Indian Street Food – SiraJ

I could barely remember but the first time I ate Indian Rojak, it was probably in my pre-teens at Rasa Singapura Food Centre, now defunct. It was located in Tanglin Road at Tudor Court, near The Regent, Singapore. It’s also been long time since I tasted Indian Mee Siam, not since the demolition of Taman Serasi Food Centre located opposite Singapore Botanical Gardens.

I went to Albert Complex Food Centre unplanned and no fixed cuisine came to mind but it was a blessing in the end. I got the chance to eat all my favourite Indian street food from this stall named Siraj. I do not know if they were famous or not (during their days in Waterloo) as claimed but the dining experience was very enjoyable indeed.

There was no rancid oil smell in their fare nor were the “flour” oily. Judging from the long queues and high turnover of customers patronising from this stall, I could understand why the rojak pieces were so fresh. However, I found the peanut sauce too be a little on the sweet side. The viscosity of the gravy was runny and that’s bad. I felt the sauce could be slightly richer. I felt the sauce could be slightly richer. I am not a food critic nor connoisseur, perhaps this is the traditional recipe that is being adhered to and I am pouting modern taste.

The Mutton Soup was aromatic; the meat richly infused from the spices, was tender. There’s not much visible fats detected and no thick oily layer in the bowl either. My only complaint is that they should have garnished this soup with some chopped coriander.

Mee Siam (shakes head). My friend slurped everything leaving me only a drop of the gravy. Not a strand of rice vermicelli was available. Only some broken yolks were in the plate. I did not get a chance to taste enough to review this dish. To be fair, I did tell him he could go ahead and eat it but I thought he would leave some for me. Assumptions! Well, you know what happens when one assume. ~ Sam

I was running late. My appointment with Chi Sao and the boys were to be in the morning for some street photography before heading for lunch and do a food photography session. Mike Tang brought wifey and his newborn son along so I only caught a glimpse of the baby as they were leaving the food centre. But my running late as to do with doctor’s appointment so I was forgiven, at least I forgave myself 😉

The boys were very patient with me and so I need to apologise, “Sorry guys”.

We walked through the very congested Albert Complex Food Centre, a hawker centre near two very famous temples (one Chinese and one Indian) without knowing what food we’ll eat – there’ll be plenty to choose from. The place was so crowded that getting a table for 6 people to sit together then was top priority. It was my first visit here. Being a Saturday, I supposed the crowd must have doubled.

We walked in a single file pattern, the blind leading the blind until we reached the front or end row (depending on where you started, there are several entrances to this FC). This end of the FC (food centre) is where all the stalls sold halal food (halal – denoting or relating to meat prepared as prescribed by Muslim law). We decided to camp at this end where there’s some fresh air (the centre rows were simply too congested, hot and smokey). While waiting, I saw a stall at the end of the row having a long queue. Chi Sao and I scouted that stall. There and then I decided to buy all my food from this one particular stall. I reckoned that since we have to queue and it’s quite a long one, we might as well order everything they sold – Indian Rojak, Mee Siam and Kambing Soup. After all, there’s 6 of us and the food would not be wasted for sure.

Waiting for a table that could seat all 6 of us together.

Waiting for a table that could seat all 6 of us together.

The Indian Rojak Stall we patronised that day.<br />When you see a star and cresent moon marking on the signboard, it means halal food is served here.

The Indian Rojak Stall we patronised that day.
When you see a star and cresent moon marking on the signboard, it means halal food is served here.

These are ingredients to make Indian Rojak. You choose the items you want and they will be deep-fried or heated up and served with orangey-looking spicy peanut sauce that is different from the satay peanut sauce. The rice vermicelli (in tupperware) and hard boiled eggs on left at the bottom shelf goes into the making of Mee Siam.

These are ingredients to make Indian Rojak. You choose the items you want and they will be deep-fried or heated up and served with orangey-looking spicy peanut sauce that is different from the satay peanut sauce.
The rice vermicelli (in tupperware) and hard boiled eggs on left at the bottom shelf goes into the making of Mee Siam.

