Showing posts with label padang. Show all posts
Showing posts with label padang. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Padang Food 101(Sari Nusantara, Surabaya, Indonesia)

Padang is the capital of West Sumatra (which is mostly known for the earthquakes and tsunamis that happened nearby).
When you go to a Padang restaurant, an array of dishes will be placed on your table. Rendang (beef curry), curried vegetables, egg balado, and many more.

It's not all you can eat, though. You pay for what you take and eat, so if you don't think you really want to eat a particular dish don't touch it.

Padang cuisine is known for their spicy dishes and a variety of curries can always be found. Rendang is so popular everywhere now, including in LA. Simpang Asia's rendang actually won the curry competition a couple years back. Padang food is usually cooked once a day and mostly served at room temperature. That's why when you go to a Padang restaurant, they will display everything and let you do the pick and choosing at the table.

When Mattatouille and Glutster visited my home town, we went to Sari Nusantara, a Padang restaurant in Surabaya, for their first Padang meal.
That day the three of us plus my friend and my dad pretty much ate all the dishes. The tour de force: fish head curry
The body of the fish was grilled but in my opinion the fish head curry is superior with its much more tender meat.

When I was little and couldn't eat spicy food (still can't today but I'm getting way better) I used to eat ayam pop, chicken cooked with garlic and butter. I loved ayam pop but I'm not sure if it was because now I can eat spicier food or because the version at Sari Nusantara wasn't that good, but the one we had that day was pretty bland. I would have to try ayam pop at Rumah Sederhana again to see which it really is.

daun singkong (cassava leaves)

To calm my palate down, I had a glass of kopyor. Kopyor is actually a coconut with a genetic defect. Instead of the smooth, meaty flesh in a regular coconut, the flesh of kopyor is tender, easily peels off from the inner layer of the skin, and is crumbly. There usually isn't much water inside kopyor, and the flesh is made into a drink using syrup. Es kopyor is a very popular drink in Indonesia and costs more than regular coconut.

There's a folklore that says that when there is a lunar eclipse, the moon comes down to earth and eats coconuts. The leftovers of those eaten coconuts become kopyor.

If you are in LA and want to try Padang food, I'd suggest Raso Minang in West Covina.

Sari Nusantara
Jl. Gubernur Suryo No. 24
Jawa Timur (East Java)
Phone: 031-5348638

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Offaly Indonesian: Brains, Lungs, and Feet

It all started with Sinosoul's comment on my IndoKitchen post. "Where are the brains?" he asked, so I shot him a quick email. I know just the place for Indonesian cow brains.

Sinosoul and his lady, Wandering Chopsticks, Kung Food Panda, and Food Marathon joined me at Raso Minang, a food court outpost in the Hong Kong Plaza all the way in West Covina.
Raso Minang is the only place in the area I know of that specializes in this regional cusine from Padang in West Sumatra. Padang food is typically known for its spicy dishes (although here it is of course - to the dismay of some - toned down some). Padang food is also usually cooked at the beginning of the day, and left out in small portions on display so that the customers can grab and pay for what they want. Raso Minang being at a food court though, does it the typical food court way. Cooked items are on the display case and you order a "combo" served with rice and cucumber:
1 item $ 6.99
2 items $ 8.50
3 items $ 9.75

I got a typical Indonesian dessert drink while waiting, Es Doger ($3.50)
It is typically shaved ice with condensed milk, syrup, cassava, and coconut but here the ice and syrup has been blended into a smoothie.
Raso Minang also sells whole coconut (in the shell).

What we all came for: Beef Brain Curry (Gulai Otak)
Pieces of beef brain in flavorful yellow curry. This dish is full of spice but not spicy, the curry is rich and creamy from the coconut milk, and the brain ... well, think sweetbreads. Did I think of mad cow when I was eating this? Of course. But that won't hit til years from now :P

The other items we got was the Beef Rendang (left) and Beef Feet Curry (Gulai tunjang).
These are both spicier than the brain curry, although not as spicy as Food Marathon wanted it to be :P I quite like the rendang here, it's pretty tender and spicy and doused in curry as it should be.

I also got a side order of one of my favorite Indonesian dishes: pempek (fish cakes with vinegar sauce)
This is quite a good rendition of pempek, with chewy and flavorful fish cake with crispy fried skin. A hit with the table and perhaps the best version I've found in LA to date.

West Covina is pretty far, so I wouldn't come here often, but if you're looking for good Padang food in the LA area, or have been dying to try brain curry, well now you know where to go!

Raso Minang
989 S Glendora Ave #15
West Covina, CA 91790
(626) 939-3333
Raso Minang on Urbanspoon
Raso Minang in Los Angeles

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