Nasi Ambeng specialist Hajjah Mariam Cafe opens 2nd outlet with vintage kampung aesthetic

Atok and Nenek approved!
Eating nasi ambeng

Hajjah Mariam Cafe, purveyor of local Malay cuisine and Nasi Ambeng Dulang, has opened an outlet at North Bridge Road.

This is the eatery’s second outlet after Westgate.

A household name

For those unfamiliar with the brand, Hajjah Mariam Cafe is known for their Nasi Ambeng, a fragrant rice dish consisting of white rice prepared with meat, vegetables, fried coconut flesh, sambal goreng as well as other dishes.

It is a popular Javanese-Malay cuisine that is normally seen during festivities and served on a huge dulang (tray) for communal dining up to six people, although solo servings are common too.

Nasi Ambeng Dulang
Nasi Ambeng Dulang

Traditionally, Nasi Ambeng is eaten by hand and symbolises togetherness and peace at meal times

For many people familiar with this iconic dish, Hajjah Mariam Cafe is often their go-to brand when the Nasi Ambeng cravings hit.

Prior to this month, the only place one could dine in to savour this hearty dish is their outlet in the west, located in the basement of Westgate.

Hajjah Mariam Cafe in Westgate
Hajjah Mariam Cafe outlet in Westage

But with the opening of a more centrally located outlet, Hajjah Mariam Cafe’s delicious food is now more accessible than ever.

Kampung aesthetics

Leaning into the Malay heritage of the surrounding Kampong Glam precinct, Hajjah Mariam Cafe at North Bridge Road exudes a kampung vibe of a bygone era.

Paying homage to the good old days, they have included old-school elements like ambin (platform or bench that is a common feature in kampung homes) and tikar mengkuang, a handwoven mat made from screw pine leaves.

Retro items like tingkat (tiffin carrier), luggages, serve ware and batik print art works are also used liberally as decorative items throughout the space.

There is even a wooden pushcart replica at one corner of the dining area.

All these elements combine to form an atmospheric dining experience that is befitting of Nasi Ambeng Dulang. Atok and Nenek sure approve one.

Just check out these photos of the outlet:

Second floor seating
Eating nasi ambeng
retro vibes at Hajjah Mariam Cafe
Hajjah Mariam seating area
Kampung vibes
Eating nasi ambeng dulling

More than just Nasi Ambeng

Besides its famous Nasi Ambeng, Hajjah Mariam Cafe also serves other familiar dishes such as Nasi Padang and Nasi Kerabu.

Distinguishable by its blue hue, Nasi Kerabu is a traditional Kelantanese (Malaysia) food that uses Blue Pea Flower.

Nasi Kerabu at Hajjah Mariam Cafe
Nasi Kerabu

The eatery has been serving the dish since June 2019 and tries to cook and present the iconic dish as closely as possible to the original from up north, peppered with spices that suit the local Singaporean palette.

If you are looking for “lighter” items, dishes like Nasi Lemak, Mee Soto and Mee Rebus are safe bets.

But honestly, why would you go to Hajjah Mariam Cafe and not order Nasi Ambeng?

Address: 743 North Bridge Road, Singapore 198711 (Opposite Sultan Mosque and Malay Heritage Centre
Halal status: Muslim-owned
Opening hours: Daily 9:00am to 9:00pm. Closed on Tuesdays.
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Photos by Hajjah Mariam Cafe.

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