SINGAPORE - Rumah Rasa, which translates from Behasa Indonesia to mean "house of taste", is a no-frills eatery that opened in February, serving up affordable Indonesian food, and charmingly earnest service.
Helming the kitchen is Chef Sharifah Zaharah bte Syed Yaakub, who has plied her trade at kitchens in hotels such as The St Regis Singapore and Raffles Hotel.
Her soto ayam Madura (S$8) was an elegant bowl of clear turmeric-tinged broth that was rich with the flavour of spring onions. Accompanying it was a creamy perkedel, or potato croquette, that gave the dish a little body - it's especially expedient if you've come here hungry (as I did) and in need of something solid to eat, fast.
In quick succession arrived the classic Sate Jawa (S$8 for six sticks; S$12 for 12), which comes in three varieties: Chicken, mutton or beef, all redolent of ground coriander. My recommendation would be the chicken, which was tender and succulent and slid off the stick easily.
If you've never tried paru (beef lungs), the paru belado (S$12) here is a good place to start. The lungs are thinly sliced and then fried to a crisp before being stir-fried again in a sambal of chopped chillies and onions. The resulting dish is deeply savoury, the lungs a little crisp around the edges.
Soto Ayam Madura
My favourite dish was the ikan bakar (S$28), a whole sea bass grilled on a banana leaf so that it had crisp, crackling skin and beautifully moist flesh. The "homemade spicy sauce" that came with it was utterly delectable and was just the right side of spicy from the use of green chillies.
My only grouse about the food is that it was all a little too sweet for my taste. Still, it's a delicious place for night birds to head to in the early hours of the morning.
Where: Bay Hotel Singapore, 50 Telok Blangah Road
Telephone: 6818 6681
Opening hours:Daily, 6am to 4am