Ernie wanted to have Malay/Indonesian Padang cuisine at House of Minang, but it was closed for renovations. I remembered my office room-mate, Yas, telling me to try this place called Hjh Maimunah, so I asked around and was directed to this lane off North Bridge Road.
I loved the food here, it was cheap, good, authentic and came in generous portions.
Begedel (each at $0.50), deep fried potato cutlets, cheap and good. This is something everyone orders when they eat Malay/Indonesian Padang cuisine. Best of all, it did not have coriander, as at most other places.
Tauhu Telor ($4.00), fried beancurd coated with egg, served drizzled with kecap manis, Indonesian/Malay sweet black thick sauce, and minced peanuts. It was sweet, spicy and nutty I loved it. I preferred this version to the one at House of Minang, the beancurd was silkier.
Ayam Rendang or chicken rendang ($3.50). Another thing I always order, because I’m not that huge a fan of beef rending. I prefer white meat to red. I love the thick rendang paste, spicy and nutty. A tip is to scoop a huge dollop of the rendang paste to go with steaming hot white rice.
Ayam Lemak Cili Padi or pandan coconut chicken with chili ($2.00). This is the Malay/Indonesian version of the Thai green curry. This isn’t as thick in consistency and had a very strong coconut and chili flavour. It was ridiculously cheap at only $2.00, although I prefer House of Minang’s version. There was an aftertaste that stuck to my tongue which I didn’t take to.Singaporeans will call it the "siap siap" taste.
Sayur Lodeh or Curry vegetables ($2.00). This was generous and cheap. I liked that they didn’t douse it in coconut milk. It had just the right amount of coconut milk and spiciness.
Rendang Lembu or beef rendang ($2.50). Hjh Maimunah managed to make the beef tender and juicy, this was really yummy. It’s usually difficult to make good beef rendang because you have to prevent the beef from drying out. Most places have very tough versions, but this was very tender. Ernie practically inhaled this. But then again, he loves his beef.
Ulaman or salad with sambal ($1.50). This was a little pricey and unnecessary considering the fact that the mains were priced around $2.00. I’ve always wondered why some places charge extra for chili or sambal. Does the taste really warrant the cost? I wasn’t a huge fan of the salad, and I suppose you can ask them not to have it. The sambal was good though, it wasn’t too spicy and it had some sweetness which lent another dimension to the food.
The bill came up to $25.30 inclusive of drinks and rice. Serviettes are free as well, available at the cashier’s counter.
The place was crowded and one tip is to sit 2 doors down, away from the main store, it’s much cooler there. When I visited, there were a lot of local Malays, most of whom I gather are regulars. This is a good, cheap, and reliable place for people who need their fix of homestyle authentic Malay/Indonesian Padang cuisine. And they have great service! Someone will carry your trays for you from the order counter to the cashier and thereafter to your table. How’s that for service at a “cheap place”? Compared to places which serve similar food like Sanur or Tambuah Mas, where you’ll end up paying at least 3 times more (presumably for the ambience and extra service), this is a gem of a find.
Hjh Maimunah Restaurant
11 & 15 Jalan Pisang, off North Bridge Road
Tel: 6291 3132
Open daily except Sundays, 7.00am to 8.00pm