BALIThai closed and Indobox opened at the same location of Ion Orchard, a prime corner spot at Level 3 of Ion Orchard. Both are operated by the same Katrina Holdings who also owns Bayang, RennThai, Streats hong kong café, Honguo, Hutong and Muchos Mexican Bar & Restaurant.
The problem with IndoBox (and its predecessor BALIThai) is the lack of publicity. Nobody has really heard or cared about it. Actually, the rest of the other restaurants suffer that same fate, and in this day and age where competition is so high, marketing cannot be ignored.
That is why on a weekend night when neighbours Watami, Nara Thai are having long queues, you can easily walk into IndoBox and get a seat.
Without being overly fussy, food is not too bad. And I was having a craving for Indonesian food after just coming back from Jakarta.
The cosy looking IndoBox offers a range of Indonesian goodies, from Tahu Telor, Ayam Goreng, Sate Madura, Nasi Kuning, Soto Ayam, Sayur Lodeh, and Ayam Panggang. Prices are rather friendly, mostly below $10 per dish, considering this is prime land shopping mall.
The recommended dish should be the Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng set ($12.80), with coconut rice and fried crispy chicken drumstick beef rendang, fried ikan billis, fried peanut, fried egg, and sambal. Both the meats were reasonably tasty (truly I wasn’t expecting much) and make a hearty meal. If the rice was more fragrant, this dish would have scored easily with customers.
One of the true tests of an Indonesian restaurant is the Sate, and IndoBox’s Sate Madura ($9.50 for 6 sticks of skewered chicken/beef) was the best dish of the day with evenly grilled succulent meats (some sate often end up too dry) with lick worthy sauces. Though I questioned why it would arrive in a ‘hot plate’, which wasn’t really even warm.
The traditional Soto Betawi ($9.80) of beef soup with rice cake and vermicelli was just weird. The beef was overly tough and soup not authentic or appetizing enough.
IndoBox has a welcoming environment offering a variety of Indonesian dishes. Unfortunately it lands up being another one of those average restaurants. A more distinct style and signature dishes would be needed for the casual shoppers to walk in and dine.
Ion Orchard #B3-24, 2 Orchard Turn Singapore 238801 (Orchard MRT) Tel: +65 6509 8600
Opening Hours 11am – 10pm Daily
Branch: JEM, 50 Jurong Gateway Road #03-22 Singapore 608549 Tel: +65 6734 7369