Sabana Bana (Senen, Central Jakarta, Jakarta)



Located almost the end of the rest rows at the side of Senen junction street

Located almost the end of the rest rows at the side of Senen junction street

Food, glorious food... it's at the low down, in the middle and high up in the sky

Food, glorious food… it’s at the low down, in the middle and high up in the sky

You ask and he shall pick and give it to you. Can you ever set you mind of one food, that's the problem here

You ask and he shall pick and give it to you. Can you ever set you mind of one food, that’s the problem here

Check out the torched tube near fried chicken in red samba balado's plate; thats they got rid of bugs or insects

Check out the torched tube near fried chicken in red samba balado’s plate; thats they got rid of bugs or insects

Not only lip smacking, its also easy in the eye these eatable chandeliers

Not only lip smacking, its also easy in the eye these eatable chandeliers

Could you think another way of using you grilled chicken?

Could you think another way of using you grilled chicken?

The waiter will give your chosen food in generous portion (a k a HUGE!)

The waiter will give your chosen food in generous portion (a k a HUGE!)


This is one of rows of padang streetstyle resto, but it has the best and balanced flavor of them all.
You may still remember my hubby and father in law are incredibly choosy about padangneese food.
Sabana Bana is the only one who got the Nod of approval from both of them.

Don’t hesitate to come, its tasty and spicy with big portion and affordable price. Oh you might want to prepare some coins (Rp.500 or Rp. 1000) for the only discomfort source, the street performers. Other than that, excellent.

Recommended dish:
Beef rendang with small potatoes
Duck braised in green sambal
Lean fried chicken
Red sambal
Shrimp crackers

Wash your hand before and after eating!



Do you need diet friendly but tasty snack? My Spicy Baked Spring Rolls

Spicy baked spring roll, No dipping sauce needed

Spicy baked spring roll, No dipping sauce needed

Baked spring roll, no extra oil from deep frying

Baked spring roll, no extra oil from deep frying

I was cleaning my refrigerator and found left overs of pickled octopus I brought from Japan months ago and last night baked calamari. A little bit surprised and felt guilty, since I insist on buying the octopus and happy with them as I posted then here.

I have to make something tasty out of it. I can’t let any food wasted without trying to save it or add more values to it. So, I search for inspiration from the rest of my fridge and I felt a light bulb went on in my head.

I rinsed the pickled octopus, to reduce the acidity and pungent smell then chopped it finely. I took my calamari with the rest of baked garlic and ginger then chopped all of them finely too. Now, I got tinny calamari and octopus bits.

I cut half of plain white cabbage from refrigerator and sliced them into thin narrow stripes. I was thinking about adding extra spiciness to compliment the natural acidity and fishiness of both seafood. I had ready to use Sambal Terasi (fish paste based Sambal), that add saltiness besides spiciness.

As my favorite teve chef Jamie Olliver said, taste it! taste it! and taste it!. A couple pinches of sugar, balance everything and the mix was ready to go. I got left over spring roll pastry and then used it to wrap the mix into neat packages. Well, some of them weren’t that neatly wrapped, since I had to put the mix as much as I can into one sheet of pastry, so everything will be ready to bake.

Light brush of last drops of olive oil, continued with margarine to my cookie sheet and the spring rolls. I put them in the oven and left it to do other chores.

When I smell something delicious, that remind me of  grilled fish or grilled calamari, I turn the oven off and let everything still inside the oven. When it’s the time for lunch, I took my spring rolls out and taste them.

To be honest I didn’t think it will taste than great. Fortunately It was delicious. I ate three of them straight away. The pastry become so crunchy without the greasy after taste.

I don’t even need any dipping sauce. It salty, It sour, crunchy and slightly sweet. I love it! It only veggie and protein! Okay some carb too, but It still healthier than deep fry spring rolls.

My lesson from today is:

Baked spring roll with any left over vegetable from the fridge will be my to go food when I crave for crunchy salty snacks.

Guess what? This time I did it! (successful attempt deconstructing rendang flavor, my way)

Mi Kuah Sapi Poyah by Mayang

If you are regular to norecipejuststory blog, then you must know that I can’t follow recipe to cook (hence the blog’s name).

My style of cooking is to wing it. No measurements, just follow my intuition and my taste buds. Most of the time, I produce average meal that eatable and suitable for daily menu. When holiday or ceremonial day come, I’m getting nervous badly. I know, I don’t have the patience to cook a whole set of feast meal. So, I winged it and this was what I came up with.

