PEr FYI

April 8, 2018

Bebek Bengil, Jakarta…check your expectations at the door

Although this is an established name in Indonesia, with a heavy heart, I regret to inform that the restaurant’s most popular dishes – The original crispy duck – half duck steamed in Indonesian spices and deep fried for a crispy finish. Served with steamed rice, Balinese vegetables, or sautéed potatoes and side salad wasn’t particularly delightful. The skin though crispy is dry.

The Sate lilit – Balinese satay with goodness mix of chicken, fish and duck was a bit of hit or miss. The Sup bebek kari  is pretty lackluster.

Well, everything’s a bit middle of the road. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

bebek jkt6bebek jkt1

 

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March 3, 2018

Sari Ratu, Jakarta…simply too many dishes to choose from!

Immediately after I enter the place, sit down, a lot of dishes were served on my table a minute later.

Classic Padang style, meant putting a bunch of plates or bowls bearing different types of dishes on the table, allowing you to choose what you want. You can choose from beef, lamb, chicken, or sambal-swathed hard-boiled eggs to top your rice; Indonesia’s greatest hits: beef rendang, a spicy (an easy-to-abuse adjective around an Indonesian table), ayam gulag (special chicken in Indonesia curry) and Udang super (lobster) were my favorites. Portions are smallish (not that you can complain about much at this price) because the meat or vegetables are there as an accent, to flavor the rice. If you need something to quench the fire, order one of the Indonesian milk drinks, made with unlikely combinations like milk, grenadine-like syrup and avocado. Or grab a box of Teh Botol, a sweetened dark tea drink.

You don’t have to eat everything they put on the table. You won’t be charged for what you don’t eat. Untouched platters are taken away and served to other guests. Not everybody will think this is a sanitary way to serve food. Your dish may have visited a number of other tables before it lands on yours.

Cholesterol levels be damned. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

sari ratu jkt1sari ratu jkt2

 

January 7, 2018

Sate Babi Bawah Pohon, Bali…utterly delicious

Bali is well-known for its pork dishes. A must-try Balinese dish is this pork meat-on-stick.

Tucked away under a tent in Kuta, the Sate Babi (pork satay) here is utterly delicious and that, and only that, is what everyone is here to feast on. The meat is unbelievably succulent and sweet and had a delicious char-grilled flavor coupled with a rich, mouth-coating savouriness.

Really – I’m not hamming it up! This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

sate bali1

sate bali2

October 1, 2016

Sun May Hiong Satay House, Melaka…Spectacularly Failed To Live Up To Expectations

I became a fan of satay since my childhood days when my grandpa introduced me to it.

Satay is nothing more than a bit of thinly sliced meat on a skewer. But the marinade — a rich and flavorful one, with ginger, coconut milk and spices — is the key to good satay. Here at Sun May Hiong, though the satay babi (pork satay) meat was well cooked and the satay sauce had a nice nutty pineapple texture, on the whole it was lacking the “bite” I was expecting. I am a huge fan of satay sauce, I could drink it! But Sun May Hiong’s satay weren’t as moreish as I’d hoped.

Maybe my expectations were just too high but the satay and sauce here spectacularly failed to live up to expectations. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

sun-may-hiong-melaka2

sun-may-hiong-melaka1

May 29, 2016

Restoran Capitol Satay, Melaka…don’t be a victim of hype

Clearly I have been impatient since birth. I don’t expect much sympathy (all right, any), but eating at Restoran Capitol Satay can be tiring. A very, very long line of people wait patiently on the pavement of Lorong Bukit Cina in Melaka on a midweek evening.

A signature dish unique to Melaka, satay celup is a kind of steamboat meal where an assortment of over 80 raw and semi-cooked seafood, meat and vegetables on skewers are dunked into a bubbling pot of savoury, spicy satay peanut gravy.The gravy stays aromatic and fresh as they replenish from time to time.

The food is delicious, but I won’t be a victim of hype and queue here, as there are other comparable ones in Melaka. I feel like a sucker standing in that long line. Even if I do get to hear every juicy detail of love life of the dude behind me. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

Capitol satay melaka

June 29, 2014

Chuan Kee Satay, Singapore…..a deliciously juicy piece of skewered meat and the peanut sauce is the difference-maker!

Satay is my enabler. The Hainanese Satay at Chuan Kee Satay is phenomenal.  No doubt this place has the best tasting Hainanese Satay that I have had in Singapore & Malaysia combined.

Hainanese style satay usually means Pork Satay. Being exceptionally different from the usual Malay or pork-free satays that are in abundance in Malaysia and Singapore, it is definitely unique to the Hainanese community.

The truly succulent satay pieces here are smaller and the marinade is different, less sweet with a stronger hint of turmeric. This ensures a deliciously juicy piece of skewered meat! The peanut sauce is the difference-maker. It is a really good, very rich and tasty peanut gravy that comes with added grated pineapple which truly hit the spot. Taste-wise, it’s slightly spicy and more tangy with the taste of mashed pineapples and you will know you have reached what the buddha defined as “Enlightenment”.  Ok, so I do get a little more excited over a satay and its peanut sauce than most, but that’s how I operate.

The only downside is I had to wait FOREVER to get my satay.

But damn if it isn’t delicious! Good eatin’. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

old changi airport satay

old airport rd satay

May 25, 2014

Sate Mak Syukur, Jakarta…the satay was meh, so don’t expect something amazing to happen here

So I really love Indonesian food, and this was not one of my favorite experiences

The satay was meh, so don’t expect something amazing to happen there. Between the beef or the mutton, I got the beef sate skewers here.  They were coated with a cloyingly thick yellow sauce that I really didn’t care for.  The yellow gravy is made from rice flour mixed with spicy offal broth, turmeric, ginger, garlic, coriander, galangal root, cumin, curry powder and salt. The satay here is not really my thing. They would probably be good if freshly grilled, but they tasted like they’d been grilled and refrigerated. Soto Ayam is basically chicken soup and it’s very popular in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. There are various adaptations of Soto Ayam in the region. I am not a fan of the one here.

I’d probably have to be pretty desperate – as in NO other food options around – to return. Not the worst Indonesian food I’ve ever eaten but not good enough to eat there again. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

sate mak syukur

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