sprinkled over the chicken added to the crispiness and made the flavorful chicken even more so.

The Ikan Tenggini Asam Pedas (mackerel in spicy tamarind sauce) was another appetite-whetting dish, smooth and toned in texture; tasting really good with the spicy sauce it was cooked in.

I also tried the Tahu Telur (deep fried beancurd with egg), a deceptively simple dish with complex textures. The exterior is flaky with crisps; the interior was silken smooth with the tender beancurd and egg, so the texture contrast was simply awesome. The peanut sauce slowly led to spiciness through all the crisp and smooth softness; we could not stop eating this dish.

Following that, I tucked into the Daging Masak Rasa Padang (Padang-styled braised beef); it was very tender and a little spicy. I enjoyed the taste; it also reminds me of Filipino dish Adabo.

My favorite came up next - Udang Sambal (sambal prawns) - too bad it wasn't the shelled type (maybe to retain freshness?). To me, anything that tastes of the spicy piquant flavor of sambal is a delicacy, plus the prawns were bouncy fresh, hence made this dish very appetising.

Then the Rojak - fresh fruits tossed with rojak sauce and ground peanuts. I was never much a fan of this dish, but enjoyed the fresh crunchiness herein.

Moving on, the Goreng Kacang Perancis Dengan Udang Kering (stir-fried string beans with dried shrimps) - vegetables are a must for all my meals, hence these refreshing, crunchy beans gave the meal a great bite.

Now, it is interesting to find Kaki Babi Masak Cuka Hitam (braised pork shank in black vinegar) at an eatery selling nasi padang, so this is a must-try. I enjoy braised pork shank usually, and must say that this is very succulent, checking all the right boxes for appearance, taste and texture.

This is another chicken dish, cooked in a nice, light, saltish gravy with some shallots; the chicken was soft.

Next, I had the Bendi Rubus Cilli Api (lady's fingers in chilli sauce), another one of my favorite dishes. Over here, the flavor was good but I felt that the lady's fingers were not boiled soft enough. hence the texture was still hard.

Last but not least, this was the bowl of fragrant white rice that accompanied me throughout the entire savoury, heavy-flavored meal.  I really enjoyed this, and would definitely come back for more. It is really value for money too, because we all know that a plate of nasi padang usually costs SGD$5.00 - $7.00 at the stalls, and with alot lesser ingredients.

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