$20-$40

Madam Kwan’s, Vivocity

Madam Kwan Singapore
Nasi Lemak holds no fascination for me because it tastes more or less the same everywhere. But when fellow food enthusiast, Daniel Food Diary, decreed for me to go, the eunuch dared not disobey the emperor’s edict.

Madam Kwan SingaporeAt the door, Madam Kwan herself greeted us! Which got Daniel jumping excitedly. His excitement was infectious.

The decor was surprisingly classy, with gold (my favorite color) being the focus, opening out to a river view at the end of the restaurant.

Although it was full house, the service was particularly good too: there were ample attentive servers walking around. When we asked for bowls, the servers delivered them immediately. When we left, they thanked us. Special compliments to the Malay male server with brown eyes and eyeliner, who was efficient and bubbly.

Although the food was halal, they did not get halal certification because they serve beer. Daniel, who has visited the Malaysian outlet, said that the food was similar in taste but in Singapore, we have a better ambience. In general, Madam Kwan’s food was salty in a refreshing and positive way, rather than sweet and spicy. For example, the sambal was salty, not sweet and not spicy. The belachan kangkong ($10.90, below) was also deliciously salty from the hae bee hiam (prawn paste), but not spicy. Even the otak otak ($15.90, below) was savory with chunks of fish but not spicy.

Madam Kwan - Kangkong

Madam Kwan - Otak Otak

Madam Kwan - Nasi Lemak and Curry Chicken
The only mildly spicy item is the curry chicken, which can be ordered as a dish or in a nasi lemak ($13.90, pictured above). The curry chicken was tough for us but everything else on the plate was pretty delightful. I’d prefer the rice to be more lemak (coconuty) and less dry.

Madam Kwan - Nasi bojari
The nasi bojari ($18.90, above) was better and came with several items: The ayam goreng (fried chicken) was very moist within, the assam prawns was slightly sourish, and the shredded beef rendang was pleasing.

Madam Kwan - Cendol
We ended with cendal ($4.90), which was very simple, just green jelly, red bean, coconut milk and gula melaka. Very simple but very good, very fine ice with very very thick coconut milk.

We spent $80 for two or $40 for one. OUCH! Which we thought was rather expensive. Although the ambience, service, and food were all great, I don’t know if I, cheapskate, am willing to pay so much money for hawker fare. But if I do return next time, I want to try the satay (starting from $11.90 for 6 sticks) and Assam fish head ($49) which we saw two women finishing it.

Madam Kwan’s Singapore

1 Harbourfront Walk #01-155 Vivocity
T: 6271 9989 (reservations allowed)

11am-10.30pm daily

Rating: 3.419/5 stars

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15 replies »

  1. You expect to pay hawker centre prices in Vivocity? Don’t be silly. Such a nice looking place is so much more comfortable than any hawker centre I know! Of course, restaurant has to pay sky-high rents at VC as well. So $40/pax is not so bad if you eat lots. You mention they have beer… did you notice if they also have wine?

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  2. A bit conflicted about this atas nasi lemak. On one hand, I’m glad to see our local food being given a posh treatment and upgraded to a more gourmet-like status.

    On the other hand…..my mind screams out at me – it’s just nasi lemak.

    But then, if we can pay $20 for a burger, why can’t we pay $15 for nasi lemak? Gourmet burgers have taken off, sort of, recently. Why not?

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  3. Just the post I was waiting for on Mdm Kwan, you’re fast! And I spent the same figure in KL but in RM instead of SGD, kekeke…now if I’m ever there, will look out for the chap with eyeliner above mentioned haha!

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  4. Salty –> Samba Chilli (strange right, not spicy at all), Fu Yong Egg
    Otak –> Wait long long then come, cold already
    Rice –> Also wait long long still never come, have to remind
    Order –> Repeat correctly but come out wrong
    Menu –> not organize. No ref number, easier for both customer and staff when ordering. One page curry chicken, the other say chicken curry.

    Disappointed.

    One thing to comment staff – Attentive and polite :-)

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  5. I just had lunch at Madam Kwan’s. For a restaurant price, I think it is quite cheap. We can’t really compare it with hawker centre or food court as the ambience is different. The portion of the dishes are quite large too, much more than what coffee shops are serving. My wife and I can’t even finished the food we ordered. We had nasi bajori, Asam laksa, belachan kangkong, udang petong, chendol and teh tarik.

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  6. I had lunch yesterday.i ordered the Barley with lime, 3/4of the glass was filled with barley grains and only 1/4 of the drink Is liquid, alot of lime was squeezed in and it’s too sour. For main, I ordered Sang Ha noodles. It’s very overpriced($28.90) for a single prawn and vege with noodles. The decor is nice but there are flies hovering over my food. I won’t return again.

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  7. MNG
    Went to try Mdm Kwan’s for the first time. Food so so. Ordered the barley lime, taste so horrible. Expect high class dinning experience, turn out competing with houseflies for the food. Really unpleasant dinning experience. Ironically, hearing next table children screaming out loud because of houseflies attacking. Felt being fleeced paying so high for hawker experience.

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