Nasi Bawean on Desker Road


In a small coffeeshop on the corner of Desker Road and Jalan Kampong Kapor, there is always a long queue for people hankering for some down-to-Earth Bawean cooking.

I got an sms from TTC and Eslim one fine afternoon, about 6 hours before I was flying off on a business trip. JGoh, WLH and a friend were also there. It’s great to have makankakis who can assemble for a feed at the drop of of a message in the inbox.


Having only 4 tables in coffeeshop and 4 more on the outside, it was a tight squeeze with us taking up 2 tables inside. We could get those tables because we were there slightly earlier.

Being early may not be a good thing because not all the dishes were out yet. But we kept a constant look-out for the beef rendang and other good stuff.

Speaking of good stuff, the fish curry they served with the rice was perilously delicious.


Whenever in an Indian Muslim eating place, I always insist on having fish curry for my roti prata or rice. The slightly sweet yet tart creaminess enhances the crispy comfortness. Likewise, the fish curry at Nasi Bawean was very creamy yet the tartness shone through to uplift the warm fluffy rice to another level of yumminess.

And speaking of yumminess, this blog loves fried Muslim-style fried chicken.


When I got there, the fried chicken was already cold, but that did not stop us from tearing into the salty sweet juicy chicken and the crispy skin.

Health, someone once said, is but the slowest way to die.

And speaking of dyeing, the squid was sauteed in its own ink to give a sweet flavour to the chewy Cephalopod.


It was really great especially with the rice and the Sambal Chilli.

The Sambal Chilli at the Nasi Bewean stall is outstanding. In addition to the usual ingredients, the special twist here is the Mango strips that give it a fruity tartness that cuts through the heavy curry and sauces.


And speaking of cutting through, TTC sprang into action as we spied the Beef Rendang being carried out to the front of the stall. He managed to get us a plateful after wading through the long queue.

This was when the excitement got too much for my stool that it gave way, spilling this blog to the ground at the feet of the people queuing. Never let it be said that Singaporeans do not care for their fellow man; immediately hands reached out to hold on to me while advice started flowing about spinal and other life-threatening injuries.

Of course, this blog, being made of hardier stuff, did a quick recovery. This is because TTC had just returned with the Beef Rendang. The fall, of course, was to distract the crowd and the sacrifice was well worth the effort.


Freshly-cooked, the Beef Rendang was slightly tough but it tasted supreme. The Rendang had not penetrated the meat fully so while the exterior was coated with delicious gravy, the hot interior was full of beefy goodness.


This, my friends, is as good as it gets.

And speaking of good stuff, the other dishes that I enjoyed were the Sayor Lodeh which was also full of creamy vegetables and tau kua. The other must-try-with-rice dish was the Assam Fish, soft flaky fish infused with the sourish sweetness of Tamarind, wah… And that’s coming from a meat-lover.

And for dessert, we had Rojak which had that old school crisp tartness that tingled the tongue long after it was gone. Not like the horribly sweet and gooey stuff we get nowadays.


Yes. For a delicious lunch in a sweltering coffeeshop where only the supercool need apply, the Nasi Bawean Stall is the place for a nice filling lunch with small but delicious accompaniments to your rice.The trick here is to be early to get seats but late enough for all the good stuff to arrive from the kitchen. It’s no wonder that many people do takeaway. The stall sells out and closes early (about 2pm).

The effort of planning and coordination was worth it.

The Nasi Bawean stall is at 62, Desker Road.


Posted on 23rd Jul 2007 in Indonesian, Makankaki


There Are 2 Comments


yusuf hidayat commented on February 2, 2008 at 9:27 pm

Bhule oreng bhebhien, Sangkapora bede e Batam mengken. photografer jurnalist. senneng atokar informasi tentang bawean, baik e rantau atau e bhebhien. klik tak kabessanyo’on. wass.


jacky makmang commented on November 28, 2009 at 9:06 am

tarema kasih bede e website tonto,bule oreng dheun,mokhe2 lancar bisnes na ghi, bule khitak ngakan,insyaAllah mon bede wekto bule terro keyan a chobhe er khi,bule thujen kela celok tongkol,,, wassalam

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