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


Wandering Chopsticks

Kopyor=macapuno? The deformed coconut is one of my favorite flavors at Fosselman's.

I dunno about them setting it all on the table. So if you don't want it, they'll set it down on someone else's table? Or it was on someone else's table before being placed on yours? I don't like the thought of that! But I guess if they just left it behind the counter, you wouldn't be as tempted to eat it all so they could make money.


I just looked up macapuno and I think yes, those two are the same!

Haha whether or not they came from someone else's table .. I guess that probably depends on the establishment :p


What a cool custom! I would mostly likely be tempted to try everything! They'd make a pretty penny off a tourist like me.


Ahh...I remember this meal like it was just yesterday!

I remember the string beans in coconut milk, the huge bowl of rice they give each person and the coconut battered room temp. ayam goreng. he he.

Oh, how I miss your hometown!


Looks great Fiona. Maybe I'll actually have to head to West Covina.I certainly can't think of any other reasons to visit that city!

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