Saturday, April 3, 2010

20 New Things: Try Indonesian Cuisine

FINALLY an official 20 New Things post. I've half done a few other things on the list or am about to do them so more of these entries are forthcoming.

The Dutch colonized most (all of?) Indonesia back in the Imperial age and, because they captured a bunch of them and brought them back here, Holland is known for its Indonesian food.

Originally, I was going to get another "new thing" out of the way today by eating at the Sea Palace Floating Restaurant, but it turns out they have exorbitant prices. So, that's probably not going to happen, but Indonesian did!

My roommate and I pretty much just picked the cheapest Indonesian sit-down restaurant on google and hoped it would be alright. Turns out it's a local favorite.

As I'm headed to England in the morning (slash a few hours), I had my camera at home charging for the trip and completely forgot I would want to take photos at the restaurant. So, I had to use my iPhone in a place with really bad lighting.

I got a simple vegetarian rice dish. It said it came with soy sauce, but the sauce was actually much sweeter and thicker than soy sauce. No complaints though, it was delicious. The menu also said it would come with eggs. Fried eggs are my favorite part of any stir-fry so I was a bit disappointed when my meal didn't seem to have any eggs. After a few bites, however, I discovered that instead of fried egg yolks, there were slices of hardboiled egg whites.

Another thing that stuck out, what made it Indonesian I guess, was the addition of airy cracker sort of things.

The cracker things are at the back of the plate. The way they were served on my plate, I wasn't sure if I was supposed to mix them in with the rest of the food or eat them as a side. I ended up ignoring most of them because they didn't taste too great on their own. I think they would've been really good in soup. I mostly say this because after a few had soaked in some stray sauce for a while, they were much more tasty.

Obligatory photo proving I ate Indonesian food.

All in all, I didn't find Indonesian much different than generic Asian food. I was expecting it to be really spicy (like Thai) or have some other distinguishing characteristic. Perhaps after eating more of it and exploring more dishes, I'll be able to find what makes it stand out from other cuisines. However, if the Dutch's treatment of Chinese and Indonesian as synynoms in terms of food is any indication, Indonesian food might not be unique after all.


Rose said...

that last picture is no proof you ate it. just saying.

Mezzo in sweatpants said...

girl- when you, kate and i go to malaysia, i will introduce you to some awesome, definitely non-generic americanized asian food. you just have to take some risks when ordering! x