Sunday, August 10, 2014

Asam Tree Cafe Bakery & Restaurant at Blk 712 Ang Mo Kio Ave 6 - The Ownership The Ambience The Signatures

I am in the mood for some great tasting Nasi Padang, these pass weeks see me exploring the island of Singapore to test out some great Nasi Padang outlets - am trying so very hard to impress my MIL. After the Nasi Padang at Zion Road closed for good, we suffered badly from Nasi Padang Withdrawal Syndrome - me, my MIL, Bob, my SIL Gracie Grace. 

Is was almost like an Oasis in a desert dearth that we chance upon Asam Tree Cafe, Bakery & Restaurant located right opposite NTUC Fairprice at Blk 712 Ang Mo Kio Ave 6. 

The Beginning 
Steve is the founder of Asam Tree Cafe, Bakery & Restaurant. The Asam Tree serves mainly nostalgic authentic home style Nasi Padang Cuisine, Malay Cuisine, Halal Cuisine. The Asam Tree Signatures include : Nasi Lemak, Chicken Rice, Ayam Penyet, Lontong, Mee Rebus, Mee Siam, Mee Soto, Nasi Padang favorites include : Ayam Masak Merah, Ayam Rendang, Petai Sambal Ikan Bilis, Sambal Udang (Prawn), Sambal Kupang (Mussel), Sambal Sotong (Squid), Sambal Cuttlefish, Sambal Goreng.

The Ambience 
The cafe has a casual modern minimalist decor with square wooden table tops flanked by plastic chairs with total seating capacity of about 56 pax. The Asam Tree has its Signature logo in the shape of a tree as seen below. 
Much of the cooking is done in the mini kitchen behind the Beverage Payment Counter. The Chef uses a gigantic wok that spans a diameter of about 1 metre to cook the Nasi Padang dishes. 

On display right about 10 am daily are a sumptuous spread of Nasi Padang favourites that pretty & cheerfully hospitable Julia is serving below : Ayam Masak Merah, Ikan, Udang, Sotong, Cuttlefish, Sambal Goreng, Ayam Rendang, Mutton Rendang, Sambal Kangkong.

 Here is our loot for Saturday :
Nasi that comes with 3 different variety of chilies. My favorite being the chili on the right that is heavily doused with fresh chili, bawang (onions), shallots, sugar = a powerful appetising combination.

This lontong served at Asam Tree is delectably delightful - and has all the winning qualities of a good lontong - the cabbage is cooked till tender soft and with a melt in your mouth consistency, the lontong gravy is superbly smooth creamy sweet & fragrant. 

Sambal Ikan is a must order - the ikan meat is fresh and tender & pairs very well with the sambal chili.

Ayam Rendang - I love the ayam cooked this way with a huge dose of the bawang (onion), shallots, tumeric. The ayam is slow cooked till the meat is fully infused with the flavors of the spices used in this recipe & the meat tears off easily from the bone. 

Ayam Korma - The chicken is cooked with ginger, tumeric, garlic ,shallots, galangal, tumeric powder, lemongrass, candlenuts. The chicken meat is totally infused with the rich spices & herbs used in this recipe, and slow cooked till the meat is sweet, soft tender & tears off the bone easily. 

The Sambal Sotong here at Asam Tree appears to have been sliced into bite size bites & stir fry with the sambal chili, done differently from the River Valley Nasi Padang at Zion Road (now closed) where the sotong is boiled whole with the sambal chili drizzled on it. The good part about slicing the sotong into smaller pieces is that the sotong is fully infused with the sambal chili paste. However care must be taken that the sotong must not be overcooked. My personal preference is the version from River Valley Nasi Padang at Zion Road, sadly it is now closed.

My favorite must have choice of dish is the Sambal Goreng (Tahu Tempe) - made up of stir fried bean curd, tempe, long beans simmered in a coconut based gravy full of spices & herbs. I can totally savor the delightful spices used in this recipe - particularly the chili, tumeric, ginger, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, galangal bathed in rich coconut milk. I love it that the long beans, tempe, bean curd are completely soaked into the rich gravy to give that aromatic fragrant appetising flavor. 


The tempe is stir fried with some less spicy rempah  & onions & cooked till soft. 

The lady fingers are diced into smaller bit size pieces & stir fried with sambal chili & onions till tender & cooked. 

Asam Tree Cafe, Bakery & Restaurant is located at :
Blk 712, Ang Mo Kio Ave 6
#01-4056, S(560712)
Beside NTUC FairPrice
Tel : 64556649
HP: 94891336
Opening Hours : 8.30 am to 10.30 pm (last order 10 pm)

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