Garuda Padang : The Distinct Taste of Authentic Padang Cuisine


If you haven’t had the luck to taste Padang food, you really have missed something wonderful. I had the chance couple of months back to enjoy many of the delights of Singapore during the Singapore Familiarization Tour in Vivo City, the largest mall in the city state. We visited Vivo City just to experience Padang food at Garuda Padang Indonesian Restaurant located at the Harbourfront Walk area.

Fried Beancurd served with Pineapple and Peanut Sauce
Tahu Goreng Bumbu Nenas – Fried Beancurd served with Pineapple and Peanut Sauce

I can tell you with certainty that you won’t be disappointed if you get the chance to go there. Not surprisingly, the food is delicious and on top of that, the staff is professional, fast, and friendly. No push, no hassle, and somehow they manage to keep your glass full without seeming to ever fill it.

Ayam Goreng Bumbu – Fried Chicken with Blue Ginger Sauce

This is something that so many restaurants can’t get right with over attentive staff or staff that just doesn’t pay attention at all. Thankfully, they seem to have found the right way to take care of guests and that gives you all the chance you need to enjoy the delicous tastes of exotic Indonesia.

Sambal Udang Petai
Sambal Udang Petai – Prawns and Exotic Beans with Sambal

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I recommend that you go with the beef rendang or the sembal prawns. If you are dining alone, one will be plenty, but if you are dining with friends get those two and a little of the curry beef tendon since you can share and enjoy three wonderful main dishes.

Garuda Padang Cuisine
Garuda Padang Cuisine

You’ll find the prawns (not surprisingly) to be fresh and perfect as you would expect when looking at the water. The sambal is tasty without being overpowering. In addition, you might also like to try the gulai singkong (tapioca leaves) or the tahu gorent with pineapple and peanut sauce. Goodness, my mouth is watering thinking about it.

indonesian food in singapore
Goreng Ikan Tengeri – Deep-fried Mackerel

In terms of Indonesian food, you can’t go wrong. This is especially true at Garuda Padang in Singapore where you will find things that tickle the various parts of your palate without overpowering anything. Since 1976, Garuda Padang has been the local favorite for Indonesian food in Singapore.

Gulai Singkong & Jantung Pisang
Gulai Singkong & Jantung Pisang – Tapioca Leaves & Banana Flower

There’s a reason for that. It’s delicious. These days Garuda Padang is the only Indo food franchise outside of Indonesia. Those who choose to enjoy it are among stars, dignitaries, and royalty. When Haji Bachtar began the restaurant everyone thought he was crazy since his family was known for textiles, but he worked hard and today, the family is better known for Indonesian food!

Haji and his brother decided to focus on Minangkabau cuisine (also known as Nasi Padang) and over the course of many years, they succeeded. The first recipes were true family secrets since the came from Haji’s wife Hajjah Yulinar Sulaiman. After expanding into a francise in Medan, Lampung and ultimately Jakarta they opened their first outlet out of Indonesia in Singapore. And you know what? I’m glad they did so I can eat there when I’m in the Lion City.

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