Written by Aprilia Mona
Do you miss eating authentic Indonesian food, but bored of what Lucky Plaza has to offer? This restaurant is definitely worth a try if you are ever craving for home food. Dapur Jen’s is a quaint little restaurant located at a shophouse in Kandahar Street. The food served here is unmistakably Indonesian-made, unlike some other places where it’s more Malay than Indonesian.
Entering the restaurant, you will be greeted by a busy scene. Ibu Jen, the Indonesian owner of this restaurant, is seen busy greeting customers, going in and out of the kitchen and handling the cash! With a few helpers, including her daughter, Bu Jen is indeed a busy lady. She mentioned that once the restaurant opens, she would have no time to chit chat until late in the evening; lunch hours are predictably the busiest. She also said that weekends would be especially crowded, so we suggest you to visit this restaurant during weekdays for a faster service. Some of the dishes that we tried are soto padang, sate padang and soto ayam.
If you miss Sederhana’s soto padang, for example, this dish is as close as you can to the original. Originating from West Sumatra, this contains rice noodles, bits of fried beef, and the customary pink crackers on top. Eaten with steamed rice and spicy sambal, expect a super delicious meal. The beef was crisped to perfection, the way it should be done. The crackers were a bit hard, though, but we’d still order this again!
The next dish is sate padang. Dapur Jen’s version is pretty good, and I especially enjoyed the thick sauce. Yum! Some of us have never even eaten sate padang in Singapore at all, except maybe at Garuda (which is honestly overpriced), and this was pretty close to the original.
Last but not least is the soto ayam, the traditional Indonesian chicken broth soup. While you cannot compare it to those served in Indonesia, I have to say that this is as good as it can get in Singapore. Served with rice, sambal and crackers, it is definitely a treat to your hungry stomach.
Dapur Jen’s offers other Indonesian delicacies such as rawon (dark beef soup), soto Betawi (beef soup in light coconut milk), seafood fried rice and so on. We haven’t tried any of those yet, but judging from the dishes that we actually ate, it should be pretty authentic! Our only complaint is probably the portions; it’s just nice for girls, but might not be enough for guys. For those in a budget, the food is reasonably priced; most range below $10. Do check it out at 28 Kandahar Street, just a short walk from Bugis MRT!