Having the bride’s tear for breakfast at Padang

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I went to Padang again, this time for work, and our host take us to a Bopet. It’s a small neighbourly restaurants that open for breakfast.

If you think Pizza for breakfast is strange, than you might a little bit surprise what I had for my breakfast at Padang.

The Bopet’s speciality is on a clear soup with special padangnese spices called SOTO PADANG. The toppings are deep fried beef’s cube. Ranging from the meat, lung, stomach, intestine, etc. The most popular ones are the meat and lung. They are so damn crunchy and savoury, without greasy taste.

I had the two most popular topings and white fluffy rice to soak on all that lip smackin’ broth. The condiments provided were sambal or chili paste, sliced lime and dark sweet soy sauce. For extra few rupiahs you could ask for a small plate of cruncy lung cubes. I did. I love lung.

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the crackling crunchy beef lungs served with herb and fried red onions.

 

My favourite way to eat SOTO PADANG is: I asked for a bowl of meat topping clear soup and add extra plate of lung. Half of the crunchy lung immersed into the broth for a couple of minutes. I add few spoon of white rice into the soup bowl, add sambal, lime and sweet soy sauce and stir. Every time I take a spoon full I get a little bit of every thing: a fibery crunch from the meat cubes, an airy crunch from the lung cubes and a spongy-gummy savory lung make the experience so delicious.

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my tummy hummed in satisfaction, feeling warm and fuzzy after a bowl of hot soup in the morning

 

And for dessert, Yes we have dessert at breakfast, is a glass of pink punch called the bride’s tear. The colour is blushing pink. The taste is sweet and savoury. In the punch there were coconut milk, rose syrup, hair thin jelly in pink. I asked why they called it the bride’s tear; they said because it’s so girly yet innocent like a virgin bride but the taste not only sweet, also savoury. like tasting a young wife’s tears. I am not sure about the accuracy of this background story about the bride’s tear stuff. I taste so damn good anyway.

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this is a glass of bride’s tears punch. a cold sweet end to my power breakfast in Padang.

 

So, whenever you go to West Sumatera, stop at Padang and try the breakfast culture at the nearest Bopet. Mine was called Bopet Rajawali.

 

 

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Lepat Bugis at Buchari’s house

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We have a pop up family gathering at one of the Buchari’s family’s house. I found this cute banana enveloped food.
They said, it is a Lepat Bugis.

Its a package of sweet and savoury treat. A party in your mouth snack or a succulent dessert.
Made from sticky rice flour with sweetened fresh shaved coconut and crushed peanut, steamed in banana leaf.
Hmmm fragrant voluptuous humble gift for your tastebuds.

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Juicy with a kick of flavor of Chicken Satay by Sate Blora, Rawamangun, East Jakarta

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Sorry it took me longer to post another story. I hope I redeemed my self by giving you, all my faithful readers,a little bit food porn.

I was in crave for chicken done right. I mean, a real good cooking that serve the poultry good respect it deserves. I could tell you, It’s different here in Indonesia. We didn’t used to tender and just cooked chicken. Either we deep fried it, long hour stewed it or hard grilled it. The stringy texture of the chicken meat are expected and commonly accepted. So, surely you would understand that I was a little bit skeptical when my husband took me to this Satay restaurant.

How happy I was to be wrong.

The chicken satay from Sate Blora restaurant is exquisite. The meat was adequately marinated, so the flavor and aroma from only a few spices used, just made me salivate instantly. The grill master put the skewered bits on the hot charcoal grill, then manually fan them with the traditional fan made from palm tree leaves. The heat cooked the chicken enough, without overkilled it. When I bite into them, it was the juiciest and melt in your mouth chicken satay I’ve ever had.

Enough said, let the show begin!

Uncooked chicken satay

I warned you about the porn, right?Here we go.
These sexy voluptuous bits on sticks were the uncooked one. Covered them selves with light peanut sauce and sweet soy sauce, patiently waited in line before touching the heat.

The young master grill and his magic fan

The young man who smile shyly is the talented master grill on the job that night. He had his own system to grill by the order, while the charcoal keep on burning. He memorized the set, which ten skewers for which table. He waved the fan a little bit differently on each portion set, to increase or decrease the grilling process through the meat. He didn’t use any timer or thermometer, there were no button to turn the gas up and down. Like any grill master, he used his eye and vast experience to determine which set is ready to serve.

Sssss it hot

The sizzling sound when the uncooked chicken first touch the hot iron grill was so intriguing. Instantly it created the smoke with inviting aroma.

Roll it over

Beside manually fanning the charcoal, the grill master must keep alert to roll and turn every single skewer. This part is also important to keep the meat cooked evenly, including the light caramelization from the soy sauce marinade. Every satay lover like that slightly burned bits at their meat.

Hot stone

When the time was right, the grill master took a portion set (ten skewers) off the grill onto the hot stone plate to keep it sizzles. Oooh look at those plump meat gleaming on its own juice (too much? sorry).

Much more than this

Finally, I could sample the fruit of the master’s labor.
On each table there are two sauce we could use to drizzle on the satay. For extra flavor. Chicken satay goes really well with the peanut sauce, so I add that and ate the whole portion my self with steamy fluffy white rice. If you think it would be too sweet, I can tell you that you are wrong. Very different with Japanese version of Yakitori, this one is not that sweet. The seasoning was mild and well balanced, so the taste of the chicken it self prominent as the hero of the dish. That was scrumptious!

