Warung Lele

After celebrating my friend's birthday one on one at Bangkok Jam, we had another celebration with two other close friends, of whom three including me are Indonesians. The birthday girl, being the only person not from Indonesia, requested for Indonesian food as she fancy the cuisine from her previous dining experience at an Indonesian restaurant in Orchard.

To be honest, if asked, I am not confident in giving an ultimate answer of which is the best Indonesian restaurant in Singapore. The question was basically too hard, and I bet nobody really knows. So we did a lot of research and narrowed down our choices into two: Tambuah Mas and Warung Lele, but settled down on the latter. 

Warung Lele is a hidden Indonesian restaurant at Shenton Way. It is located at the ground level of the sixth tallest skyscraper in Singapore, the AXA Tower. If you commute by train like me, the most convenient way to get there is getting of at Tanjong Pagar MRT station, and then proceed to exit D. Once you board the escalator up, you can see the restaurant on the left, among a row of other restaurants.

Interior of the restaurant is pretty modest, yet homey. Tables are covered with Batik tablecloth, and some Indonesian ornaments can be found around the corners of the restaurant. I love the ambient so much as they play oldies songs from the 90s, allowing me to reminisce back into the good old days when I was younger. 

We ordered several dishes for sharing. First of all, we have Sayur Asam, which is a clear sour soup with vegetables such as corn, long bean, belinjo nut, radish, and membrane of the jackfruit. The Sayur Asam was quite tasty, although I'd say it could be more sour. The only problem is that the soup was cold when served. 

Sayur Asam

We ordered Tahu Kipas. It is a popular tofu dish in Sundanese restaurants. The core of the tofu was removed and then stuffed with beansprout, shredded carrot, some other vegetables, and shrimp. The stuffed tofu is deep fried and then eaten with a sweet chili paste. Instead of shrimp, Warung Lele's version of Tahu Kipas has some minced meat inside which I didn't really fancy.

Tahu Kipas

The vegetable dish of the day was Kangkung cah Tauco, which is morning glory sauteed with soybean paste. The dish was topped with some friend anchovies. This dish was definitely the bomb! All of us like this version of Kangkung very much. The vegetable was tender and not starchy, and also seasoned perfectly.

Kangkung cah Tauco

For the meat dishes, we have Pecel Lele, which is fried Indonesian catfish and eaten with belacan chili paste. The Pecel Lele was perfectly cooked with a crisp outer layer and fragrant fish flesh. Needless to say, the belacan that came with it tasted authentic.

Pecel Lele with Sambal Belacan
We also ordered the Rendang Sapi, or beef rendang (beef cooked in a paste with spices and coconut milk base). If the other dishes tasted authentic to Indonesian taste, I would say that the Beef Rendang tasted more like Malaysian / Singaporean / Peranakan version of rendang rather than Indonesian. Nevertheless it was still yummy. The beef was tender and the sauce was not too salty.

Beef Rendang

Lastly, we have Cumi Bakar or charcoal-grilled squid. Indonesian version of grilled squid has the squid coated in a layer of soy seasoning prior to grilling. Warung Lele's version has a balanced combination of sweet and saltiness. Some of the meat was slightly charred, adding a nice burnt aroma upon chewing. Definitely one of the star of the night.

Cumi Bakar

Overall, our experience at Warung Lele was far beyond expectation. I can confidently answer that by far, Warung Lele might be the most authentic Indonesian restaurant in Singapore. Although it is not 100% authentic, but it was really close. I am definitely going back again with non Indonesian friends. Soon.

The four of us at dinner, birthday girl at right back

Warung Lele

AXA Tower, 01-16/19
8 Shenton Way, Singapore 068811
+65 6423 1552 or + 65 6438 2239

My Rating: 4.5/5


  1. Cool blog ast! Never heard of Warung Lele before, will try this weekend =D. How much did you guys spend there?