Coming to Malay or Indonesian food, the first food that pop in my mind is Nasi Padang.
Nasi Padang is a Padang food. Steamed rice served with various choices of pre-cooked Minangkabau cuisine doriginated from Padang city, the capital of West Sumatra, Indonesia. Nasi Padang (Padang-style rice) is a miniature banquet of meats, fish, vegetables, and spicy sambal eaten with plain white rice, it is Sumatra’s most famous export and the Minangkabau’s great contribution to Indonesian cuisine.
There are two types of serving in a Padang restaurant, the pesan (ordering) and hidang (serve) method. Pesan is the most common way — usually done by a single or two customers — the customer examine the window display and choose the dish they wish to consume directly to the waiter in front near the window display, and the dish is promptly served. This is usually done in common small scale Padang restaurant.
In a larger Padang restaurant dine-in, the festive hidang (serve) style is usually done. This mini banquet is most suitable for dining in group. After the customers are seated, they do not have to order. The waiter with stacked plates upon their hands will immediately serves the dishes directly to the table. The table will quickly be set with dozens of small dishes filled with richly flavored foods such as beef rendang, curried fish, stewed greens, chili eggplant, curried beef liver, tripe, intestines, or foot tendons, fried beef lung, fried chicken, and of course, sambal, the spicy sauces ubiquitous at Indonesian tables. A dozen of dishes is a normal number, it could reach 14 dishes or more. Nasi Padang is an at your table, by the-plate buffet. Customers take and pay for only what they have consumed from this array.
Garuda Padang is a famous and must try restaurant in Indonesia. I came across Garuda Padang a few years ago at Vivo City but never get the chance to try it out.
After chatting with the boss of the Garuda Padang Restaurant, I found out that the previous Garuda Padang i saw before years back was by Tung Lok Group. This current Garuda Pandang restaurant had successfully gotten the franchise back into Singapore. The cooking method and dishes served is almost the same with the previous Garuda Padang by Tung Lok Group.
Garuda Pandang Restaurant now focus on providing a more wallet friendly authentic Nasi Padang to all their customers. Other then being wallet friendly, the ingredients used to prepare the dishes are all fresh and natural. They do not use any pre-mix or paste to cook. All the dishes are cooked by the traditional method from Indonesia.
Looking a the huge variety of vegetables, meats and seafoods made me drool. According to the boss, they will change their dishes occasionally.
As per our request, the boss served us the Nasi Padang in the Hidang style. At first, we wanted to choose a few dishes out but we ended up tasting almost every single one.
The soul to all Nasi Padang is Chili. I was kind of disappointed with the chili as it was not as spicy as i expected. However if you are someone who cannot really take spicyness, this chili will be just right for you.
The beef chunks were huge and surprisingly tender after the long hours of stewing. The beef chunks had fully absorbed the fragrant of the coconut milk, chilies and other spices.
The Curry Chicken had more of the coconut milk taste then the spiciness of the curry. It was slightly at the sweeter side. According to the boss , the Curry Chicken had gone through 3 different cooking style and they does not use any curry paste or chili powder. All the ingredients used were natural.
As for the chicken, it was tender and smooth. The chef did a good job in locking the moisture into the chicken.
The Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken) was crispy on the outside and tender inside. I specially love the blue ginger floss that goes with the Ayam Goreng. It helped to reduce the greasiness from the chicken and brought out the extra fragrance and flavor of the Ayam Goreng.
The sambal sotong was very fresh and does not have the “rubber band” texture. As a lover for spicy food, I feel that the sambal sotong was a bit too mild for me.
I did not try the black squid. However, this is one of their signature dishes. You may give it a try when you are dining here.
I am not a fan of petai even thought it is good for health. I love the ikan bilis that was cooked together with the petai. It was crispy and goes perfectly with rice. You will not stop reaching out for more.
Apart of the above dishes, personally I like their Chili Shrimps, Sambal Fish, Tapioca Leaves and Tempeh.
Here are the pricing of the dishes :
Chicken – $2.50 per serving
Beef/Mutton – $4 per serving
Seafood – $3.50 per serving
Vegetables/Rice – $1 per serving
Looking at the above pricing, a normal plate of Nasi Padang with 1 Chicken, 1 Seafood and 1 Vegetables will be costing at $8. As compare to the previous Garuda Nasi Padang, this is more wallet friendly.
In Garuda Padang Restaurant, you will be able to find bottle drinks which you seldom see before. They served bottle drinks that usually found in Indonesia even their mineral water.
We was curious about how the Tea with Soda tasted liked. Therefore, we decided to give it a try. Amazingly, it does not have much of an Ice Tea’s taste but it tasted like diluted Fanta Grape with less sugar level. It was really special. I will recommend you to give the Tea with Soda a try.
The other two bottle drinks will be Ice Tea and Ice Tea (Less Sugar).
Overall, I feel that the dishes and chilies were not spicy enough for me. To me, Nasi Padang’s dishes are spicy and flavorful. I can understand that the spicyness level are tuned to suit more local taste buds and the mass public. If you are someone who cannot take spiciness and want to try out Nasi Padang. Garuda Padang will be a great restaurant for you.
Garuda Padang restaurant also offers catering services as well as take away services.
Thanks Garuda Padang’s bosses and crews for the kind invitation and the great service.
Garuda Padang Restaurant
Outlet 1 : 220 East Coast Road,
Outlet 2 : Lucky Plaza (Opening in 1 August 2014)
Operating Hours: 10.30am – 8.30pm