The Hospitable Mamanda®

9th of July 2013 was the start of the holy month of Ramadan and will continue for 30 days until Wednesday, the 7th of August 2013. It is the month of fasting and prayer for our Muslim community. The faithfuls abstain from eating from dawn (before sunrise) to dusk (after sunset). Besides abstaining from food and vigorous exercises, the Muslims also use this time to re-evaluate their lives through the application of Islamic doctrine. Most would also seek forgiveness from each other. The Ramadan period ends with the sighting of the new moon in the Islamic calendar. The end of Ramadan marks a new year or Eid-al-Fitr, the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. Our Muslim community attend communal prayers, listen to a khutba (sermon) and give zakat al-fitr (charity in the form of food) on that day.

There are exemptions to fasting. The elderly, the sick and the expectant mothers do not need to fast as their health may be severely affected. However, for the young and usually healthy faithfuls, they are required to fast for the number of days they missed after recovery from their illness or childbirth. The flexibility of the rules to Ramadan augments its pragmatism and takes into consideration the individual’s personal circumstances, ensuring the well-being of Muslims. Whilst the elderly may not need to fast, they are expected to offer another needy Muslim a meal a day or its equivalent. Such rule provides an avenue for Muslims to interact with and to help one another, ulitimately fostering unity within the Muslim community during the process of charity and compassion.

I had chanced upon Mamanda® before the Ramadan commenced and thought this place was unique.

I had chanced upon Mamanda® before the Ramadan commenced and thought this place was unique.

To be exact, I found Mamanda® on 16th May when I went for the Foo Chow Noodles round the corner.

To be exact, I found Mamanda® on 16th May when I went for the Foo Chow Noodles round the corner. While that was not a very pleasant meal, I felt I had been fully compensated for discovering this gem.

Mamanda® is located within the historical Kampong Gelam district at the Gedung Kuning.

Mamanda® is located within the historical Kampong Gelam district at the Gedung Kuning.

Build around 1840, which was once known as "Rumah Bendahara" or Chief Minister's House. The mansion was once home of Tengku Mahmud, the apparent heir to the Sultan's throne.

Build around 1840, which was once known as “Rumah Bendahara” or Chief Minister’s House. The mansion was once home of Tengku Mahmud, the apparent heir to the Sultan’s throne.

Old Malay architecture and decor are preserved to this day.

Old Malay architecture and decor are preserved to this day.

The property has since been recovered by our government and now operates as a Mamanda®, Malay Restaurant, serving traditional Malay cuisine.

The property has since been recovered by our government.
It now operates as Mamanda®, a Malay Restaurant, serving traditional Malay cuisine.

IMG-20130706-WA0009Mamanda©BondingTool

I had came specifically for the Nasi Ambeng but after seeing what’s on the table of the other diners, I decided it was too huge for me. Yes, too huge! There were 10 Malay ladies seated across from me and they shared 2 platters. I thought they were struggling with their food…

So I settled for this mini Nasi Ambeng and had Tahu Telor (featured), a Mango Salad, Chicken Rendang and some Keropok (Prawn Chips).

So I settled for this mini Nasi Ambeng and had Tahu Telor (featured), a Mango Salad, Chicken Rendang and some Keropok (Prawn Chips).

Chicken Rendang.

Chicken Rendang.
Too sweet for my liking. I do not think I will order this again in future visits.

My mini Nasi Ambeng was not too mini after all.

My mini Nasi Ambeng was not too mini after all.
I did enjoy this very much and was determined to come for the big platter!

Friday the 13th (July 2013) and I felt lucky!

Friday the 13th (July 2013) and I felt lucky!
A table had been reserved and friends were booked 😀

A table for four has been reserved and 3 friends were booked :D

Iftar is the breaking fast meal after sunset.
Tonight, I had the pleasure of partaking iftar with my friends.

Other side dishes we had. Click for larger view.

Assam Pedas Ikan (Spicy and Sour Fish Stew)

Assam Pedas Ikan (Spicy and Sour Fish Stew)
S$17.50

Tauhu Telur literally Egg Tofu - cyclindrical (tube) egg tofu deep-fried and topped with peanut sauce not unlike those used for satay or gado gado.

Tahu Telur – S$5.90
Literally meaning Egg Tofu, it is cyclindrical (tube) store bought egg tofu deep-fried and topped with peanut sauce not unlike those used for satay or gado gado.

I had reserved Tumpeng Nasi Kunyit which was to be served with tumeric rice in cone shape but they ran out of the yellow ginger rice. Tumpeng Nasi Kuning - Yellow Tumpeng, the color yellow represents heapful of gold, wealth, abundance and high moral. This kind of tumpeng is employed in cheerful and happy festivities and celebrations, such as celebration of birth, engagement, marriage, Eid, Christmas, etc... etc... Info: Wikipedia

I had reserved Tumpeng Nasi Kunyit which was to be served with tumeric rice in cone shape but they ran out of the yellow ginger rice.
Tumpeng Nasi Kuning – Yellow Tumpeng, the color yellow represents heapful of gold, wealth, abundance and high moral. This kind of tumpeng is employed in cheerful and happy festivities and celebrations, such as celebration of birth, engagement, marriage, Eid, Christmas, etc… etc… Info: Wikipedia

Tumpeng is a cone-shaped rice dish like mountain with its side dishes (vegetables and meat). The cone shaped rice erected on tampah (rounded woven bamboo container) covered with banana leaf, and surrounded by assorted of Indonesian or Malay dishes. It can be served with white or yellow rice with different significance.

