Sabar Menanti is a name synonymous with nasi padang in Singapore. Although it means "patiently waiting" in Malay, you often don't have to wait long for your meal. Just point to what you want in the glass display of over 40 dishes and it is delivered very soon to your table.
The ikan bakar (charcoal grilled fish) is a signature dish here. However, I'm not a fan of the type of fish they normally use - ikan kembong (Chubb mackerel), I think. And while it looked good, today's fish tasted extraordinarily fishy (of the unfresh variety). "Hanyir" as Malays would call it! All the spices, raw shallots and chillies could not mask that stink. But the black sauce was great on rice.
Now this was excellent. Prawns fried in a spicy sambal sauce. Only tricky part is removing the shells, some of which get melded to the flesh. I simply just ate them together. More calcium and more sambal too!
Beef or mutton rendang is another must-have dish when you are here. Rich, complex, spicy and almost smoky-flavoured. Good thing we got some tender meat today, even though it was lean. I've heard sometimes the meat served can be tough.
Another winner here - sayur lodeh that actually has some crunch and bite to its vegetables still! So much better than the varieties that cook the cabbage, long beans and carrots to a pulpy death. The curry is watery but still lemak (rich) and tasty.
Some side dishes that little Nadine could enjoy. Bergedil (meat and potato cutlets/croquettes) that were firm and savoury. Thick omelette pieces spiced with chili and onions. Oh, she enjoyed the lime juice there too.
Sabar Menanti is located in a quaintly decorated, yellow two-storey shophouse along Kandahar Street. You can dine al fresco or inside.
If you look further down towards North Bridge Road, you will see a Sabar Menanti II outlet at the junction. This is an offshoot/sister outlet, complete with de rigeur blood feud story. I've dined there too and it's also outstanding, if not better.
50 Kandahar Street