Hajah Maimunah Restaurant, Singapore’s favorite go-to Nasi Padang . In a narrow street behind Masjid Sultan mosque is a simple Malaysian/Indonesian restaurant that’s always bustling with life – and it’s obvious to see why: the ingredients are fresh, the spices is delicious and the prices are affordable. A very good mix of 60% of dishes are Malaysian and 40% Indonesian; it’s a self-service cafeteria format and the dishes to go for include Sundanese grilled chicken, Ikan bakar, beef rendang, lemak siput, tahu telur and specialised dipping sauce. The upstairs dining hall is more comfortable with air condition.
Contrary to chain/outlet wisdom, this is truly gob-smacking good. My eyes lust after the fantastic colourful smorgasbord, every time that I am here. There is simply no way you can eat all the nasi padang dishes, so you choose judiciously while waiting in the snaking long queue. Lunch time queues are tedious so come early. Food tends to sell out fast too, giving you a careful morning window period. I have always loved the tahu telor (fried egg with tofu dish) which is beautiful to gawk at, mountainous, filling and so delicious. Be sure to save some space for the kuehs (desserts) if you haven’t over-gluttonised over the dishes.
Even from as early as 11.30am, you can find hungry customers queueing up to order their food. What I really like about their food is how everything tastes so freshly-prepared. Even the sauce for their very popular tahu-telur is made on the day itself. I know this first hand, and I would like to give a tip to you guys about ordering this dish if you come here for a meal.
They only start making the sauce moments before the first batch of ready-fried tahu-telur leaves their kitchen. Thus, if you want to make sure you get yours, come just before 1pm, when the first batch hits the shelves.
Another tip if you are heading there when there’s a big crowd – start deciding what dishes you want to order, once you are within range of the food selection counter. Do not just stand along the queue and switch into stand-by mode – be pro-active! It can get chaotic when it is your turn to order, so you have to be on-the-ball and decisive for a smooth delivery of your order.