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Besauce – Rojak bandung bowls and sauces a notch lighter and sweeter than traditional Singaporean rojak

Besauce – Rojak bandung bowls and sauces a notch lighter and sweeter than traditional Singaporean rojak

Besauce – Rojak bandung bowls and sauces a notch lighter and sweeter than traditional Singaporean rojak

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Besauce - Rojak bandung bowls

Rojak is a dark, gloopy mound of assorted textures – amongst Singapore’s top contenders for what renowned chef David Chang brands ‘Ugly Delicious.’ Colour our surprise, then, to see Besauce’s solo rojak bandung ($8) arrive in thoughtfully-arranged packages.

Besauce fashions their rojak like a modern-day DIY grain bowl kit. There are rustic slices of cucumbers and turnips, cut up tau pok cubes, and individually-packaged cured cuttlefish and blanched kang kong. As this isn't the rojak found in most hawker centres, it comes without you tiao and pineapple. 

Rojak bandung bowls delivery

What you will find, instead, is a refreshingly crisp and light salad that hits all the right notes that you’d expect. The all-important rojak sauce is appropriately spicy, savoury from the shrimp paste and lingers on your palate with a sticky, sweet finish from the palm sugar. The assorted vegetables here are really just textural accoutrements to highlight the flavours of the sauce. Those who like their rojak funkier might bemoan their restraint with chilli and shrimp paste, but we think it’s a very pleasing and altogether well-balanced dressing, if slightly skewed towards the sweet side. 

Another concern I typically have with pre-packaged salads – what if there’s not enough dressing? – was also put at ease as the amount they gave was very generous – it coated all the ingredients and still looked ‘saucy’ on the plate. We still did order their rojak sauce set ($18; promotional price), which comes in 300ml bottles with three flavours – not-so-spicy, quite spicy, and damn spicy – just in case.

Their standard rojak orders come with the ‘quite spicy’ version, which is still the safest choice for most palates. The ‘not-so-spicy’ was just overwhelmingly sweet, while the ‘damn spicy’ had a stronger chilli kick without truly living up to its name in my eyes. The rojak sauces would go well with tauhu kelor and keropok lekor (fish crackers), but their application is fairly limited otherwise. I would also suggest jazzing it up with a healthy squeeze of calamansi, should you prefer a nice tang.

standard rojak orders

We don’t see many HMEs selling rojak as their sole menu item, perhaps because it’s not easy to make it look sexy or appetising. By all accounts, Besauce is knocking down my preconceived notions one pin at a time.

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