Jiwa Singapura is upscale, elegant, and pricey. It’s also a bit pretentious. Despite a completely deserted dining room, they didn’t want to seat us until everyone arrived. Apparently they have an introductory spiel they want everyone to receive at the same time.
We went with three small plates, two large plates, and some roti canai.
Despite the rave reviews, even from Tyler Cowen (a frequent visitor to Singapore) , the meal was pretty much underwhelming. We appreciated the oft-praised fish cake (a highlight for me) and the shrimp with salted egg yolk sauce, but not enough to be thrilled. The daikon cake (called carrot cake on the menu), was good, though not as good as the radish cake I had in Flushing last year.
The two big plates were Char Kway Teow (noodles) and Nasi Lemak (rice) . The rice dish was a bit boring despite the well fried large pieces of fish, and the noodles were way too oily and sweet. The rice noodles were thinner than I expected, and they got easily overwhelmed by the sauce.
The roti were nice and hot, the curry dipping sauce was fairly plain. I could think of a lot of places that are just as good or better.