Joining the myriad of bustling eateries along East Coast Road is Kota88, the new Chinese-Indonesian concept by the folks behind Rumours Bar & Grill and Tok Tok Indonesian Soup House. In a spiffy, neon-lit space that’s part retro, part Chinese chic, part modern-meets-heritage, the casual restaurant serves up homestyle renditions of the hybrid cuisine, peppered with plenty of Indonesian spices and herbs.
Even its name is sort of a mix of both cultures — “kota” means “city” in Bahasa Indonesia, while 88 is, well, quite the prosperous number, according to Chinese beliefs.
To complement the cafe-like interiors, the dishes here are mostly kept under $20, but don’t expect to pay anywhere near as low as hawker or street stall prices. A signature on the menu is the nasi campur babi (mixed pork rice, $12.88), which comes with roasted pork chunks, braised pig ear, and soy egg, with a choice of white or chicken rice.
To add to your meal, get sharing plates of sate babi (pork satay, $15.88/10 sticks) in skewers of pork liver, intestine, and skin, or try a bowl of sup bakut ($15.88), an Indonesian-style pork rib and salted vegetable soup.
If you’re feeling indulgent, the kepiting sauce padang (Sri Lankan crab with sweet, salty, and sour padang sauce) goes for $55.88, while a single portion of babi panggang (suckling pig) will set you back $38.88.
In a bid to attract peckish night owls, Kota88 offers a two-hour liquid buffet ($31.88) from 9pm to midnight featuring more than 96 alcoholic (and non-alcoholic) drinks. It also opens till 3am daily, so take note, party people.
Kota88 is at #01-02 Springvale, 907 East Coast Rd.
6242-2645. Daily 11am-3pm, 6pm-3am.