Ied day or Lebaran in bahasa in my family and the in laws require special set of menu that become tradition every year.

My mum’s menu for Lebaran day were: Sayur Pepaya Muda Ebi (Shredded unripe papaya in spicy coconut milk soup with dried shrimp), Gulai Ayam (Chicken curry with Sundanese twist), Rendang (her version of Beef Rendang) and Sambal goreng hati – udang – petai  (Shrimp-beef liver- stinky bean stir fry in chili sauce).

While my mother in law’s menu were: Gulai itik lado mudo (Padangnese version of green duck curry: green color came from green chili paste), Tauco Udang (Shrimp and tofu in salty fermented liquid been sauce and chilies), Gulai Pepaya Muda (Julienned unripe papaya in coconut milk and turmeric soup), Rendang kering (her version of Beef Rendang).

You can click on each text to access one version of it recipe. Not our family’s recipe, just to give better description. Oh, some of the recipe in bahasa, so you can use Google translator if needed.

So, whats the common dish between two family? Yes Beef Rendang. Although my mother’s style very different than my mother in law’s, beef rendang still a crowd pleaser. That’s why, I racked my brain out to make something very simple yet with the flavor of rendang.

The final result is, I make something I called Mi Siram Sapi Poyah.

Its basically boiled noodle or any other type of long pasta ( I made mine fresh by the way), with very-very beefy broth (extra shredded beef were added in the broth); tomato, celery and lime salsa, fried tofu and spicy toasted coconut sprinkles (made from freshly shredded coconut). Also a creamy peanut based chili sambal for extra heat.

I know it may look too simple to mimic the complex beef rendang, but somehow it worked. The flavor and fragrant of rendang came from the spicy toasted coconut.

I’m adding rendang wet paste (i winged my mother recipe) and the powdered ones to a freshly shredded coconut, mix them well on a non stick pan without using oil. It takes quite some time until all the coconut absorb the paste and toasted, change color, dried out and became sprinkleable.

English: Rendang, beef cooked in spices and co...

English: Rendang, beef cooked in spices and coconut milk. 日本語: ルンダン(牛肉とスパイスをココナッツミルクで2時間煮込む) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my food critic is my husband. When he said my beefy noodle tasty and remind him with rendang, then he add more noodles to his bowl, I know I succeed this time. Ooh the sweet taste of victory…..

The unique fact is that the broth are so beefy and tasty, anyone who ate one portion keep adding more noodles to  the remains of the broth on the bottom of their bowl.

Deconstructed Rendang and Ketupat: Mi Kuah Sapi Poyah

Deconstructed Rendang and Ketupat: Mi Kuah Sapi Poyah

It tasted very beefy, light and fresh but also spicy and herby similar to rendang.

It so easy to make. I’m making this dish in my holiday menu.

The chronicle of Sambal and Me


More and more people in western culture know about Sambal. Which is a chilly based sauce usually use as condiment or side dish or to marinate a produce (either protein or vegetable).

As a country that consist of wide variety of culture, Indonesia also have hundreds type of sambal from Aceh to Irian. Some of the most unusual sambal are Tempoyak, Terasi and Petis, Lado Ijo and Matah.
Here are stories about them.

Tempoyak is a fermented durian based sambal. I know i know, most of non asian culture can’t stand the odor and flavor of the considered king of fruit by it fans. Even though I like durian, the thinking of eating a fermented one shook me a little bit.

It was a potluck event at my previous job when one of my colleague bring a cooked tempoyak based fish stew. I looked and smell the dish first, secretly of course, I don’t want to offend the cook. I see one by one my friend take a piece of fish and the broth. I wait until they take a spoon or two of rice and tempoyak coated fish to their mouth. I wait again for a moment, waiting for their reaction. Frankly, I wait their face turning green that time. But everybody turns out to be just fine, some of them even go back for seconds.

So, I go to the bowl in the most nonchalant way, grab the spoon and take the smallest piece of fish and a little bit of tempoyak based broth. Then I move a side to the nearest wall and have the first taste of tempoyak in my live.

And It did shook me!

Shook me to tears, a happy tears of course. I’m so happy because it taste so delicious. The spiciness from the fresh chilies, shallots and garlic mixed beautifully with the creamy sweetness of durian. Oh my God, is what I’m saying to my self repeatedly that time. It taste even better than a similar fish stew but using coconut milk or even creme fresh.

