Situated on the first floor of Bay Hotel, just across from VivoCity, Rumah Rasa, halal restaurant, has a decor of wood-accented interior with shades of purple. Helmed by Chef Sharifah Zaharah bte Syed Yaakub, who used to work at Raffles Hotel and St Regis, Rumah Rasa believes in homely, hearty Malay and Indonesian food, which means some serious round-the-clock hard work.
For instance, the Soto Ayam Madura ($6), chicken consomme with shredded chicken, with begedil (potato croquette) at the side, takes hours to cook. During our tasting, the dish is light, not greasy compared to elsewhere, but it is a tad bland.
For the mains, you can order nasi putih (white rice $1) or nasi kuning (yellow rice $2) to go with the above dishes. I recommend the yellow.
For the dishes, besides the above photos, we also tasted gado gado ($8) and ayam panggang berkakak Jakarta (grilled chicken with spicy sauce, $14).
My favorites include Paru Goreng (fried beef lungs, $8), sliced thinly so that it is crispy as potato chips, which may work better as an appetizer than a main; Tahu Telur Surabaya (fried beancurd, $8) which has contrasting textures, crispy outside, soft and tender within, drizzled with the sweet-slightly spicy sauce, and topped with crunchy peanuts; Ikan Bakar Rumah Rasa (charcoal grilled red snapper $28), soft and moist meat, sedap (delicious) with the green sauce by the side; and ayam panggang berkakak Jakarta (grilled chicken with spicy sauce, $14), tender and savory.
One dish I’d skip is Udang Petai Belado (prawns $12) because it is just that, plain prawns. Another suggestion I’d make is the dishes could be fierier, hotter. For example, although the paru goreng looks fierce, the appearance belies the taste.
For desserts, we had chendol ($6) and banana fritters (goreng pisang, $8). I’d skip the latter.
Having just returned from Bali, the dishes at Rumah Rasa is as good and as homely as the food at Bali. The comfortable setting makes the restaurant a lovely place to spend a meal. This is a restaurant I would return.
Rating: 3.167/ 5
PS: We thank Dennis, Rumah Rasa and Bay Hotel Singapore for the invite.