Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A tropical retreat in the middle of the city.

What better way to start the week than dinner with family at a delicious restaurant?

Say what? Family?! Yep. You heard me right. I have second cousins that live in the Bay Area and we planned to meet up for dinner downtown Monday night. It was really great seeing them and catching up over delicious Indonesian food at Borobudur Restaurant downtown.

Since I've really only had a couple Indonesian dishes before, Jamie and I put our tastebuds in their hands and couldn't have been happier with the result! Are you ready for the barrage of drool-worthy dishes??

To start, we split a dessert-y drink called Es Candol (rice flour cake with ice & palm sugar syrup)
Ok, that description makes it sound like you're eating cake and ice. I'd describe it more like little jelly bits floating around in a sweet, creamy, icy drink. It's not too sweet and the palm sugar syrup gives the whole drink an interesting depth of flavor. The jelly bits aren't quite like the bits in grass jelly drinks, nor are they like the pearls in bubble tea. I think they're somewhere in between...or a tad bit firmer. Either way - fun and yummy!

After we sipped on first dessert, the food started coming...and didn't stop. First up was a plate of Bakwan Jagung (fried corn fritter). Right up my alley ;)
These were a little closer to the fritters I've made than the ones we had last week and I was a big fan of the slightly spicy dipping sauce.

Next up was Roti Prata (pan fried layered bread served with curry dipping sauce)
I've only had stuffed roti before, so when this came to the table, I expected it to be filled with a delicious savory meat. Wrong-o. The light, crispy, slightly chewy bread was fantastic on it's own. The sauce...omg, I could have drank it straight out of the bowl :[

I kept things civilized and took a fork and spoon to the next dish - Gado-Gado (steamed vegetables, tofu, potato, egg & shrimp cracker with peanut dressing)
I must have been eating some ghetto Indonesian food in the past, because I've never had gado-gado that looked or tasted like this. This was more stew-y looking and warmer than I've had and although I enjoyed it, I think my tastebuds just weren't expecting the warmth.

I don't think the 'buds were expecting the flavor explosion that came next either. A plate of Mie Tek Tek (spicy Java noodles stir fried with egg, vegetables and chicken or maybe I forget).
This noodle dish had a nice spicy flavor that wasn't too in your face. It also wasn't too greasy. Very nicely done :)

Then came my favorite Indonesian dish - Rendang (Sumatra beef stew cooked with spices in coconut milk sauce)
This version was actually a little milder than ones I've had in the past. I used to get this all the time at Cafe Asia in DC and I remember it being spicier. The familiar flavor was definitely was just lacking in the spice. Not a bad thing, just different. I still heart me some stewed beef.

A little veggie break was necessary so we got some Tumis Kangkung Bawang Putih (sauteed water spinach with garlic)
Dark green vegetable with garlic...SOLD! After looking up the dishes, I noticed they serve a version of this with shrimp paste chili. Betcha that is amazing. I think I'll have to go back and try it.

To close out dinner, we had some Ayam Goreng Kalasan (fried honey chicken)
Oh. My. Goodness. First of all, I had no idea it was fried because it didn't look or taste fried. Second of all, the meat was so tender and slightly crisp and sweet on the outside...phenomenal! I probably could have eaten just this with a side of coconut rice. *sigh*

We couldn't leave without dessert! Thank goodness for super light and refreshing tropical asian treats ;)

Jamie and I split Es Campur (mixed tropical fruits with shave ice, condensed milk, chocolate & raspberry syrup)

This reminded me of halo halo, minus the beans, plus chocolate. There's just something about the mixture of shaved ice, condensed milk and tropical fruits that makes me happy. It reminds me of summertime and my mom busting out a super old school blue and white plastic ice shaver thinger. There was no auto shaved had to dump the ice in and turn it by hand! Ah summer. Ah jackfruit. Ah happy happy dessert!

After all that food, we got a couple pictures and mine definitely reflects how I was feeling afterward haha. So full I was wobbly! haha.
Do you have a particular food or dessert that reminds you of summertime or triggers happy thoughts?


MarathonVal said...

I want some gado-gado!!! All of my fave ingredients rolled into one!

Jamie said...

you took all these pictures right? did may take any? the new camera is really working out well!