Finally, it was our turn at the queue. "Take everything you like and order the Mee Siam and Kambing Soup, too!"

Finally, it was our turn at the queue.
“Take everything you like and order the Mee Siam and Kambing Soup, too!”

Whatever is out of reach must be good, lol... This is actually one of the most popular items in Indian Rojak - Crispy Small Prawn Cake.

Whatever is out of reach must be good, lol…
This is actually one of the most popular items in Indian Rojak – Crispy Small Prawn Cake.

I could only name the hotdogs on top shelf. The thing next to the sausages looked like Ngoh Hiang, a type of meat roll to me but I'm surprised, if they were ngoh hiang, that Indian Rojak has this item. The cuttlefish on the bottom tray is actually soaked in alkaline water to give it the translucent look. There's food colouring in this dried sotong (cuttlefish).

I could only name the hotdogs on top shelf. The thing next to the sausages looked like Ngoh Hiang, a type of meat roll to me but I’m surprised, if they were ngoh hiang, that Indian Rojak has this item. The cuttlefish on the bottom tray is actually soaked in alkaline water to give it the translucent look. There’s food colouring in this dried sotong (cuttlefish).

Taukwa (firm tofu) and Fresh Sotong (cuttlefish).

Taukwa (firm tofu) and Fresh Sotong (cuttlefish).

Tempeh (fermented soybeans) and Vegi Mix (mix vegetables flour).

Tempeh (fermented soybeans) and Vegi Mix (mix vegetables flour).

Potatoes and Potatoes with Flour.

Potatoes and Potatoes with Flour.

Hard-boiled eggs here meant for Mee Siam. Next to the eggs are the different types of Flour (all the coloured flour dough balls).

Hard-boiled eggs here meant for Mee Siam. Next to the eggs are the different types of Flour (all the coloured flour dough balls).

Are we only having these? Get the Taukwa and Coconut Flour, I love them!

Are we only having these? Get the Taukwa and Coconut Flour, I love them!

Indian Rojak, also known as Mamak Rojak or Pasembur (Pasembor) in Malaysia with a slight difference in the items available for deep-frying. In Singapore, this dish is an assortment of what this stall called, flour - potatoes, eggs, taukwa (firm tofu), and prawns fried in batter. The dish is served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce.

Indian Rojak, also known as Mamak Rojak or Pasembur (Pasembor) in Malaysia with a slight difference in the items available for deep-frying.
In Singapore, this dish is an assortment of what this stall called, flour – potatoes, eggs, taukwa (firm tofu), and prawns fried in batter. The dish is served with a sweet and spicy chili sauce.

The food was definitely fresh as there's a high turnover of crowd grabbing the battered pieces. The peanut sauce was not too thick and a tad sweet as with traditional recipe. It was a delightful combination and I enjoyed this.

The food was definitely fresh as there’s a high turnover of crowd grabbing the battered pieces. The peanut sauce was not too thick and a tad sweet as with traditional recipe. It was a delightful combination and I enjoyed this.

Indian Rojak is traditionally garnished with raw onions, cucumber slices and chopped raw green chillies.

Indian Rojak is traditionally garnished with raw onions, cucumber slices and chopped raw green chillies.

The fried dough in between the 2 types of squid is Coconut Flour. You can see some black specks in it. The specks are actually the skin of grated/shredded fresh coconut. And instead of a round ball, they are usually longish in shape.

The fried dough in between the 2 types of squid is Coconut Flour. You can see some black specks in it. The specks are actually the skin of grated/shredded fresh coconut. And instead of a round ball, they are usually longish in shape.

Indian Mee Siam. There are different types of Mee Siam, Chinese (Nonya), Malay and Indian. The Indian Mee Siam is less sour and some contains coconut or evaporated milk.

