Sarai Minang, the hidden Indonesian restaurant in Kuching

July 21, 2016 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries, Sarawak

Most would not know there is an Indonesian restaurant behind Wisma Prudential, Jalan Abell, Kuching.  We also did not know there is a restaurant there until Meen, the owner of Riung Kuring, told us about her other restaurant there.

So, we decided to check out the restaurant. We used Waze to guide our way, and it brought us right to the restaurant’s door step. We took the long way, entering the junction near HSBC Bank, then turn to the first junction on the left. Then, drive along the one-way road. You will have to pass Great Eastern building, then make a U-turn at the left junction.  There will be a junction on the right. If you enter from the junction at Prudential, you only need turn left once, and then drive about a hundred metres ahead to reach the restaurant.

Sarai Minang

Sarai Minang

Our first impression when we were first seated was the place was a bit warm despite having an open space. There were several ceiling fans but since there were not many people when we arrived, most fans were switched off.

We ordered a glass of iced tea and a glass of Jagung Susu. Since we are not that familiar with Padang dishes, we asked the employee to recommend us some dish. With the help of the owner and the waiter, we ordered Dendeng Balado (deep fried beef with sambal on top), Ikan Bawal Bakar (grilled pomfret fish), Gado-Gado (vegetable with peanut sauce), Tauhu Goreng (deep fried tofu), and plain white rice.

Iced tea and Jagung Susu

Iced tea and Jagung Susu

When the Dendeng Balado was served, we thought it would be quite spicy, judging the amount of crushed red chillies on top of it. The meat actually looked like beef jerky with chillies. Surprisingly, it does not taste spicy at all to the point we could not taste the spiciness.

Dendeng Balado

Dendeng Balado

The grilled fish was also quite mediocre, but it tasted like a normal grilled fish from other restaurant; nothing special about it. Same goes with the ayam penyet.

Ikan Bawal Bakar

Ikan Bawal Bakar

Ayam Penyet

Ayam Penyet

We liked the gado-gado, as they were quite generous with the peanut sauce. The gado-gado is a mix of long beans, cabbage, fried tofu and crackers. The crackers tasted a bit different than what we have at our local store, and I remember tasting a similar keropok at my friend’s house which she bought from nearby town, Serikin; near Indonesia border.

Gado-Gado

Gado-Gado

The fried tofu was served with some green sambal. The sambal looked spicy but when we bite into it, the sambal was not spicy.

Fried tofu

Fried tofu

Our verdict:

Taste: 6/10

Price: 6/10

Ambience: 5/10

So, if you wish to try out their dishes, head over to their restaurant at Jalan Abell, Kuching. They are closed on Sundays.

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Bumbu Cabe, a Sundanese restaurant in Kuching

April 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Best Kuching Eateries

Kuching lately has seen an increase of halal restaurants popping up all over the city. Now Muslims can have variety of options for eating out.

This is what we thought when we stumble across the new Sundanese restaurant at ICOM Square. The name of the restaurant is Bumbu Cabe. It is located at ICOM Square, Jalan Pending, 93450 Kuching, Sarawak. ‘Bumbu’ generally means seasoning, and it can be spice mixtures, sauces or seasoning pastes while ‘cabe’ stands for chilli.

We were brought to our seats upon entering and the staffs were very helpful in assisting us to order as it was our first time eating there. There were several dishes displayed at the counter, and you could pick and choose the dishes and let the staff know so they could serve it for you. When we had chosen several dishes, we returned to our seats while the staffs heat up the food and sent it to our table when they were done.

 

Bumbu Cabe during lunch time

Bumbu Cabe during lunch time

 

We were also served a plate of ‘lalab’, a Sundanese raw vegetable salad served with 4 types of sambal for free. These 4 sambals have their own unique taste and might be a bit spicy for some people.

Lalab, a Sundanese raw vegetable salad served with 4 types of sambal

Lalab, a Sundanese raw vegetable salad served with 4 types of sambal

Free sambals at the counter

Free sambals at the counter

During our visit there, we ordered a glass of Ice Honey Lemon and a glass of Soda Gembira which when translated to mean “Happy Soda” and one of the mocktail known to Indonesian. It contained soda water, condensed milk, and red rose flavoured syrup. We also ordered nasi liwet (rice dish cooked in coconut milk, chicken broth and spices) with salted egg, plain white rice, ayam bakar kecap (roasted chicken with soy sauce), tumis kacang buncis (stir fried pole beans) and bala bala (deep fried vegetable fritters).

The nasi liwet tasted like nasi lemak; our very own coconut milk rice, though the fried anchovies and salted eggs were nice addition to it. We liked the bala bala very much. Even though the ayam bakar kicap tasted a bit sweet, and the tumis kacang buncis is a bit oily, we still enjoyed all the food, accompanied by soft Indonesian instrumental music.

Bumbu Cabe

Besides that, they also serve ikan gurame terbang (literally means ‘flying gurame fish’), ayam Bumbu Cabe (the restaurant’s special chicken dish), ayam kremes (crunchy fried chicken), ayam bumbu Bali (chicken fried with Nusantara spices), terung balado (eggplants with chilli sauce), cumi cabe ijo (fried squid with green chillies), sambal kacang teri (fried groundnuts in chilli sauce), gepuk sapi (fried beef dish), rujak buah (fruit salad mixed with spicy peanut sauce), karedok (raw vegetable salad in peanut sauce), kentang mustofa (deep fried potato strips with chilli sauce), and many other dishes.

 Dishes at Bumbu Cabe  20160506_125012
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Each dish has the price per portion displayed next to them. You can estimate how many portions and the total price of your food based on the displayed price as the dishes are a bit pricey.

The ambience of the restaurant is also quite nice. The walls looked like the traditional leaf mat, and the owner said he painted it himself, and it took him about 2 months! They have indoor and outdoor seating area. The indoor area design was inspired by traditional Indonesian house, with wooden furniture, bamboo baskets to display the food, and traditional Indonesian music playing in the background. The outdoor area has several low tables that look like Japanese style dining table, but instead of sitting on the floor, they have long benches around the table.

 20160506_125347  20160506_125342

Our verdict:

Taste: 8/10

Price: 6/10

Ambience: 9/10

So, if you wish to try out their dishes, head over to their restaurant at ICOM Square or at CityOne Mall, Jalan Song, Kuching. You can also book in advance as the place can be quite crowded during lunch and dinner time. They are closed on Sundays.

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