Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Cumi Bali, Tanjong Pagar Road
I've walked by this shop a number of times and wondered throughout all those times if they were good. Yes, it's one of those things and we finally dropped by to find out. According to their website, Cumi Bali (66 Tanjong Pagar Road, tel : +65 6220 6619) has been around for 21 years. From when those 21 years came about I don't know but by my deduction, it's probably been a while since that claim was made.
Don't think these fellas are very much into updates or the internet. The site is still saying things like 'Best viewed on Internet Explorer 8 and above' so I gather that it could have been 6-7 years back since the last time they updated and apparently they don't know that these days Chrome's the boss.
Sayur lodeh (coconut curried vegetables) was quite nice. I think there was quite a bit of shredded coconut sediments in the gravy - the flavours of which were quite dangerously addictive over white rice. Vegetables were stewed till soft.
I've had countless fried potato balls and these ones are possibly the largest and freshest tasting ones I've come across. They're known as perkedel on the menu, which is pretty much the same thing as the local bergedil - the eggwashed deep fried potato patty. These ones tasted like they were made to order; had a faint crisp on the exterior and didn't feel overly greasy for something that had just gone off the deep fryer. Nice.
One of the items that Cumi Bali is known for are their sate madura. As the name implies, it's satay which is done in the style similar to how it is done in the Javanese island of Madura. These are made with chicken. Definitely the largest satays I've had - ever. I'm pretty sure these are the largest satay in the country. Look at how these big ass skewers are relative to the fork! And because these were glazed with plenty of kecap manis, it was sweet, smokey and caramelized with burnt ends. Damn these were good.
There was some chilli belachan was served in a little stone bowl. This thing made the addictive gravy from the sayur lodeh even more addictive.
Cumi Bali is also apparently known for their cumi bali - a namesake dish of barbecued squid with a nutty rempah which tasted like satay gravy. It was also the most expensive item we had for the night. The tentacles of the squid are chopped up and stuffed in the body. While it was relatively tender, I thought more char would have really up the ante on this dish.