Sumptuous Lunch @ Bumbu Restaurant (Kandahar Street)

Bumbu Restaurant

30th May 2010. Written by Xin Li.
Bumbu Restaurant is located in the historic Kampong Glam area at 44 Kandahar Street, directly opposite Istana Kampong Glam, today known as the Malay Heritage Centre. It is in close proximity with Le Pont Du Vie, a French fine dining establishment and the well-known Rumah Makan Minang featuring Minangkabau cuisine.

Bumbu Restaurant

Housed inside a refurbished shophouse, one would not notice that it is actually a Thai, Indonesian food restaurant from the looks of it. The interior was decorated with ornate, antique furniture, figurines, lights etc. It is a haven for history lovers like me. Stepping into Bumbu is like stepping into a restaurant or kopitiam of Old Singapore. To spice up the old Singapore atmosphere, old retro Western music dating back to the 1970s and 1960s were being played together with a selection of Jazz music.

Bumbu Restaurant

The menu was clear cut Thai and Indonesian with a dash of Chinese influence. They featured items such as the Thai Mango Salad, Pineapple Rice, Green Curry, Tom Yum soup etc in their ala carte menu along with set menus based on the number of people eating (something you find in Chinese restaurants). Furthermore, they also offer set menus for the individual which can be found online.

Bumbu Restaurant - Dragon

The management was very friendly and thoughtful, they tried to make us feel comfortable when they realized that our group had to sit apart and offered the 1st floor which could sit a larger group but not without telling us that it might be a little too cramped. In the end we still took the 2nd floor and sat apart with my main guest's family having a table for themselves and the rest of us sharing another table since the attendance was more than what the table for 14 downstairs could accommodate.

We had the Set Menu for 8 to 10 Persons ($218.00+). The management was kind enough to change our Clear Tom Yum Soup to Fish Maw Soup because guys like me couldn't take stuff that are too spicy.

Complimentary papadoms (two kinds) were on the table for us to munch on before the rice and drinks were being served to us.

Bumbu Restaurant - Bumbu Salad

Bumbu Restaurant - Bumbu Salad

First dish to be served was the Bumbu Salad which consisted century eggs, prawns, chopped chillies and cashew nuts with some kind of citrus juice inside (my guess is lime). It was quite a spicy salad. The century eggs add a jelly texture to the fresh crunchy prawns and nuts. It was quite refreshing at the same time due to the citrus juice added into it (that uplifts the flavours with a subtle hint of sourness).

030610 Update! - I have enquired with Bumbu Restaurant and the following is their description of the Bumbu Salad which is their house salad : "Bumbu Salad is our house special salad century eggs, shrimps and herbs"

Bumbu Restaurant - Tahu Telor

The second item was the Tahu Telor, tofu slices with a rojak flavour. A sweet and appetizing dish. Soft tofu with some sort of crispy stuff together with a sweet, nutty sauce. One of my favourite dish in the set.

Bumbu Restaurant - Fish Maw Crabmeat Soup

The Fish Maw Soup was being served simultaneously with the Bumbu Salad and Tahu Telor. It wasn't as thick I thought it would be, rather fluid and generous with the ingredients. I like this soup. It was okay by itself, vinegar and white pepper were served for us to add to the soup if required.

Bumbu Restaurant - Butter Oat Soft Shell Crab

Bumbu Restaurant - Butter Oat Soft Shell Crab

Butter Oat Soft Shell Crab looked like the normal Cereal Prawns at first. It was quite fragrant and not too oily. The fact that it was emptied quickly by my fellow diners tells a lot.

Bumbu Restaurant - Coffee Flavour Chicken

We could sensed the next dish when it was arriving. Needless to say, the Coffee Flavour Chicken was aromatic. However, I felt that the coffee flavour wasn't very strong. It was nice for people who likes a some caffeine depth without it being overwhelming. Overall, the dish was on the sweeter side.

Bumbu Restaurant - Broccoli with Crabmeat Sauce

Broccoli with Crabmeat Sauce provided us the greens for the day. Generous amount of crabmeat sauce. I thought the broccoli was alright although some might find it on the softer side.

Bumbu Restaurant - Mango Fried Fish

The climax of the set was the Mango Fried Fish. Crispy fried fish with a soft, interior topped with Thai-style Mango salad. It would say it is a nicely cooked fish with quite a lot of meat. The fresh mango salad was sweet and sour that provides some crunch to the dish.

030610 Update! - I am not sure what the fish was so Bumbu Restaurant has kindly given me an answer after an email enquiry, "The fish used is garoupa"

Bumbu Restaurant - Assorted Desserts

To finish off the meal, we were being served two kinds of dessert, (also part of the set menu). We have the Tapioca with Coconut Cream, a classic dessert you can find in Thai Central or Jai Thai as well as the Steamed Custard Pumpkin. Both dessert are served warm rather than chilled. The coconut cream wasn't too thick, just nice with enough of sweetness. The Steamed Custard Pumpkin is about contrast of texture with the soft pumpkin flavoured custard paired with the firmer pumpkin flesh to go together. The flesh has a texture of a well baked potato.

Bumbu Restaurant - Assorted Desserts

Overall we were satisfied with our lunch and we find the prices within the reasonable range. The set comes with free-flow of rice as well. The dishes are definitely above-average and I quite like the quaint ambience Bumbu has to provide. The service was quite good too, my only complaint would be that water wasn't served automatically unless you request for it.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed my time at Bumbu especially so when it was a reunion with people I missed so much.

P.S Bumbu Restaurant don't charge GST and it is Halal!

Bumbu Restaurant

Bumbu Restaurant
Ala Carte Menu
Set Menu

44 Kandahar Street
Tel: +65 6392 8628

Opening hours
11am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
(Closed on Mon)


  1. the Steamed Custard Pumpkin looks yummy! And I love tapioca too. Would love to try out this place next time :)

  2. i've heard of bumbu before, but i've always thought it to be an indonesian restaurant. this is the first time i'm seeing a menu offering items that are thai and indonesian with chinese influence!

  3. Woah. The tapioca looks gorgeous! Those I buy outside are mostly uninspiringly white with barely enough taste.. haha

  4. The steamed custard pumpkin dessert looks so yums. I always thought it's served chilled!

    Very random haha but I like Sabar Menanti next door. (:

  5. to BellaV: haha yup it was quite nice, in fact the overall food was quite good actually.

    to Stargirl: yup, glad I decided to have the gathering here. I have linked the ala carte menu in this post you could refer to it too ;)

    to Daniel: Yep, this was my first time seeing a tapioca so yellow, normally it is pale yellow or white and the coconut milk often take the center stage instead of the tapioca.

    to ice: I thought it was supposed to serve chilled too. Maybe it was freshly made? =d

    The stretch of road got quite a few interesting makan places too, this was my third time in Kampong Glam, still got many more to explore.

    Oh, Tom Palette is nearby too ;)



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