June 15, 2008

Try not to drool on your keyboard...

Just a very tiny sampling of the food we've tasted so far...

Pisang goreng (deep-fried bananas) in the background
with the croquette-like combro,
which is made from cassava with a spicy savory filling
made with oncom, chili pepper and other spices.

A delicious twist on the deep-fried squid at a modern Chinese restaurant:
the unique batter is made from salted eggs.
It's not as salty as you might think, but I could definitely taste the egg yolk
... boy oh boy, pile on the cholesterol!

A serving of Sate Padang from a vendor that sells only this dish.
There are just two choices: beef and/or beef tongue.
The plate comes with slices of lontong (rice cooked into dense patties),
then everything gets smothered with the savory yellow sauce
that defines this dish, then a spoonful of fiery hot sambal,
finished off with a sprinkling of deep-fried shallots
... oooh... soooo... gooooood!

The ultimate and definitive Indonesian condiment: the sambal or chili sauce!
No meal is complete without at least one type of sambal,
and there are innumerable recipes and variations from every region.
The three sambals pictured above are the selections
from a restaurant called Bumbu Desa,
which serves traditional West Javanese/Sundanese 'desa' (village) food.
This restaurant has become one of our favorites!

This rujak ulek cart is one of many street food vendors
that can be found right outside the house.
is Indonesia's fruit salad with a sauce made from peanuts, palm sugar,
chili, and sometimes terasi (fermented shrimp paste).
This vendor only charges Rp.5000 (about fifty cents) per plate,
he'll make yours to order, just choose from a variety of fresh fruit:
mango, papaya, pineapple, jicama,
kedondong (I don't know the English word for it),
and yam (I know it's a veggie, not fruit!).
You also need to tell him how spicy you want your peanut sauce to be!

This is 'rotbar' or roti bakar (literally, grilled bread).
This version has sliced bananas and chocolate sprinkles
sandwiched between thick slabs of white bread,
which is then grilled and to
pped off with shredded cheese
and a swirl of sweet condensed milk.
Other fillings include tape singkong (fermented cassava,
it tastes way better than it sounds!),
(a 'jam' made with coconut milk and eggs),
strawberry jam, etc. Rotbar is perfect with tea
... and coffee, of course!

Saving the best for last: martabak manis!
Rich, chewy, super thick 'pancakes' folded over chocolate, cheese, peanuts,
sesame seed and sweet condensed milk (front slice),
or just with the cheese and milk (just as yummy!).
Think of it as crêpes on steroids, mixed with a hefty dose of margarine :D
... oh yeah!

June 1, 2008

Gading's "Food City"

Less than two weeks after our arrival in Jakarta, we celebrated the birthday of a relative at Kelapa Gading's "Food City" with about 15 members of my husband's family. This "Food City" is an open air food court complete with a stage for a live band, ringed on three sides with small restaurants. But don't even compare this with the average 'food court' in an American mall with your boring corporate franchises ... the food here is authentic and so much more delicious!

Here's a tiny sampling of our feast:

Ikan gurame saus asem-manis
(deep fried 'gurame' fish with sweet-&-sour sauce)

Kepiting saus tiram
(crab with oyster sauce)

Kodok goreng saus mentega
(deep fried frog legs with butter sauce)
Ohhhh... soooo yummyyyyy...