… is NOT like makanan orang malaysia. the names are the same. somewhat. but what appears on the table is just different. the ingredients are different. the spices are different. the smells are so different. the taste, definitely different.
we went to look for local food on our first night in cemoro lawang. the sun sets here at 6pm, so by 8pm when we went walking, it was completely dark, and most of the shops appeared to be closed already. i don’t blame them. it was so frigging cold here, we were quite eager to just get out of the streets.
the shop we ate at was tiny. so tiny, it didn’t even have a signage outside to indicate what it was. the menu was scrawled on a piece of manila cardboard on the wall of the shop. the shop had one long L-shaped table and about four chairs. that’s all. right in the middle of the shop was a small urn of burning coals to keep the inside warm.
while waiting for our food, KH had one of the stuffed tau fu on the table. there were carrots and some other white vegetable inside. a lady brought out a bowl of some black sauce to eat with the tau fu. tasted like sweet rojok sauce, something like that, according to KH.
i ordered soto ayam. which in the indonesian interpretation, i learnt, translated to chicken and onion soup, served with white rice. there was some fibrous green vegetable in it also. i cannot put my finger as to what it is. it was crunchy. it was cut into such thin strips what i really cannot identify what it is. thing is, there was a lot of whatever it is in the soup.
breakfast after climbing mount bromo: banana pancake. it was served plain. i had to ask for the jam. the pancake itself was okay la. macam roti picang, but softer and not so garing. could have been tremendously improved with maple syrup. seriously.
KH opted for the fried rice breakfast which was quite generous. although he did mention that the keropok masuk angin already.
there were a collection of sauces on the table in little bottles. it is my personal observation that indonesians refer to food by the senses. unlike malaysians, who refer to food by ingredients. when ordering tea in malaysian, you ask for teh, teh-o, teh-o kosong etc… in indonesia, it is teh susu (with milk), teh manis (with sugar), or teh pahit (no sugar).
that is bakso. lunch. i’ve never even had bakso in malaysia. here i am having bakso in indonesia. why? it was the only shop open. i’m still trying to adjust to indon time. anyway, the white thing in the pic is tau fu. the grey thing is supposed to be a beefball, but is mostly flour. there is yellow noodle and thin blue noodle.
it was alright, i suppose. in the cold weather, one tremendously appreciates the soup. KH and i had two bowls of these each. well, the bowls were not huge to begin with anyway. costs about 6,000Rp a pop. almost RM3 per bowl.
again, the shop was tiny. then again, it actually might not even be a shop. the space was filled with steel vats of steaming soup, and these wooden boxes that the guys haul over their shoulders, presumably as they walk through the streets selling bakso. we were probably in the space they use as a kitchen to make the stuff. which is an interesting experience, honestly.
finally, after climbing mount batok, dinner. the menu said: mee goreng dengan kuah. it even had an english translation: fried noodles with soup. this is the indonesian translation. in malaysia, we would call this maggi mee soup. here, it is what it is: mee goreng dengan kuah.
be ever so humble, there is no place like home. for food.