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Monday, August 9, 2010

Asian craving

I don't know if it is being in Doha, or being pregnant, that I am craving foods from Asia. A fellow Singaporean A told me weeks ago that if I yearned for Ayam Penyet, to visit Jakarta restaurant in Bin Mahmood for authentic and cheap indonesian fare.

We found it after circling the street twice, and entered the two storey building with eager anticipation. The restaurant was tiny tiny, with only space for 2 tables downstairs and a narrow staircase upstairs with 5 other tables. Max capacity I would say is 20 and everyone was Asian. Good sign.

Food was displayed in the typical hawker fashion downstairs and a quick scan over the glass counter revealed tempe in chilli and sweet soy, prawn curry, deep fried tofu, stir fried bean sprouts and long beans and beef stew. Not a huge spread but good enough for me. The kind lady chef said that ayam penyet was made to order if we liked some.

The food there was tempting enough so I just picked 4 items and proceeded upstairs to wait for it to be served. Waiting impatiently, I spied on the other customer plates and saw that they had ordered satay ! Fat skewers of bbq meats with a generous topping of peanut sauce and fried shallots.

Another client walked by with a plate of hot ayam penyet. I think I have to get some another day.

The food finally arrived and I dug in with a vengance. The curries were tasty especially the tempe. I miss tempe sigh.

The beef was a little chewy and bland so that was disappointing but a douse of homemade sambal masked the faults.

Overall my assessment of the place is - beggars can't be choosers. Or in my dialect, no fish, prawn will do. The food was tasty but only average. 4 dishes, plus rice and 2 bottles of water came up to 43 riyals or an equivalent of RM36. In KL, I would expect to pay about RM 20 but then again, not complaining. I had my Asian fill for the day and that was a treat.

At home, I tried my hand at making my own Indonesian meal because at the restaurant, I picked up some uncooked tempe. I made it with sweet soya and some fried shallots and chillies. The result was yummy.

For the main, I stole a recipe Ayam Tuturuga or Chicken in Hot and Spicy Broth from Original Indonesian Recipe Blog.

The photo looks terrible but the taste was outstanding. The broth was flavourful without being overpowering. Coconut milk was added but only a cup, so the dish tasted light without being too rich.  I followed the recipe here.

This was my end result.


Their photo is much nicer so here.

It was dead simple to prepare and I think I will keep this one for the books. Might be good just with some cabbages, sprouts and tofu. Throw in fresh noodles, I think it will become a tasty and fast lunch dish.

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