Sunday, September 03, 2006

Pagi Sore

C says:

Pagi Sore is an Indonesian restaurant along Telok Ayer Street, which was recently recognised in Sunday LifeStyle’s list of Top 50 Best Restaurants. A and I have been here a couple of times since we started this blog, but never together, so we’ve held off writing about it until we got a chance to do our ‘C says/A says’ take on it. However, because A keeps finding other places where he’d rather eat in the area, I don’t foresee going together any time in the near future, so I’ve decided to just write about it now. A can add his comments based on the time he came here with his colleagues.

I had a team lunch here on Friday with my colleagues; the task of ordering the food was once again shoved to me, but the good thing about that is that I get to order what I would order anyway. There are a few star dishes here, although I haven’t actually had anything bad here. Still, the must-try dishes are: Ayam Bali – grilled chicken thigh, conveniently deboned and coated with a sweet dark sauce. This is one of their house specialties, for good reason. The chicken is tender, the sauce is flavourful and the grilled and slightly charred edges are lovely. Otah Ikan Kukus – This is a whole fish, minus the head and tail fin, steamed with an otah paste in a banana leaf. This is delicious, and I’m always glad to go with people other than A so that I can order this, cos he’s not a fan of fish with bones, nor of otah.

Besides those two must-haves, the sayur lodeh and tauhu telor are worth a try as well. On Friday we had their beef rendang, grilled squid and sambal kangkong as well, but not spectacular compared to the chicken and fish. They serve baskets of Indonesian emping or belinjo crackers, the slightly bitter ones, which are addictive and pretty darn good when dipped into their sambal belacan.

This place has definitely earned its mention in the Best Restaurants list. It’s absolutely packed at lunchtime and reservations are essential, especially for large groups. Try to go at dinner if you can, it’s a lot less frenzied and you get more attention from the waitstaff as a result. As it is, though, while a little chaotic, service on Friday was good and not a single mistake was made with our order.

A says:

Food really good but if you’re considering it just for nasi padang, it’s nowhere near the best in Singapore (like River Valley Nasi Padang and Warong Nasi Padang on North Bridge Road). The dining experience is more comfortable though as the other places are non-air-conditioned and ordering gets a bit stressful (if you not down with the lingo like C).

The staff are friendly and well-trained. On a side note: the place supports rehabilitation of ex-cons and employs many. Besides the sayur lodeh, that’s another reason to go support, support.

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