What happens when a Gen Y inherits an Indian Rojak store that was named after himself? He makes it hippy and renamed it Ministry of Rojak.
This was exactly what Abdhus Salam did when he took over the store from his dad. Abdhus Salam Rojak of Ayer Rajah was part of Indian rojak royalty in Singapore. They are often featured in media and have gone to TV as a heritage store. Since 2013, their rojak has made its mark in countries such as London, Sydney, San Francisco and the latest in Shanghai for Singapore Day in an effort to remind Singaporeans living overseas of their roots back home.
And when Abhdus Salam took over from his dad Akber Ali, he gave the store a new and hip branding, Ministry of Rojak, and expanded into the heartlands with more stores. Then, Covid struck and they regrouped and focused on delivery and smaller stores, like this one in Northpoint. They have done well for themselves and created a following.
They serve other cooked food just like all your favourite Indian mamak stores like mee goreng (fried noodles), mee kuah (noodles with sauce), tulang merah (lamb bone cooked in red gravy), etc. It is amazing how they churn out all those food from such a small kitchen. Unfortunately during our meal there, tulang merah was not available. I guessed it was not a popular item with the new generation.
Indian rojak is their mainstay item. The word “rojak” is Malay for a mixture of everything. So it is a mixture of different items usually deep fried and chopped up, and served with a nuclear red sweet and spicy sauce which would differentiate one store from another. Most other stores are sweeter (which I don’t like) but Ministry of Rojak has nailed it for me.
There are definitely some must-order items – deep fried tofu, fish cake, plain flour fritter, potato fritter, big crispy prawn fritter, cuttlefish, vadai, hotdog are almost guaranteed to appear in my platter. Cuttlefish is a difficult item to prepare. Dried cuttlefish has to be rehydrated and cooked in a special recipe (which of course everyone has their own secret ingredient) and over the years there had been many cases of poisoning because of this item. Another item difficult to do well was the plain flour fritter, which they nailed it with exemplary crunch and nice flavour of spices.
Next up the mee goreng (fried spicy noodles). It did not disappoint with the wokhei. Yes, even Indian cuisine requires that magical smokiness from the cast iron wok which we dearly termed as wokhei. The noodles were springy and every mm was coated with the mysterious, red sauce. Bits of mutton added some chewiness in a good way, and the overall balance of spice and nice was spot on.
The mee kuah (noodles with sauce) was the only letdown for the day. The soup was runny and lacked oomph. The alkaline from the noodles was overpowering the sauce. If the kuah was like that, then I would give their tulang merah a miss because the sauce base would be similar.
Overall it was an excellent platter of rojak. I would come back for rojak for sure. It was a bit pricey but for the aircon comfort and the quality I would say it’s ok since it’s not a staple food for me. Now I do not need to go to Golden Mile Hawker Centre or Jalan Sultan to get my Indian rojak fix. I do recommend to eat at the store because rojak needs to be enjoyed while it is still crispy and fresh. No matter how express the panda can deliver, it will not make the journey anyway.
The closest carpark would be the old Northpoint carpark accessible from behind GV Yishun. If you park at B2, you will come out directly to their store. BTW, dad still runs the original store at Ayer Rajah Hawker Centre – Abdhus Salam Rojak, Stall 73, 503 West Coast Drive, Singapore 120503 – if you are interested.
Ministry of Rojak (Northpoint)
930 Yishun Ave 2, #B2 – 02 / 08, Singapore 769098
Tel : 8374 6145
Visited in May 2022