Tempoyak does taste heavenly good. Adding creaminess as good as creme fresh or coconut milk, but it give additive distinct sweetness and savoriness better than anything I ever taste.

tempoyak based fish stew

After that, I got another opportunity having an original tempoyak from Palembang. I think, well maybe this will not taste as good as the first one. Maybe this one will get fermented more than before, or the spices mixture won’t be the same as the first one, ergo won’t be as good. I prepare for the worst ladies and gentlemen, I even prepare a special garbage bag to wrap it up tightly if I can’t handle the taste. Boy oh boy ….

I make another wrong assumption. It still taste good. Much more strong flavor than my first one, but still delicious. There is nothing like it. I will suggest

Tempoyak as one of 1000 things to eat before you die

It’s a must. Like caviar, you don’t have to like it, but you surely need to taste it at least once in a lifetime.

If your never knew what a terasi is, umm let me prepare you first.
Terasi and petis making culture came from fishermen communities throughout Indonesian long coastline beach. Javanese fishermen as one of the largest producer of terasi and petis didn’t like to waste anything they catch from the sea. They tried to preserve and use anything as much as they can using very traditional methods. Then Terasi and Petis came along.

Terasi (or Belacan as Malay call it) and Petis (or Hae Ko as Hokkien Chinese call it) are shrimp paste. Terasi made from dried ground shrimp in a form of small cakes and has a brick like consistency. While Petis looks like molasses but made from prawn. They both used as flavor enhancer in sambal due to its strong aromatic smell and, umm well, flavor.

Sambal terasi usually is a coarse paste made from chillies, tomatoes, shallots and a small piece of grilled or fried terasi. It can be cooked sambal or raw. Terasi gives the sambal strong savoriness and a little bit bitterness that combined with the spiciness of chillies makes you always ask for seconds, then thirds, fourths, etc. If you eat sambal terasi with warm steamed plain rice and any kind of protein or vegetable, the chance is you will eat the rice twice more than your usual portion. It’s almost addictive.

sambal terasi

Petis has milder flavor, due to the use of sugar, than terasi, but not less aromatic. East Javanese like using petis as compliment for their fruit and vegetable salads; as dipping sauce for fried tofu or as blackening agents for special dish called ‘telur petis’ (hard-boiled egg, simmered in petis based broth).

telur petis

I hope I don’t make you bore with odd sambal stories. The idea making a story on sambal came to me when I having lunch with my husband. I eat a deep-fried duck high with green chili sambal while he ate plain deep-fried chicken.

bebek kaleyo's dish

My green chili sambal this afternoon is a modern twist of Sambal Lado Ijo originated from Padang, West Sumatra. My first love to Padangnese cuisine and specially their full of flavor sambal is about the same time when I fall in love with my husband. Maybe that make me won’t be as objective telling you this story about Sambal Lado Ijo, but I want to share it with you.

The best sambal lado ijo for me came from one Warung Masakan Padang (Padangnese cuisine street food vendor) near my college. We usually have a lunch with plain steamed rice, a grilled chicken or fish plus prawn crackers. The owner put medium jam jar sized plastic container of sambal lado ijo on each table for the guest take as much as, or as little as they want.

Me and my husband (boyfriend at that time)? Oooh we love our sambal, so we take as much as we like. Everytime we ate there, a good one full jar will be emptied just by the two of us. We call the cook “ibu padang” (Padang Mom), and we think she has magical hands that can make such a heavenly sambal.

Ibu Padang’s sambal lado ijo is coarse enough that we can see the green chillies and green tomatoes with naked eyes. But also smooth enough that we don’t need to chew on it or taste the specific bitterness from undercooked green chili’s skin. The level of spiciness is very mild, but enough to make us sweating after eating.

Beside as a condiment, sambal lado ijo has a special place at west Sumatra’s people (not only the one from Padang city) heart. Bebek lado ijo (the original one) and dendeng lado mudo (crunchy beef jerky or sliced beef with sambal lado ijo) are two most popular dishes using these bright green color sambal.

Are your mouth watering already? Hold on, we aren’t finish yet.

Sambal matah is more popular than the other, due to its home town: Bali. Yeah, you must be knew Bali or at least have had heard about it before. Am I right?