Tumpeng is a cone-shaped rice dish like mountain with its side dishes (vegetables and meat). The cone shaped rice erected on tampah (rounded woven bamboo container) covered with banana leaf, and surrounded by assorted of Indonesian or Malay dishes. It can be served with white or yellow rice with different significance.

Tumpeng Putih - White Tumpeng, uses white rice since white color symbolize holiness in Javanese culture. This kind of tumpeng employed in sacred ceremonies. Info: Wikipedia

Tumpeng Putih – White Tumpeng, uses white rice since white color symbolize holiness in Javanese culture. This kind of tumpeng employed in sacred ceremonies. Info: Wikipedia

Sambal Belachan. A must have condiment on every decent Malay dining table.

Sambal Belachan.
A must have condiment on every decent Malay dining table.

A condiment made of steamed fish meat, shallots and chillies. What's the name? It sounded like Kurabau, anyone knows? It's delicious!

A condiment made of steamed fish meat, shallots and chillies. What’s the name? It sounded like Kurabau, anyone knows? It’s delicious!

Paru (Ox Lungs) seasoned usually with some tumeric (yellow ginger) and deep-fried. The texture is spongy springy.

Paru (Ox Lungs) seasoned usually with some tumeric (yellow ginger) and deep-fried. The texture is spongy springy.

Sambal Udang (Prawns in sweet Sambal)

Sambal Udang (Prawns in sweet Sambal)

Sambal Goreng - usually tempeh (fermented soya bean cake), taukwa (firm tofu), long beans or French beans, and spices. Sometimes, prawns and ox liver is used too but I did not detect any here.

Sambal Goreng – consisting of tempeh (fermented soya bean cake), taukwa (firm tofu), long beans or French beans, and spices. Sometimes, prawns and ox liver is used too but I did not detect any here.

Sambal Telur Pindang (Quail Eggs in Sambal)

Sambal Telur Pindang (Quail Eggs in Sambal)

Urap is a salad dish of steamed/raw vegetables mixed with seasoned and spiced grated coconut (serundeng) for dressing.

Urap is a salad dish of steamed/raw vegetables mixed with seasoned and spiced grated coconut (serundeng) for dressing.

Daging Rendang Mamanda® (Beef was used here)

Daging Rendang Mamanda® (Beef was used here)

Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken)

Ayam Goreng (Fried Chicken)

Perkedel Kentang (Mashed Potato Fritters)

Perkedel Kentang (Mashed Potato Fritters)

Aisha, myself and Abby.

Aisha, myself and Abby. Both ladies attended to us during our visits and made us very happy

Mamanda®'s hospitality shone through them. They are very helpful and obliging. They never answered my questions without a smile. For them and the good food, I will come over and over again.

Mamanda®’s hospitality shone through them. They are very helpful and obliging. They never fail to answer my questions with a smile. For them and the good food, I will come over and over again.

The food was superb – the Nasi Tumpeng and Nasi Ambeng which are served on Thursdays and Fridays respectively are really value for money. A huge platter enough to feed 4-5 persons cost less than S$60. They just might be serving this dish every night for iftar, I’m not sure but do call and ask them.

Mamanda Bill

Nasi Tumpeng S$59.90, Tahu Telor S$5.90 and Asam Pedas S$17.50

Happy break fasting 🙂

Mamanda®
Address: 73 Sultan Gate,
Singapore 198497.
Phone:+65 6396 6646

Operating hours: 10am -10pm

History on Mamanda® taken from their website. Click here to see other offers they have including Malay wedding packages.

Information on Ramadan found online.

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Comments
10 Responses to “The Hospitable Mamanda®”
  1. daniellajoe says:

    The food looks delicious with th

  2. The place does evoke an old worldly charm, does it not. And the simply superb close-ups of the cuisine that you have taken does make it a great deal. Which did you prefer, the place or the food?

    Shakti

    • Sam Han says:

      I feel transported back in time whenever I visit. The building is rather small for the crown prince so I suspect it was part of a larger compound (there’s another bigger buiding next to this). My friends and I were discussing if this was the servants’ quarter 😉 The main dining hall is actually quite small and cosy but they have private rooms. For me, good service and food are equally important and takes priority over the comfort of place. Here they have scored all 3. 😀

  3. Love the old Malay food. While Malaysia has great hokkien, hakka, tamil and thai food – it is the Malay food which stands above them all.

    • Sam Han says:

      The hard work that goes into traditional Malay cuisine is remarkable. All that grinding and pounding of spices on a batu giling is really a labour of love. Glad you enjoyed this post, Michael 😀

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