went to a malaysian – indonesian – thai restaurant last night. according to the owner, the chef is from hong kong because all their other cooks – from singapore – ran away. figures. the place is decorated with the most basic knick knacks that looks balinese. it is a small restaurant lot with about six tables, i think.
the menu is deceptive to anyone who has never been to asia. startes includes shushi maki and gyoza.
i know what you´re thinking. singaporean owner? honkie chef? shushi? where is the nusantara vibes? i was thinking the same thing.
the menu comprised of several descriptions of mee soto, laksa, nasi goreng, mee goreng and dishes such as thai green curry, satay and chicken kapitan. sounds nusantara enough, right? well, that´s where the good news ends.
i ordered nasi goreng and i told the guy to make it spicy. i found out the hard way that their definition of spicy is to fry everything with a super giant heap of white pepper. can you imagine nasi goreng with extra extra extra white pepper?
and here is the cherry on top of the whole concoction: their definition of nusantara drinks is… jeng jeng jeng… tiger and singha beer! that´s right. no teh tarik. no sirap bandung. no ais kacang. other drinks is white wine and coca cola. about this, i had to ask the owner guy. WHY? why isn´t there teh tarik on the menu. i sounded almost angry. i sounded quite demanding. offended even.
his reply to me was simply that the spanish don´t like it. and that was the end of it. the food… everything from the nasi to the mee to the curries have all been modified to suit the spanish palate. nothing pedas because of cili. spicy means pepper.
oh, have you noticed what’s wrong with the picture yet?… my nasi goreng came with a fork and knife. the waiter who looked oriental but spoke spanish and spanish only, raised an eyebrow when i asked him for a spoon. i swear, i could have screamed at him.
fine. my fault. why on earth did i travel a thousand miles away from home, to a city next to the mediteranian just to eat nasi goreng? well you try eating hard bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and only hard bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner and be happy for two weeks straight. i absolutely craved soemthing greasy and pedas. something charred in a wok. steamed white rice… the long grain ones like the one back home… the measly short graines here have an almost sticky texture, but not quite.
so yes, i am entitled to my taste of oriental food. sigh. looks like it is back to bread for me over here.
ps. tapas and paella. i know. i am on the look out for those over here :)