Matah came from the word Mentah that means uncooked or raw. But the most fascinating side from sambal matah is not its rawness but the consistency and ingredients. Most of Indonesian sambal in the paste-like form ranging from coarse to baby smooth. Sambal matah is more like salsa, made from chopped shallots, lemongrass and chilies. Lemon grass is the unique ingredient from this type of condiment. It adds not only the crunchiness from raw shallots but also tanginess, but not as sharp as lemon.

When I was a little girl, I have unusual fear of shallots. It all begun when my grandma forbid me to play in the kitchen while she was chopping shallots. She said, shallots will burnt your eyes and make your body smell bad. It’s actually lame, I know. But as a child I truly believe her and since then I never ever want to touch any shallots, including in my food. There’s a phase when every time I finished my meal, I would make every bit of shallot I can identify stocked separately in the corner of my plate.

Then there’s the time when I attend one of my friend’s wedding reception. One of her parents is balinese, so there are a lot of balinese cuisine available for all guests. Including sambal matah as side dish for sate lilit (minced seafood satay on lemon grass stick). In my excitements to the party I didn’t realize when eating all sate lilt with sambal matah in my plate. And it taste good. Light, fresh and spicy.

sate lilit

You can guess what’s next?
I fall in love in the sambal matah concept, and regain my courage to eat all type of raw sambal.

Sambalku Pasporku


Kok bisa sambal jadi paspor?
Ya bisa saja, berhubung saya (dan terutama suami) penyuka pedas dan memiliki lidah yang sangat Indonesia. Sehingga ketika kami travelling keluar negeri, sambal adalah salah satu penyambung hidup disana.
Sambal amat vital fungsinya untuk mengurangi sensasi gegar budaya bagi kami ketika berkunjung ke negeri yang atmosfernya jauh berbeda dengan tanah air.
Dengan sambal kami dapat mentoleransi nasi kepal dingin yang dibeli di minimarket ketika tiba di Tokyo malam hari. Sambal juga penyelamat nafsu makan saat uang menipis dan terpaksa membeli “lauk aspal” dari mini market di Kyoto.
Ketika berusaha lebih adventurous kemudian mencoba sushi, setetes sambal yang saya selundupkan diantara acara jahe berhasil membuat hidangan tersebut lebih dihargai dan dinikmati.
Begitu pula saat menikmati masakan yang mirip dengan mie goreng di Bangalore. Yang walaupun terlihat merah namun rasanya manis. Saat sachet sambal dirobek, hidangan tadi berhasil diselamatkan.
Ayam panggang berbumbu kuat atau daging burger McDonald berbau kapulaga terasa lezat dengan kehadiran sambal kesayangan saya.
Walaupun kuliner di negara tetangga secara umum bisa ditoleransi tanpa sambal, namun saat bereksperimen ternyata rasa hidangannya semakin enak dengan setetes keajaiban sambal.
Kwetiaw rebus kuah ikan yang panas dan pedas, semangkuk laksa, bahkan chili crab di Singapura terasa lebih dahsyat bila ditambah sambalku.
Makanan di pesawat terbang atau sarapan di hotel seringkali terasa hambar dan tanpa rasa. Namun saya selalu dapat menikmati sesuatu dengan adanya olesan sambal.
Tentu kawan-kawan bertanya, sambal macam apa sih yang punya kekuatan magis seperti itu? Yang mampu menyulap semua hidangan menjadi lebih lezat dan terasa familiar.
Artikel ini bukan iklan bagi produk yang akan saya sebut. Terus terang saja bagi saya pribadi yang sudah berkelana dari merk sambal satu ke lainnya, produk inilah yang paling mengena di lidah saya dan suami.
Bila anda tidak setuju dengan saya, silahkan menyampaikan komentar.
Sambal ini memiliki konsistensi kekentalan yang berbeda dengan merk lain.
Dengan paduan bumbu yang pas antara keasaman, pedas, asin dan sedikit manis sehingga sensasi rasa sintetis atau istilah saya “bau plastik”-nya amat minimal.

Sambalku pasporku adalah Sambal Dua Belibis (saya menyebutnya “sambal belibis” saja).
Untuk bepergian saya memilih bentuk sachet, sehingga mudah diselipkan dalam tas. Sambal dan Paspor memiliki tempat teratas dalam daftar barang persiapan perjalanan saya dan suami.

sambal belibisku