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Brian Kennett

Amateur Chef and Foodie Extraordinaire

Kota88 Restaurant Review - Excellent Indonesian Food in Siglap

Why have we never been to Kota88 @ Siglap? It’s been here a good few months now. Maybe it’s because it sits next to what was Blooies that was not a favourite of ours. What was Blooies is now a fish restaurant so perhaps that is another reason? But tonight we went and now we all regret not having gone before.

This place absolutely cracking, as in seriously good food and atmosphere. Believe me, guys this place gets mobbed. It was rammed last night. Huge family tables, as we did with 8 of us. This is family food fun and a new one on the Kennett family list of must go back for more. Oh yeah, and it’s 5 minutes walk from home. Big advantage.

kota88 outside Kota88 @ Siglap

Kota 88 Review Contents

About Kota 88

What is Kota88? Well, according to the menu it is a word derived from the Indonesian word for city. But also in Indonesian slang, it is used to describe Chinatown in Jakarta. Maybe a city in the city? And Chinatown was the closest in the city to the seaport where all the trading took place. I am liking this. 

This is hybrid food in the making. Peranakan mixture. But they call it Masakan Tionghoa Indonesia, Chinese Indonesian Cuisine. This is a mix of Chinese dishes with local Indonesian culinary styling. Kota 88 gets their inspiration from the heritage of Chinese immigrants in Jakarta.

I just don’t get it. We have walked past this many times, why have we never entered? I am blown away as we walk in. Decore looks so cool, again very Peranakan museum-type thing. Even the crockery is historic. Bugger have we missed out for a few months since they opened. Not anymore!!!

Now, I will say it might be worth booking. We didn’t and were lucky to grab a table for 8. After about 20 minutes it was jammed with every table being taken. Give them a tinkle and a visit. Let’s be having it @ 907 East Coast Road here comes Kota88 @ Siglap.

Let's hear from Kota 88 Restaurant

Masakan Tionghoa Indonesia At Kota88 Restaurant, we are proud to present Masakan Tionghoa Indonesia, a culinary fusion that blends Chinese dishes with local Indonesian flavors. This unique blend traces its roots to the arrival of Chinese immigrants in Indonesia, where their cooking traditions intertwined with local culinary practices, giving rise to this distinctive style of cuisine.

Our signature dish, Nasi Campur Babi, exemplifies the essence of Masakan Tionghoa Indonesia. This harmonious combination of Char Siew, Roast Pork, Sweet Pork, Satay, Braised Pig Ear, Siomay, Soy Egg, Ngo Hiang, and Side Clear Soup is a testament to the culinary ingenuity of our heritage.

In addition to Nasi Campur Babi, our menu features a variety of delectable dishes that are perfect for supper and late-night dining. Our porridges and pork dishes, accompanied by a selection of refreshing beverages, are sure to satisfy your cravings at any hour.

Kota88 Restaurant is located in the heart of Siglap, along East Coast Road, where you can experience the vibrant flavors of Masakan Tionghoa Indonesia.

Let's see the food we've consumed at Kota88 Restaurant this day

kota88 seafood fried Kewtiau Kota88 @ Siglap

Up first comes Jimboy and Jhea’s Seafood Fried Kewtiau. Well, I have to say it looks damned fine. The seafood was really good and so very fresh it seems, and we have a 50/50 split on the noodles. Good is in favour of the female contingent, not so for the boys.

kota88 signature BBQ roast combo Kota88 @ Siglap

Amy, Jude, and I get sharing on the signature BBQ Roast Combo. Finally, ChillaxBBQ has some competition. The roast pork was juicy, sweet, and smoky. Seriously just bonkers good roast pork. The char sio was also an off-the-charts option. Honey sweet porky goodness. Oh wow, so so good.

Chunky on the $$ @ $32 but wow it was good…

kota88 pork satay Kota88 @ Siglap

10 sticks of pork satay up next. 5 sweet and 5 savouries. Mary said she felt like she was in The Philippines at Payag Restaurant. Juicy BBQ style, not the dry type you get down at Lagoon Hawker for example.

kota88 Ayam Goreng Nanking Kota88 @ Siglap

Ayam Goreng Nanking for the sharing plate for Amy, Jude, and I is following fast. Like a flattened chicken fillet, breaded and fried and served with a fruity sauce, almost like Japanese Bulldog sauce. Beer food and a half this. Soooo good.

kota88 special fried Kwetiau Kota88 @ Siglap

Ollie goes large for a Special Fried Kwetiau. And his verdict was that it was a really light version of the traditional Singaporean style. Not so much sauce and fat. It was a hybrid of dry and soup noodles, which he really liked. A great deal of variety in the meats from beef, pork, chicken, fish cake, and the like. All in all delicious and lovely.

kota88 chicken silk congee Kota88 @ Siglap

BeBe brings on our first congee dish for the evening, soon to be fast followed up by my Mary. So congee dish #1 is Chicken Silk Congee. I will pass comment to wifey’s view of her congee as apparently, they both thought the same.

