A halal-certified Indonesian restaurant, situated opposite Great World City, Indochili is beautifully decorated with rustic meets contemporary elements: raw brick walls, cemented floor, plush red booth seats and green wooden chairs.
The sate ayam madura (5 pcs, $7.80, pictured above) may be a tad expensive but it was one of the best dishes that day. Charcoal grilled and meaty, the chicken was dressed in an intensely sweet peanut sauce. The tahu telor ($8.80) or deep-fried beancurd was also delicious, crispy with cucumber, bean sprout, carrot, in a sweet savory peanut sauce.
The cah kangkung ($8.80, above) was another highlight: stir-fried with chilli, garlic and shrimp paste, it was crunchy and addictive. Another dish we recommend is the cumi bakar jimbaran ($13.80, below), grilled squid glazed with a secret sauce from Jimbaran beach in Bali. Every table ordered the squid–seemed to be a crowd’s favorite.
But in general, the dishes could be hotter–we suspected the food was pre-cooked and heated up when an order was placed– and the meat dishes were dry and hard. We were looking forward to the ikan bakar kecap ($21.80, below), the “Ugly Betty,” a grilled pomfret fish with Indonesian sweet soy sauce. But the skin wasn’t crisp enough, and the meat tough. Same goes for the rendang sapo ($9.80). Although it was slow-cooked for 4 hours, we found the meat dry and salty.
There are a few rice dishes and we hesitated between tumpeng mini ($9.80) and nasi timbel ($11.80). Tumpeng, with its yellow rice in a mountain-like shape, surrounded by meats and vegetables, symbolizes the gratitude Javanese have for their God and their aspirations for a better life filled with happiness. It is eaten during special occasions and you can order it here, which serves 15 people, in advance. The tumpeng mini is inspired by this Javanese royal meal, served with yellow rice, ayam bumbu rujak (curry chicken), and perkedel (potato).
But we wanted deep-fried chicken, so we went for nasi timbel (pictured above) and changed the rice to yellow rice. Traditionally a “lunch-box” prepared by wives for their farming husbands, we thought the fried chicken, like other meats, was dry. But the yellow rice was fragrant with pandan aroma–so savory.
For desserts, between the cendol ($5.80) and delima (red ruby, $6, above), opt for the former, which had more taste.
The service was prompt and quick, the decor was very pretty, and the food was mostly satisfying, if a little expensive. Overall, quite a pleasant place to spend an evening.
54 Zion Road Singapore 247779
T: 6445 1766
W-M: 1130am-10pm. Closed on Tue.
Rating: 2.903/5 stars
ps: Thanks Noah for the invite.
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.