Hit the ro-jak,
and then come back for more, for more,
for more, for more!
Hit the ro-jak,
and then come back for more...

What You Say?

No, rojak is not a new exciting action hero created from combining the best of Rambo and Kojak; instead, it's a rather bizarre salad of sorts, these days mostly associated with Singapore.

Malay/Indonesian Style

The original rojak (also seen spelled as rujak and rudjak) comes from Indonesia, and consists of fresh fruit and vegetables doused in a spicy peanut sauce, the same as that used to flavor sticks of satay. The discerning gourmand may note a resemblance to the better-known gado gado, which differs primarily in cooking the vegetables instead.

Chinese Style

But in Singapore the Indo-Malay version is hard to find; the most common form these days is the Chinese style, created in Penang by the simple expedient of adding hay kor, black shrimp paste, to the mix. And instead of just veggies and fruit, other Chinese favorites were added in as well: cuttlefish, tofu, you char kueh, etc. The end result looks strange, to say the least, but can be very tasty indeed.

Try it here

Toa Payoh Rojak
Blk 51 Old Airport Rd
#01-125D Old Airport Road Emporium & Cooked Food Centre

A husband and wife team serve up Singapore's best rojak. Made to order, and that's why it takes half an hour to prepare, but worth the wait -- and the measly $2-3 you'll pay.

Indian Style

And then of course Singapore's third big ethnic group had to get in on the act as well. Out went the fruits and veggies, in came everything fried: prawn fritters, eggs, and not a few of the above Chinese favorites like tofu as well. The sauce, now with less shrimp, is served on the side, so that diners can dip one piece at a time and everything stays crispy.

Try it here

Sajis Indian Food
Blk 262 Waterloo St
#01-29 Nan Tai Eating House

A Singaporean institution (the Indian version was invented here), and it still gets the full 3 chopsticks from Makansutra. A short walk from Bugis MRT station, down past Albert Mall. A heaping dish will set you back less than S$4.


Personal experience
Makansutra 2003/4 edition