Tip number one – if you’re going to brag about your specialty dish, then it’s best not to do so in front of a foodie. That is, unless you’re willing to make good and prove its worthiness. After a few side comments from our friend Andy about the sheer awesomeness of his beef rendang, a group of us decided to challenge him to make it for us to eat. The perfect occasion for this was his birthday which was just around the corner and we were lucky enough to be treated to an Indonesian feast, followed up by the obligatory birthday cake.
An Indonesian meal is not the same without a popper of Teh Botol – an Indonesian sweetened Jasmine tea.
How pretty! The bulk of our food was catered by an Indonesian restaurant in Kingsford and was beautifully presented as a platter. In the centre was a cone of saffron rice surrounded by Indonesian favourites such as fried tempeh (an Indonesian soybean cake), grilled chicken, grilled beef, hard boiled eggs with sambal and spicy pickled vegetables which was very similar to Indian achar.
Another Indonesian favourite, these were served with a creamy peanut sauce and a generous drizzle of kecap manis (a thick syrupy sweet soy sauce).
Pumpkin & Fetta Salad
A bit out of place at an Indonesian meal, but there had to be a vegetarian option!
Andy Wana’s Beef Rendang
Finally, the dish of the day. I’m used to a semi-dry beef rendang so it was a bit of a surprise to find that his version was more saucy than I expected. Not that this was a bad thing, the sauce was extra creamy with a decent amount of coconut milk and had just the right amount of spice. The slow cooked beef was nice and tender which was perfect with a bowl of white rice drowned in the luscious sauce. With the majority of us going back for seconds, there were nothing else we could do but undeniably justify Andy in his claims.
Since it was a birthday lunch after all, there was no excuse not to end the meal with a piece of birthday cake. On offer were a black forest cake and a vanilla fruit cake. Not being able to resist, I had a piece from each! Once again, “Happy Birthday Andy!” :)
On a side note, a belated Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everybody! :) Hope that 2010 brings along many more eating escapades and cooking challenges!