Just as the COVID pandemic started to take shape last year... a family prepared to open a new eatery conveniently located in the food court at busy Ala Moana Center. Then as you can remember and imagine the world shutdown. But, all is not lost - as we start to slowly get back to some form of normalcy people started venturing out again and foodies started to head out and eat again. Thus we say hello to the SingMaTei.
A family owned and operated Singaporean and Malaysian eatery, this looks like a chain restaurant with its vibrant signage and impeccably professional and meticulous store front, but it is actually just another type of young mom and pop shop, trying to make it in this world. The family has deep roots in China and has incorporated their experience with these types of cuisines and the need for something like this in Hawaii - to create delightfully delicious SingMaTei.
You may have seen its pretty blue coconut rice and wondered what is this place about? Well they serve homemade noodles, fresh curry and Singapore Style Black Pepper meats too. Famous for their Laksa, which comes with a choice of toppings be it shrimp, seafood, chicken, lemongrass chicken or beef - the flavors are outstanding, the portions generous and the quality is superb
Entrees also include items like Curry Pineapple Shrimp, Lemongrass Pork or Chicken, Curry Beef and crispy Chicken Wings. These plates come with their popular blue coconut rice which is colored using the Butterfly Pea Flower (all natural). My favorite is the Chicken Tikka Masala which also comes with a side of seasoned Naan Bread. I love to dip the bread in the curry and eat the rice too. Overall the flavors are very pronounced yet easy to eat - something can be found for the whole family as the dishes are not super spicy. If you seek to add more spice they make a homemade sambal which you can try and add as you wish.
One of their most popular side dishes is the curry look fun noodles, which is soft, pillowy and the perfect blend of curry with other spices. Look fun and curry lovers will enjoy this immensely.
Lastly, the staff are all very friendly and kind and the owners are so sweet and humble. They have goals to open in other locations, including the mainland, but Hawaii lays claim to the very first SingMaTei and it's delicious cousin and outstanding service. Be sure to visit them next to Jamba at the Ala Moana Food Court open everyday for lunch or early dinner.