See my full reviews & photos at = http://chefquak.com/2014/01/24/nice-lunch-nasi-padang-river-valley-at-zion-road-on-23jan2014/
i used to eat here more where my children were younger (meaning i was younger & had more capacity for carbo & cholesterol) & also buy back for home gatherings.
the food was more expensive in recent years but still good. i had a few meals at the nasi padang stall at tanjong pagar railway station which was also good and a lot cheaper before it closed (wonder where it moved to?).
my sis had wanted to try this stall again so we came early at 11am+ on 23.1.2014. still empty but they filled up quite quickly. we ordered 6 dishes for 3pax, cost S$25.
the curries were good as usual, but the both chicken & beef stomach curries while fragrant were really much too salty. the assam fish (ikan tenggiri) was excellent, with slight sour kick. the sotong (squid) in tomato sauce was great to. and the 2 vege, lady fingers & egg plants were very good.
it was a really nice meal, slightly much for 3pax lunch, so S$25 i guess was quite ok really. hawker food can be expensive too these days.
freshly cooked not too heavy popular at lunchtime on a Sunday. My wife liked the fried chicken and while I admit the chili sauce is sweet it is is also full of onion and tomato and light and a bit different from the norm.
The quality of this restaurant has deteriorated over the years. But it hit the low point today when everyone was told there was no Sambal belachan! Personally I was doubly disappointed with my favourite lime juice was no longer available - what's Nasi Padang without limd juice? Then the previously tolerable ambience began to aggravate me. Dirty oily tables, poor selection of drinks in the freezer and cramped seating. For that kind of price, humbler establishments have provided better quality food. The curry chicken was tender but the coconut milk was in discernible, and the Assam fish was hard dry and way past its freshness. One curry chicken leg one tiny piece of Assam fish and two tiny plates of veg for $14:80??? Never again!
This is the first time I come across Nasi Padang that is very mild and there is also a hint of sweetness....I know they try to adjust the local palate, mainly chinese, but the taste is really overrated...I don't even have to compare to Nasi Padang in my hometown, Jakarta, let alone Bukit Tinggi. Within Singapore itself there are several restaurants clearly better, Sinar Pagi Nasi Padang (Geylang Serai Stall), Hajjah Maimunah, Minang and Sari Ratu...
Beef Rendang: The only positive note on the rendang is the tender meat which is I believe they are using a higher quality beef.....the rendang spice cannot make it....the herb spices not there, sweet and very very mild....
Paru Balado: the paru is not the dry and crunchy one which normally Indonesian will eat, the one at Nasi Padang River Valley is soft and chewy...good texture, but the sambal is the one which ruins the dish...Not spicy enough and again sweet....I can even eat the sambal alone without rice.
Fried Chicken: This is probably the better ones I had here.
Overall, this is purely an overrated, to know that 2 famous food bloggers rate highly about this stall, I would suggest that they truly need to go to Bukit Tinggi to try the real Padang or they call it Nasi Kapau...that is where you will get the true experience of Nasi Padang. or perhaps one can try to go to Jakarta first and try....but mind you on the spice.