Before I left for Hong Kong for a brief getaway with the parents and cousin (more on this later!), I had the pleasure of being hosted by Dennis at Rumah Rasa with 3 other bloggers (Peter from yumyumformytumtum, Peter Chong who is better known as Ho Chiak, and Dawn from 365days2play).
I thought I never had much Indonesian food prior to this but many dishes presented were actually dishes I had before, and the flavours were not altogether unfamiliar. A quick wiki search will tell you that many popular dishes that originated from Indonesia are now pretty common in Singapore.These include satay, rendang, sambal and mee soto.
For drinks I had Soda Gembira which is essentially bandung+soda water. It’s a good drink to wash away all the grease, but otherwise nothing too special.
For appetizers we had the Soto Ayam Madura ($8++). Soto is a traditional soup containing broth, meat and vegetables. I found this too oily, probably because of the use of chicken in the soup. But the the small potato pegedil at the corner was delicious. Oily, yes but plus points for the ultra creamy potato mash within.
The tahu telor surabaya ($8++) was a towering stack of deep-fried tofu and egg stuffed with julienned vegetables. Delicious stuff. We were missing a crunch from the deep-fried outer layer but otherwise, I liked how refreshing the combination was.
The general consensus was that the Sayur Lodeh ($8++) could have been more lemak. I’m not sure if they still sell it at subway niche in forum mall but that rendition (which has lontong inside too) is the best I’ve had by far.
The Ayam Korma ($14++) was pretty good. Technically nothing to fault- chicken was braised till tender, and the sauce was thick and rich. This is a very mild curry by the way, so no worries if you can’t take spicey stuff.
Though the fish was presented beautifully, I wasn’t particularly impressed by the Ikan Bakar Rumah Rasa ($28++). Don’t get me wrong, it was a good fish (sea bass) and cooked well. But given the amount of work that went into it (“charcoal grilled red snapper topped with Rumah Rasa’s homemade spicy sauce, with the
red snapper sea bass marinated in hours in turmeric”) I was hoping for a little….. more.
My favourite dish of the meal was Ayam Panggang Berkakak Jakarta ($14++). Not only was the chicken grilled to tender, juicy perfection, the skin was also crisp and sweet due to the caramelization of the palm sugar used in the marination. I’m a little biased towards sweet stuff I admit!
Second favourite would be the Rendang Sumatra ($14++). The beef cubes were delicious- not totally soft but still retaining a good bite to it. I liked that it still had a beefy (if there is even such a word) flavour to it.
As unique as it sounded I didn’t like the taste of the Paru Goreng ($12++) or deepfried beef lungs. There wasn’t much flavour to it, and I didn’t like its dry gritty texture. Personal preference I guess.
Instead of the conventional white rice, I would recommend the nasi kuning instead. It’s a lot like the coconut rice used for nasi lemak actually. Super fluffy and fragrant rice grains that go well with any dishes you order.
For desserts I went with their chendol. The gula melaka syrup was really good, but it might be a bit too much for those without a sweet tooth. They use kidney beans which I didn’t quite like because it lacked a bit of sweetness. Red beans please. I LOVE red beans.
The deep-fried banana fritters with vanilla ice-cream was all right. Fritters were crisp and gooey inside but should have been served hot. Picked up a few ice crystals in the ice cream, oops. Otherwise it was okay, a good pairing with the fritters.
Overall a very sumptuous meal. Thanks Dennis for hosting us that day!