Peyeum; the Sundanese rice dessert

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Peyeum (pronounced : Pe as Pe in Peru – ‘yeum as Yum in Yummy) is one unique dessert from Sundanese culture (the West part of Java Island, Indonesia).

As a tropical country, our ancestor cleverly manipulated the same-o ingredient, which is rice grain, into a vast range of food.

We have it plain or spiced steamed rice as our main dish. We also grind it into a rice flour and make tons of dish from it. Some culture even fermented it; to be a Tuak (Indonesian style of sake) or for the sweet and soft texture rice grain we named Tape (Ta as ta in table; Pe as pe in pear).

There are several ethnic known for their variety of Tape. The sundanese people call it as Peyeum. One important difference between Peyeum and other form of Tape is the leaf wrap.

The sundanese use guava leaves to wrap the rice grain into small square package before starting the fermentation process. Since most of the community use white rice grain, the leaf infuse beautiful subtle green hue into the grains and give a pleasant aroma when we un-wrapped it.

Fermentation process is limited until just in time when the grain is “cooked”, enough carbohydrate disintegrate into sugar to give sweet flavor  and only some of it turn into alcohol. So it won’t make you drunk, only a sugar rush.

Personally I like it after chilled in the fridge, then I dissolve a package of Peyeum with half glass of cold water. Ooh so delicious and refreshing in a hot day. My brother on the other hand, he likes just as it is, straight from the leaf into his mouth. Anyway you eat it, it would be as nice.

Enjoy the Peyeum!

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Soto Padang; a bowl of warmth for lazy Sunday morning

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Weekend is finally come again!

After grueling week, one thing that will make my weekend morning perfect is a bowl of Soto Padang (Padangnese style beefy soup).

If you look at the bowl, it would seem humble, like nothing special. But one bowl of good Soto Padang will cost approximately three bowl of mediocre ones. For the common, this dish seemed unworthy the extra cash, since the fillings are the same: sliced aged beef (dendeng kering), glass noodles, potato fritter, spring onion, celery leaves and sambal.

The secret of Soto Padang is in the broth. Like Anthony Bourdain always said, the broth will make or brake soupy dish. The layered flavor of saltiness, umami, beefy and mild spices are so different between the great bowl and the regular ones.

Don’t believe me? Go  and find the nearest Soto Padang restaurant, or visit my family’s favorite by H. St. Mangkuto at Pasar Baru area in Jakarta. When you got your bowl, don’t winch on the small size bowl because you will eat them with a plate of rice. First thing to do is slurping the broth only with your eyes closed before adding anything to it.

Same bowl different taste

If you buy Soto Padang anywhere in Indonesia, this is the normal serving size and style. Relatively smaller bowl compared to other Soto dish. But somehow always this is the correct portion for such an intense soup.

What's in it?

See what I meant? Anywhere you go for Soto Padang, the filling always similar. Sliced beef, glass noodles and sliced potato fritatas.

This is how we eat it

This is how we eat it, add sambal and plain rice. That’s why, the test will be the first slurp of naked broth.

Extra crunch

Extra crunch can’t be bad, right? Keripik balado (spicy cassava chips), Emping or any tipe of rice crackers usually lying around the table. Or ask for Keripik Paru (beef’s lung sliced and processed then deep fried to crispy) for bold flavor.

Sweet tooth?

If you still got enough space in the gut, don’t miss traditional rice flour based cakes. Crave healer for the sweet tooth.

The restaurant at Pasar Baru, Jakarta

The restaurant at Pasar Baru, Jakarta

Uda Denai (Jalan Tambak, Manggarai, Central Jakarta)

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This is, "a hole in the wall"- type restaurant. A step away from the main road Jalan Tambak.

This is, “a hole in the wall”- type restaurant. A step away from the main road Jalan Tambak.

No parking spaces at all, only fit for bicycle or motorcycle

No parking spaces at all, only fit for bicycle or motorcycle

The traffic noise, dust and smoke create "in a rush" and rustic ambiance

The flow of traffic create dynamic background for the plate display

Uni (Elder sister) Denai, preparing my rendang to go. The beef rendang is incredibly delicious, wholesome spiciness and rich taste of the rendang's sauce

Uni (Elder sister) Denai, preparing my rendang to go. The beef rendang is incredibly delicious, wholesome spiciness and rich taste of the rendang’s sauce

My lunch for that day; grilled chicken and fried lung with rice plus sambal ijo and sambal merah

My lunch for that day; grilled chicken and fried lung with rice plus sambal ijo and sambal merah

The grilled chicken taste perfectly balanced, not too salty like most cheap padangnese food. The fried lung cooked exactly the way I like it; crunchy with a little bit of chewiness, also seasoned with restraint.

The grilled chicken taste perfectly balanced, not too salty like most cheap padangnese food. The fried lung cooked exactly the way I like it; crunchy with a little bit of chewiness, also seasoned with restraint.

 

This is, intact the cheap food with expensive flavor.

Uni and Uda Denai have special hands that magically turn humble or cheap cut of meat into delicious cuisine. The balanced seasoning and restrain with enough punch to give you kick in the right spot are the strength of this restaurant.

If you come with a car, you can park in the Kelurahan office nearby. Just park and ask permission to the security guard there while slipping a five thousand rupiahs into his hand. And then you walk back to the joint about 200 meters.

After eating there, don’t forget bring some rendang to go. Put them in the fridge overnight. The next day, smash the meat into smaller pieces or strands. Then reheat the meat and sauces on non stick pan, add sambal merah or smashed chili. Cook them untill the color turn darker, or as you like. The perfect condiment for white rice or rice porridge or steamed bun or regular sandwich bread.