Showing posts with label rendang. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rendang. Show all posts

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Grainivore: A Tiny Singaporean Join in Koreatown

The name Grainivore certainly doesn't sound like a Singaporean restaurant and who knows why they decided to open up in Koreatown, but there it was. Grainivore is a tiny joint (there is extra seating in a back room, which is connected by an alleyway) serving up combo Singaporean meals on paper plates.

You first choose between steamed rice, chicken rice, or coconut rice. Then, there are four protein choices: Hainan chicken, barbecue pork, shrimp paste chicken, and beef rendang. All the combos are $6.99 except beef rendang costs $2 extra.

The place closes at 8pm and when I came around 7pm they were out of the pork and Hainan chicken, so I ordered the beef rendang on coconut rice. All the combos come with a salad with peanut dressing.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In Search of a Taste of Home: IndoKitchen

Indonesian cuisine in Los Angeles is not as common as Thai or Vietnamese, but as a student living in LA indefinitely, I still have to try some good representation of my country's cuisine. I've tried out the Indonesian restaurants on the westside through downtown, and also Pondok Kaki Lima at Duarte Inn, but there are still a few restaurants in the SGV I have yet tried.

So, to celebrate my exam passing a couple months ago, I had a pre-party dinner with Wandering Chopsticks, Kung Food Panda, and an old classmate, at Indo Kitchen in Alhambra.

I like avocado smoothies with chocolate syrup which is a typical Indonesian dessert, so of course I got one here - I'm celebrating after all.
Unfortunately the one here is not so great. It tasted like the avocado was not fresh, and the shake had a bitter aftertaste. I didn't manage more than a few sips.

As a starter I ordered the Ketoprak, which is a Javanese dish typically consisting of tofu, vermicelli, bean sprouts, etc, in peanut sauce.
A pretty good rendition, albeit it doesn't have all of the usual ingredients.

We also got one of my favorite dishes from childhood - goat Tongseng.
We usually make tongseng from leftover goat curry by adding vegetables (mainly cabbage) and then eat this the next day. Tongseng is usually not as spicy. The tongseng here is pretty good. The goat is a bit gamey (which I like) and tender, the flavors and spices are right on.

We also got their special fried chicken (I don't know why I neglected to take a photo of this!) which were also pretty good and flavorful.

Of course, we also got some rendang for Kung Food Panda who was new to Indonesian food. Rendang - braised beef curry, is a safe dish that people usually recommend to the newbies.
The rendang here is not bad, but could be better. Normally you would use smaller chunks of meat such that the result is more tender, easily cut with just the tip of your fork. Since Indo Kitchen uses bigger chunks, the meat is not as tender as it could be, and the sauce doesn't seep through into the meat completely. Still a pretty good dish - the meat is not tough and the sauce is flavorful - but could be made much better with just one simple change.

Overall a pretty good Indonesian restaurant, and I think the conclusion is mostly the same as the other Indonesian restaurants in Los Angeles. Indonesian cuisine spans thousands of islands with different cultures - and food cultures. It's impossible for one kitchen to get them all right, so at each place, order wisely and you'll be satisfied.

Indo Kitchen
5 N 4th St
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 282-1676
www.indokitchenalhambra.com
Indo Kitchen on Urbanspoon
Indo Kitchen in Los Angeles

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Newly Revived Pondok Kaki Lima in Duarte

Pondok Kaki Lima in Duarte Inn was close to being a mecca of Indonesian food - then it got shut down by the local authorities. After negotiation with the city, they finally managed to get back up on their feet and reopened in January 2009.

The Indonesian food fair is held behind the Duarte Inn every Saturday afternoon.

A bit of background, Pondok Kaki Lima literally means Five Feet Hut (Pondok=hut, kaki=feet, lima=five), but don't let that confuse you. Pondok kaki lima is the phrase we use to call street food vendors.

So, as you can expect here, tents of street vendors occupy the lot in Duarte Inn, sellling food items from satays, rendang, to drinks and desserts.

I've been wanting to hit this place again since its reopening and finally had my chance when Wandering Chopsticks said that she was free. Off we go!

Right in the same complex there is an Indonesian restaurant also an Indonesian grocery store - so in case you found yourself there when the PKL is not operating, you can still get your indonesian fix. The Indonesian restaurant is a bit misleadingly named Chicky BBQ & Grill. I have yet to try it but it is apparently one of LA&OC Foodie's favorite lunch spots.

The more common options here involve getting a rice plate with three or so items. We got a plate of nasi kuning (literally, 'yellow rice') which is turmeric rice, with rendang (slow cooked beef in coconut milk and spices), tendons, and sayur lodeh (vegetables in coconut milk curry).
As you see, almost everything involves coconut milk (aka kentan). We love our coconut milk!
The rendang here is pretty good. Rendang is supposed to be slow-cooked and thus should be very tender. Many places are lazy and just cook it with spices or ready-made seasoning that results in tough beef cubes. Not here. The rendang was tender and spicy.

The turmeric rice was fragrant. I liked the lodeh, although WC did not. Maybe it's an acquired taste? I thought it was a pretty good, albeit milder, rendition of Indonesian lodeh.

We also got some pork satays from "Sate Babi Heidi" (pork satay Heidi), served with some lontong in peanut sauce. Lontong is rice cake made with tightly packed rice cooked in banana leaves and most commonly eaten with peanut sauce. When you eat sate (satays), the lontong accompaniment is a must.
The sate was tender and sweet like the chinese chashu - delicious! The lontong however, while it would otherwise be very good, was cold. Lontong is never meant to be served hot or warm - but I do believe it should be room temperature. I think they need to sit them out and defrost them a bit more :<

Duarte Inn
1200 Huntington Dr
Duarte, CA 91010
Saturdays, 10am- 2 pm

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