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Sabar Menanti

12 July 2009

"Sabar Menanti", when translated to English, means wait patiently. I've read somewhere that this name came from the long queues that thronged this restaurant since it started out, and one source particularly noted that this place has been around for 74 years. That is a long time indeed, well into the Japanese Occupation.

Sabar Menanti is a "Nasi Padang" haven and has a good range of Malay-Indonesian food. It's definitely one of my favourite places for Nasi Padang (if you're still wondering what it means, it's really rice served with a variety of dishes) because of the tasty food and affordable prices. Long post ahead because I've combined this with two previous posts into a single one. Enjoy! =)

Chicken Curry (top): 4/5 | Ayam Masak Merah (below): 3.25/5

I tried the chicken curry while my sisters had the ayam masak merah. The curry was flavourful and thick as I like it, and the chicken was tender. The latter (directly translated to "chicken cooked red") is a popular Malay dish that resembles the Chinese-type sweet and sour but definitely spicier. My sisters liked this, but I found it just average though. The curry's better.

Ayam Opor: 4.25/5

My mother said this is a more traditional way of cooking ayam lemak, which she felt was an adequate simplication for me because I couldn't understand the different ways of cooking. Ayam opor and ayam lemak both mean chicken in coconut milk, but I think the latter has a more Malaysian sort of background as compared to Opor's Indonesian heritage. The gravy is thick and rich, with a very fragrant smell. Great for those who can't take too spicy dishes, and goes well with white rice. The chicken was tender too. A personal favourite.

Chicken Rendang: 3.5/5

Imagine joining the Ayam Masak Merah with the Ayam Opor, and your end product should be somewhat like a "rendang". Haha, that's too simplistic an explanation but really a "rendang" dish uses coconut milk as does the Opor, is as spicy as the Masak Merah and is drier than the Opor but more gravy-like than the Masak Merah. Confused yet? On taste, the chicken rendang was alright, it wasn't too oily and was spicy enough without being too overwhelming. I think the chicken is fried first though, and the meat felt a tad too dry to me. I don't have a picture of the beef rendang but I found it to be better.

Ayam Percik: 3.25/5

The fourth chicken dish, but of course don't assume I ate all these chicken dishes in one seating! Ayam Percik refers to a Malay style grilled chicken with Malay spices, but I'm having my reservations describing this chicken from Sabar Menanti as such because it differs quite a lot from its more authentic Malaysian counterpart. The lady at the counter did call this "Ayam Percik", but if you look at this recipe from a blog I found, you would realise that it's really very different. Here, the Ayam Percik was tender enough but I have my doubts about it being entirely grilled. The chilli was both sweet and spicy.

Fried Paru: 3.5/5

I have a confession to make. All my life (till minutes ago) I thought "paru" as part of edible chicken inards. For the purpose of this blog I went to check what it actually means, and it's actually... this yummy chewy thing many people add to food like nasi lemak and nasi padang... it's actually beef lungs *gasp* lungs?! Okay, it sounds erm gross, but it's really good. The chilli added flavour to the nicely marinated er... paru.

Ikan Bakar: 4/5

This is charcoal grilled fish with a very spicy black sauce, and is one of Sabar Menanti's main draws. We were lucky to have the last one on sale for the day, eventhough it was only 1.30pm! I would prefer a meatier fish, but this was alright I guess.

Fried Eggs: 3.25/5 | Bergedils: 2.75/5

I'm biased because the bergedils that my mum makes are the best really, because it has more meat fillings and has a lightly crisp outer layer. Here, the bergedil is almost all just potatoes. The eggs though are interesting because they seem to be a cross between fried eggs and otah (spiced fish paste). Quite nice.

Fried Sliced Potatoes: 2.5/5

The potatoes were soft, the anchovies crispy. The problem with this was that it was so cold.

Sambal Petai: 3.5/5

Petai is often known for its smell, and even Wiki has a write up on this, saying too that it really is an acquired taste. Not much smell though, probably nicely masked by the sambal chilli. My parents remarked that this dish was quite good.

Sambal Brinjals: 3/5

Looks very spicy right? It is, very very spicy. Too spicy perhaps.

Chendol: 4.25/5

My parents agreed that this is the authentic and traditional way that chendol should taste, not the common Chinese spinoffs you often find in foodcourts. Green bean jelly in coconut milk, and certainly a great way to wash down the spices with this refreshingly cool dessert/drink.

Very friendly, and they're quick to carry the dishes to you after you've selected it yourself at the food counter.

48 Kandahar Street, near Sultan Mosque.
Nearest MRT should be Bugis.

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