Indian Mee Siam.
There are different types of Mee Siam, Chinese (Nonya), Malay and Indian. The Indian Mee Siam is less sour and some contains coconut or evaporated milk.

Chi Sao has finished the Mee Siam while I was taking photos of the Indian Rojak.<br />I had a drop of the gravy and not a strand of beehoon (vermicelli) to taste, so I better eat something first. Are you eyeing on my soup?

Chi Sao has finished the Mee Siam while I was taking photos of the Indian Rojak.
I had a drop of the gravy and not a strand of beehoon (vermicelli) to taste, so I better eat something first.
Are you eyeing on my soup?

Kambing is the Malay word for “goat” and Sop for "soup". Sop Kambing is a rich soupy stew made of mutton simmered for hours and flavoured with spices such as coriander, fennel, cumin, star anise and cinnamon.

Kambing is the Malay word for “goat” and Sop for “soup”. Sop Kambing is a rich soupy stew made of mutton simmered for hours and flavoured with spices such as coriander, fennel, cumin, star anise and cinnamon.

The mutton is taken off the bone and cut into bite-sized pieces. It is then marinated in curry powder before it is cooked. The greenish-yellow hue of the broth comes from the spices used while the meat intensifies the broth with a unique sweetness. The soup is served hot, usually topped with chopped coriander leaves and crispy shallots. This soupy stew is often eaten with crusty French loaf or toasted bread. This stall did not serve it with coriander leaves. I supposed it is to save cost.

The mutton is taken off the bone and cut into bite-sized pieces. It is then marinated in curry powder before it is cooked. The greenish-yellow hue of the broth comes from the spices used while the meat intensifies the broth with a unique sweetness. The soup is served hot, usually topped with chopped coriander leaves and crispy shallots. This soupy stew is often eaten with crusty French loaf or toasted bread.
This stall did not serve it with coriander leaves. I supposed it is to save cost.

Indian Mee Goreng. Indian style of fried noodles usually has minced mutton and served with a side of cucumbers.

Indian Mee Goreng.
Indian style of fried noodles usually has minced mutton and served with a side of cucumbers.

The Mee Goreng was Chan’s lunch, I think but it didn’t matter who’s because whoever had it, you didn’t share with me 😦

There’s some difference in the Indian Mee Goreng and Chinese style. I don’t know how fry noodles the Indian way but you may want to give My Mee Goreng Recipe a try. Use stir-frying method in Chinese wok or flat bottom pan if you haven’t got the ActiFry machine. Substitute the meat with seafood like prawns and squid if you like, and oh yes, add mustard greens 😀

I love street food cuisine! Do you?

I love street food cuisine!
Do you?

Siraj Famous Waterloo Street Indian Rojak

Siraj
Famous Waterloo Street Indian Rojak

Siraj
Unit 01-120
Albert Complex Food Centre
270 Queen Street,
Singapore 180270.

Happy eating 😀

After we had finished eating, I saw Chan taking pictures of a black street cat. She looked heavily pregnant. You may not know but I am not too keen on cats. I am afraid of stray cats especially because I was nearly attacked by one that wanted food when dining al fresco one night. But the cats here seemed fat and lazy, so I decided to try my hand at it too. Here’s my first pictures on cats. I have even titled them. Hope you like it 😀

Chan and Jordan (squatting). When I saw Jordan going so closely to the cat and nothing happened, no scratching or meowing, I decided to give it a try.

Chan and Jordan (squatting).
When I saw Jordan going so closely to the cat and nothing happened, no scratching or meowing, I decided to give it a try.

Self Pampering.

Self Pampering.

Street Fighter!

Street Fighter!

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Comments
6 Responses to “Indian Street Food – SiraJ”
  1. Lignum Draco says:

    Another post from a few days ago that didn’t appear in my viewer. 😦

  2. I think i love the sop kambing, especially the shank of the kambing….
    tons of gellatine!
    makes me felling younger right after eating that…hehehe

  3. Yvonne says:

    The mee siam sucks! I won’t recommend it to anyone.

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