Nothing Like the First Time

1. Last month, I finally tried eating goat meat at one of those makeshift food stalls on the sidewalk. Surprisingly, it didn’t taste like anything distinct. Just something smothered in peanut sauce.

2. I also finally tried that train-themed diner at Grand Indonesia called Warung Leko. Much like a real subway, it was dirty and crowded. People fit into these tiny booths with partially clean tables and get served really substandard Indonesian fare. Not a trip I want to take again.

Nasi Merah, or red rice. Like Indonesia’s flag, rice eaters choose between red and white.
That’s a malnourished chicken set on a stone plate spread with really toxic chili paste.

3. Due to monumental floods at my former kost on Jalan Tiong, I was occasionally forced to wake up earlier than usual whenever I’d hear heavy rains outside. One particularly bad flood day, when I had to literally swim through waist-deep sewage, I rewarded myself with some Japanese food after surviving the ordeal. (I moved to a new kost shortly after.)

They actually have some pretty decent food at this shabu-shabu place at Plaza Semanggi called Shabu Tei. A notable feature is that the restaurant shows really bad Indonesian soap operas on a TV near the entrance. Something to look at when you’re bored.

Curry Chicken Katsu Rice – Rp 50.000
Crunchy Dragon Roll – Rp 75.000

4. There is this really great Thai place on Jalan Dr. Satrio, where the staff outnumber the customers at any given time. This has always puzzled me.

The last time my friend and I ate there was during Ramadan. Upon entering the restaurant, the servers and cooks — who had previously just been sitting around, chatting — suddenly got up and took their places, like startled actors in a play.

David said we should’ve directed their movements. Like, “You there, shine my shoes. You, massage my back. You, make me some pad Thai.” But I just figured they’d spit in our food, which was delicious, no matter how weird-looking.

I call this the Avocado Thong
Some phallic fried rice for ya.
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