Geylang Serai lit up a few days ago to signify the arrival of Ramadan. This is not only a good period for self reflection over the past year, but also ideal to strengthen bonds with loved ones. I was happy to break fast with Muslim friends over delicious Nusantara cuisine at Sama Sama’s sole outlet at Jewel Changi, surrounded by lushes of greenery. To add to this festive occasion, we had their specially curated Ramadan set menu ($32/ pax min 4 pax to order). The eight dishes are not available on their regular Menu and only served till 16 May 2021, the day of Hari Raya Puasa.
While I was a bit upset I did not get to enjoy my usual Tahu Telur this time I was consoled by the spread, which was a departure from the usual Indonesian fare we are used to. The most unique of them all was the Gudeg Nangka, a vegetarian dish made with stewing young jackfruits with spices, eggs and tofus. For someone averse to eating jackfruit I found this stew accessible. It was also not as sweet as the Gudeg traditionally made back in Java, Indonesia.
I was curious with the Bakwan Udang which felt like an reincarnation of the Hokkien Hae Bia because they tasted exactly the same- rice flour with shrimps, deep fried with scallion. Served crispy and hot.\
The Opor Ayam has similar profiles to our Ayam Lemak. Both are chicken dishes cooked in coconut sauce but the spices used here made that difference and it was not merely marginal. I had a few servings of this to go with my rice. It was creamy and dreamy at the same time.
I think many would like the Sate Kambing Betawi. I am not the best person to judge a mutton dish but I can attest to the fact my table waxed lyrical about the meat skewers. I had more affinity to the Semur Jawa Daging, a beef stew with tomatoes, shallots, garlic, red chilli and kicap manis. It was made for rice.
The Sambal Goreng Krecek was not reserved for the faint hearted. Beef skin is tough and requires 3 times the effort to chew. Even the Malay matriarch amongst us had a hard time convincing herself to put her jaws to use on a second helping. The skin is also relatively tasteless without the chilli peppers and “smelly” petai beans. But for novelty’s sake, I thought we should all give this a try, at least.
Not included in the set is the to die for chilli sauce. The house-made sambal (available at $4 per portion), including the Sambal Embe, Sambal Matah, Sambal Daun Jeruk, and Sambal Goreng Terasi adds up to almost $20 a flight. A bit expensive comparatively but trust me, everything taste better with this.
We concluded the dinner with a dish that might sound foreign to many, the Kolak Pisang. Though not so. More commonly known as Pisang Pengat in Singapore & Malaysia, this steamed banana dessert in coconut milk is usually sweetened with Gula Melaka. In keeping with the consistency and provenance of all its ingredients, the Indonesian Gula Jawa which is much sweeter became the de factor.
To further cement the celebration, two mocktails were specifically created; Assam Spritz ($9) and Rosie’s Sangria ($9)
Sama Sama. The former tamarind based drink with Marquisa syrup, pineapple juice, sprite lemonade and lime citrus was my preferred choice of beverage over the much sweeter banana milk syrup based with lime juice, lemonade, fresh cucumbers, juicy strawberries and zesty lemon.
Jewel Changi Airport, 78 Airport Boulevard, #03-225 Singapore 819666
Operating Hours: 11am-10pm daily
Phone: +65 6904 3971
This article is written by RamenKing, a hyperactive geek who lives to eat.