kota88 Century egg congee Kota88 @ Siglap

Here comes the second congee dish for wifey. This is Century Egg Congee. And the verdict was that she really liked the texture as it was not watery but sticky, the seasoning was perfect and she needed to add no extra seasoning. Mary said to me to think of another word for delicious and that is it. So I assume something like sublime. In basic summary, yes she loved this.

kota88 Ayam chicken Lapis layers Ham Kota88 @ Siglap

Here’s the final savoury option from today’s delicious dinner. Ayam (chicken) Lapis (layers) Ham. Some rolled chicken with smoky ham, in some form of batter and then deep fried. This is a cracker. It comes with a chilli dipping sauce. Just brilliant. Succulent chicken with lovely flavour pops all over the place. Yes, indeed I liked this one.

kota88 Es Campur Kota88 @ Siglap

And then finally let’s get stuck into some ice Kerchang, or as they call it Es Campur. Bandung evaporated milk, and the usual surprise of jellies and jack fruit beneath. Very nice, super refreshing!

kota88 avocado dessert Kota88 @ Siglap

Ollie pushed it out with this version. Yep shaved ice, evaporated milk, milo, and half an avocado pear. OMG. I had a couple of bites of this, and I tell you it works so well together. How I don’t know, but it really works.

Let's check out some shots of the restauarant interior at Kota88 restaurant.

kota88 sauces Kota88 @ Siglap

I got Ollie to go and take some snaps of the kitchen and the jump. A very attentive Head Chef was standing on duty there, almost not moving the whole service we were there. And what did he espy on the jump? Yep, this is going to be GOOD. When you have sauces like this ready to go you just know it is going to be good. Proudly displayed.

kota88 chef and kitchen Kota88 @ Siglap

And here is that proud Chef, working his magic in the kitchen. It’s a huge kitchen it has to be said, with only 2 in there working with a packed front of the house, wow!!!

The Origins of their Cuisine @ Kota 88

Since 1740, the Chinese have played an important role in the economic development of Indonesia’s peninsula, serving as merchants, craftsmen, and traders. Since its inception till the current day, Chinese cuisine has been affected by Indonesian culture, with the sauces and spices used in the recipes being changed as a result. 

This is owing to the great range of traditional Indonesian ingredients available, as well as their transition to a more recognizable flavor — which the Chinese had acquired through time.

This hybrid cuisine was created as a result of the Indonesian influence on the meals, which included the inclusion of local ingredients such as kecap manis (Indonesian sweet sauce), palm sugar, peanut sauce, chile, and santan (coconut milk), resulting in a modified version of the dishes. 

Among the modifications were foods derived from traditional Chinese cuisine, such as Hokkien, Hakka, and Teochew cuisines, while others were inspired by Indonesian and Dutch dishes from the region (during the colonialism).

As a result, the roots of Chinese Indonesian cuisine can be traced back over 200 years, during which time our recipes have come to represent the amalgamation of Chinese immigrants and the local population. We are really pleased to be able to offer our original delicacy with you here at Kota88 Restaurant in Singapore.

Kota88 - Masakan Tionghoa Indonesia

At the Kota88 Restaurant, they specialize in Masakan Tionghoa Indonesia (Chinese Indonesian Cuisine), which is a fusion of traditional Chinese cuisine with regional Indonesian culinary features. 

This traditional cooking method originated with Chinese immigrants who arrived in Indonesia many years ago and has since evolved into a representation of our culture, which serves as the inspiration for our restaurant’s menu. They are happy to bring our delicious tradition to Singapore and to open the Kota88 Restaurant at 907 East Coast Road, which is located in Glodok, Jakarta’s Chinatown.

Get a taste of their culinary creations.

Generally speaking, this type of cooking is comparable to Chinese cuisine, but it has been changed by the addition of chilli, coconut milk, and traditional Indonesian spices and seasonings. The flavors of the cuisine are often sweeter than the flavors of the original Chinese recipe.

They provide a trademark dish named ‘Nasi Campur Babi’, which is included on our menu. It is a Chinese Indonesian variation of a combination pork rice plate that has been combined to a deliciously edible consistency. It comprises of Char Siew, Roast Pork, Sweet Pork Satay, Braised Pig Ear, Siomay, Soy Egg, Ngo Hiang, and Side Clear Soup. PlusChar Siew which is a kind of charcuterie.

Our conclusions of Kota 88 Restaurant

So that was that. Our first experience of Kota88 @ Siglap was superb. Again I really cannot work out why we have not been before, but I made a bunch of excuses for that above. Excuses that are now inexcusable funnily enough. 

It was a fantastic dinner with family Kennett. A testing audience too with a mixed cultural bag of English, Japanese and Philippines. And they came out strong with regards to the feedback on the food. We’ll be back that is for certain. You should go. Get there and you will – ENJOY!!!

What are the opening times of Kota88?

Opening Hours:

WEEKDAY: 11AM — 3PM & 6PM — 10PM (LAST ORDER 9PM)
WEEKEND & PH: 11AM — 10PM (LAST ORDER 9PM)

Kota88 Restaurant Address & Telephone

Address: 907 East Coast Road, #01-02, Siglap 459107

Telephone: +65 6242 2645

E-mail: hello@kota88restaurant.com

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