Hjh Maimunah – An Enduring Nasi Padang Legacy That Has Withstood The Test Of Time

13 November
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When we think of nasi padang, few associate it with the Michelin guide. Instead, we are more likely to think of the local mom-and-pop stalls in our neighbourhoods. However, Bib Gourmand awardee, Hjh Maimunah, straddles this divide by providing quality nasi padang at affordable prices.

Hjh Maimunah sits along a narrow lane in Bugis behind the Masjid Sultan mosque. Do not be fooled by the abundance of space in their multiple dining rooms – most of them will be filled to near capacity during meal times by locals and tourists alike.

Hjh Maimunah Spread

When you enter the bustling establishment, you are instantly greeted by the comforting clinks of cookware busying in the background, and the animated chatter of customers awaiting their turns. The most striking part of the scene is the myriad of colourful dishes – over 40! – drawing oohs and aahs from those perusing the selection.

What makes Hjh Maimunah stand out is how there is an innate love and care put into the food created. To preserve traditional recipes, ingredients are sourced locally and regionally, and no shortcuts are taken even for the most labour-intensive dishes. As a result, the quality of food delivered is heads and shoulders above most of the competition, and their customers know it.


Hjh Maimunah Lemak Siput

Photo Credit: http://www.hjmaimunah.com/

Ordering from such a huge variety of dishes can be daunting. Despite the choice, there are a few dishes that regulars gravitate to. But be warned: given the demand, arrive before, not after the crowd if you want the best picks!

The perennial customer favourite is the Lemak Siput Sedut (S$3.50/pax) – sea snails cooked in a spicy creamy coconut broth – a dish so popular that it has become a natural association for many regulars with the Hjh Maimunah brand. If you are less adventurous like myself, the grilled proteins are excellent as well.

Hjh Maimunah Dishes

Aware of Hjh Maimunah’s reputation for its standout dishes, we decided to pick just one speciality dish – in this case, the Ayam Bakar (S$4.50/piece), or grilled chicken – and supplemented the rest of our meal with more ordinary alternatives.

The food lived up to its hype, and to no one’s surprise, especially that of the chicken. The thick coating of sweet sauce provided not just a taste contrast to the crisp savoury protein beneath, but added moisture to it as well.

For lovers of spice, the Ulam & Sambal Belacan (S$1.20/pax) is perfect for adding that extra zest to your meal. As a condiment, the sambal adds a twinge of refreshing tartness to each bite. Do not forget to dip the vegetable sticks into the sambal too; not only is it a healthy accompaniment, it is a great palate cleanser as well!


Hjh Maimunah Kuih

Photo Credit: http://www.hjmaimunah.com/

Like many other patrons, as we took our leave, despite our full stomachs, we could not help but be drawn towards the sweet aroma of the dessert counter.

Herein lies the secret of Hjh Maimunah: not only do they exert impeccable quality control on their main kitchen, their dessert chef has equally exacting standards.

After moments of woefully appraising the delectable looking kuihs (S$0.80/piece), I took away a couple of them for later. (And yes, they were some of the best kuihs I had in a long while!)

If you are a fan of Malaysian and Indonesian nasi padang fare, or a foodie who appreciates a restaurant’s commitment to its food tradition and heritage, Hjh Maimunah is a great choice for your next meal!

Hjh Maimunah
11 & 15 Jalan Pisang
Singapore 199078
Mon to Sat: 7am – 8pm
(Closed on Sundays)
Tel: +65 6297 4294
Nearest Station: Bugis
** Multiple outlets islandwide.

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