IndoChili: Halal Indonesian Cuisine

The dining room was an oasis of tranquillity when we entered at 3pm on a Sunday afternoon. Couples and families trickling in to the cool interiors, seeking asylum from the mad heat waves out on the streets. Our late lunch today saw us pigging out on Indonesian food at IndoChili situated conveniently across from Great World City just up next to Zion Road Riverside Food Center. 

With an extensive menu offering a complete selection of entrees from around the archipelago, it was hard to select dishes given there were at least 8 ways of having your grilled chicken. Driven by hunger pangs, we waved down one of the amicable waitresses to place our orders and proceeded for a long wait (as suggested by the menu on certain items that we had ordered). Fortunately, our food came in waves, best allowing us to capture our shots, each dish causing mouthwatering moments at the table with its alluring smells adrift. 

I started off with the the inviting Terong Balado ($8.80), eggplant grilled and cooked with chili and shrimp paste. What I appreciate about the dish was the good firmness retained in the eggplant, not the usual stodgy mess you get at hawker centres or teochew porridge stalls. The eggplant is subordinate to an in-house concoction of chili and shrimp paste, an excellent blend that proved to be not over the top salty nor fishy.

The Ikan Bakar Kecap ($21.80) is one of the disappointments, As is custom, the pomfret is grilled and spicy sweet kecap manis sauce slathered over the top. Our fish however did not taste fresh and we suspect a quick trip to the deep fryer had been in order before hitting the grill, the turgid white meat overcooked and very dry.

Fortunately, the Ayam Panggang padang ($8.80) made amendments with our palates, the grilled chicken, juicy and evidently char grilled on its exterior. If I was being finicky, I wished the chicken was cooked a wee bit more in the spiced coconut mixture, a better of penetration of the flavors or perhaps a heavier hand with the padang style sauce would have taken the dish to the next level. Still, I dug in fervently accompanied by my bowl of turmeric rice.

Among the dishes, the Sate Ayam Madura ($7.80) was the one I revered for the most. Charcoal grilled to perfection, the sticks of chicken were seasoned to the T and smothered with a piquant thickened peanut sauce. Having been basted generously with a sweet soy sauce while on the grill, the blackened burnt bits accentuate the caramelization on the meats and the shower of deep fried shallots added crunch. Definitely a MUST-ORDER if you're heading down.

Don't leave IndoChili without ordering their Sop Buntut ($14.80), Indonesian oxtail soup. Being the perfect cut for stewing, the oxtail imparts a sweet slightly gamey flavor to the soup without being too overbearing. What we landed up with was a thick broth filled with chunks of carrots, potatoes and treasured hunks of oxtail whose meat shivers away from the bone with gently prodding. Squeeze in a little bit of lime or help yourselves to the sambal to season the soup to your liking. 

The drinks menu is again another long list to conquer, but I would advice you to dive straight in for the Jus Alpukat ($6.80), essentially avocado with chocolate sauce. This was thick, luscious and not too sweet, perfect for the sweltering heat. My Kopi Susu Tetes ($4.80), didnt come out as expected, the robust flavors that I would expect of a drip coffee over condensed milk, lacking in this watered down version. Stick to your Vietnamese coffee for maximum kick.

Es Chendol ($5.80) sealed the deal with its winning mix of shaved ice flavored with coconut milk and palm sugar. The liberal serving of cubed chempadak and pandan jelly swollen with flavor (not just tasteless green stuff) really up the ante and helped to embed Indochili in my mind as a prominent hot spot for authentic Indonesian food.

IndoChili Indonesian Restaurant
54 Zion Road
t: 6445 1766

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 11 30am - 10pm
Sat - Sun: 11 30am - 11pm


Derrick Tan said...

IndoChili is one of the better Indonesian Restaurant I would re-visit. Food there is pretty good.

SiHaN said...

Yeh totally agree too! That's sate ayam!! SO GOODD!!