Saturday, October 30, 2010

Really Authentic and Unusual Indonesian Food

Keradok: Bean Sprouts salad with colored prawn crackers in peanut sauce
Grilled Rice in Banana Leaf, tempe, kangkong, chicken in green chili sauce
Deep fried Ikan Nila [Tilapia] fish
Corn and Potato Fritters
Chicken with Green Chili sauce
As Singapore becomes a cosmopolitan city, we might paradoxically have less interesting international fare due to purely commercial circumstances. Most restaurants would stick to the tried and true recipes for they know that these will always be in demand. Thus expect more Ramen, Teppanyaki and Sushi places. Expect a Korean restaurant to always have Kim Chi and Gin Seng Soup while the Chinese will have their La Mian noodles and assorted dumplings. For Indonesian restaurants in Singapore, the tried and true and boring mean dishes like Ayam Penyet [fried chicken flattened with a knife], Sop Buntut [Oxtail Soup] and deep fried Gourami fish. Or we also have the Nasi Padang restaurants with their little plates of assorted meat and vegetables. But recently I found a stall on the 6th floor of Lucky Plaza on Orchard Road that serves very unusual Indonesian food. Bumbu Desar serves food reminiscent of the food served in smaller restaurants in West Java. The Keradok is a salad not unlike the Malay Gado Gado: But it contains only bean sprouts and is drenched with a spicier peanut based sauce and garnished with colorful prawn crackers. I like the grilled chicken that had been marinaded in a mix of spices, and is served with a sauce made from Green Chili- a most pleasant contrast to the usual red Chili. You can tell a restaurant by their Cucumbers. Anybody who does not take the trouble to choose fresh, sweet Cucumbers and slice it nicely would not care about the quality of his main dishes. And as can be seen above, in the second image from the top, this stall's Cucumbers are of the best quality and generously thick-cut for eating with the Sambal Belachan [chili with fermented shrimp paste and lime] in the stone plate. For the very rich Indonesia, sometimes they may just want to go back to the simple things in Life-like eating Tempe [fried, comprseed soya bean cake which is full of Protein] with Tahu [Tofu] with some Water Convolulus vegetable [Kangkong]. And thats what we have here in the second image. There is nothing like going bask to nasics with the taste of tempe, tahu and kangkong. Bumbu Desar also has potato cutlets and corn fritters that are a good side-dsihes for the meal. The only dish that I find unexciting is the deep-fried Tilapia fish [above]. It was fried too long and while we have a crunchy skin and bones, the flesh was now dry and tasteless.

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