Aroma Kampung at Joo Chiat Complex

Aroma Kampung
#03-1111 Blk 2 Joo Chiat Complex
(Above NTUC Fairprice Supermarket)
Singapore 420002
Online Reservations available on their facebook page
Whatsapp Reservation: +65 9436 4767
Payment modes: Cash. NETS or Grabpay

Opening Hours
Daily: 10am to 7pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$11
Recommended dishes: Sotong hitam (Squid in squid ink), siput sedut, rendang

So a few weeks before Ramadan began, I was in the Geylang Serai area running some errands with my mum and we were looking to have a late lunch somewhere. I was all, uh how about Kucina at OneKM (okay it’s now KINEX, but I hate that name. Not that OneKM was much better to begin with) since it’s a nice comfortable place – but then my mum was like I know a place all mysterious like. And then she led me into Joo Chiat Complex, up to the third floor, and across a short walkway to this restaurant called Aroma Kampung.

Wow almost like a speakeasy (LOL NO LAH)
The entrance

So Aroma Kampung is a Nasi Melayu place serving over forty types of Malay dishes, buffet-style. You take however many dishes you want, and however much of a dish you want, and at the end of it they will calculate the damage for you at the counter, and then you can eat in peace.

Check out the extensive spread omg. For real I was like a kid in a candy store. Except I was being a makcik in Lauk Land.

They had sooo many things, from shellfish such as mussels, siput sedut (chut chut), cockles and clams) to fish like stingray asam pedas, fried ikan selar and other fish i know not the names of, to meat dishes like beef rendang, chicken lemak, fried chicken, to random lovable dishes like quail eggs in sambal, and finally to seafood dishes like my favourite sotong masak hitam (or squid in squid ink sauce). I think I recall seeing crabs in lemak gravy, and prawns of some sort but tbh I only had eyes for the siput sedut and the sotong hitam.

Flatlay lol, or our “Sur la table”. Basically all this including drinks cost $23.

Yum so I took some sotong hitam (two “bodies” of it) and a piece of fried tempeh, some sambal eggplant and a piece of stingray asam pedas, and oh let’s not forget the bowl of lemak siput sedut.

UGHHH my fave.

So yeah if you guys had seen my IG stories when I posted about it, you’d have seen in the video how thick and legit the squid ink gravy was, for the sotong hitam ugh it was almost like how my late aunt used to cook it. For real it was like #000000 black lol. I LOVED IT. The siput sedut was also really good and tasty, except that I felt the gravy could have been just slightly thicker and a bit more savoury. The eggplant was so plump and fresh, although the sauce was too oily. More of the chilli paste, less of the oil next time please!

I actually pretty much enjoyed everything except for the stingray which was quite lumpy. Hate it when the stingray flesh is like one fused glob. Is that what happens when it’s undercooked or is it just the quality of the fish? IDK. My mum had the rendang and some leafy dish (I think it was lemak pucuk ubi. Very yummy too.) and she also had the squid and the eggplant. All in all Aroma Kampung definitely passes the home-cooked taste test.

Anyway I’m def dying to go back for another pick’n’mix session. I love having a bit of everything (which is why I excel in buffets) rather than like one thing, so this place is ideal for me. I think the price is pretty reasonable too, like it worked out to be $11.50 per person inclusive of drinks. FYI there is a whole ulam section 😩for those who are really really kampung haha. Also the place is air-conditioned, comfortable and there are sinks for you to wash your hands if, like me, you prefer to eat with your hands instead of fork and spoon.

Bonus, they also do weddings! I think it could be a really cool, comfortable place for a small reception and you KNOW the food is going to be bombbbbb (please ISD I am only using it slangily).

There’s a neat pelamin area if anyone wants to host an intimate wedding here!

Aroma Kampung
#03-1111 Blk 2 Joo Chiat Complex
(Above NTUC Fairprice Supermarket)
Singapore 420002
Online Reservations available on their facebook page
Whatsapp Reservation: +65 9436 4767
Payment modes: Cash. NETS or Grabpay

Opening Hours
Daily: 10am to 7pm

Halal status: Muslim-owned
Halalicious rating: 9/10
Average spend per pax: S$11
Recommended dishes: Sotong hitam (Squid in squid ink), siput sedut, rendang