We try holidaying at home through food - this weekend we are in Indonesia via Kingsford.
Sometimes a food craving is linked to the memory of travel. Two years ago Shawn and I travelled through Bali and Java, slurpling bakso soups, munching on crispy bebek (duck) and developing a strange addiction to tempeh. This weekend we get the Indo bug and decide to eat nothing but Indonesian food, and we visit this place in Kingsford we've always wanted to try.
The simplicity of this place is just what we crave. Help yourself cutlery, tissues and water, and pile up little red side dishes of pickled cucumber and vinegary chilli sauce.
Es Jeruk Nipis - iced lemon drink, fresh lemon juice, soda and buckets of sugar and Es Kelapa Muda - ice coconut, soft slivers of coconut meat and a sweet syrup. $4 each. Only tube ice would make us feel more at home. I love the way the spoons match the colour of the drinks.
Jagung Keju - fried cheese corn - $4. Underneath this pile of cheese is a lightly fried pile of warm corn. Strangely satisfying.
Mie Ayam - Chicken Noodle with bakso (meatball) - $7. The noodles had the characteristic buttery / oily taste we love. Poor the soup over the lot for a sweet syrup at the end.
Bakso special soup with fried wontons, $8.00. The bakso is a little chewy, and the wontons are crisp and still slightly oily from their swim in the deep fryer. Two types of noodles, hunks of tofu and a flavoursome broth complement them.
We come back again on Sunday to try the house special - Martabak Telur - Egg Pancake - Beef - $13.
Murtabak is like a crispy roti that has been folded and layered over a filling of minced beef, onion and eggs. We could see the chef out the back carefully rolling and folding the pastry before cooking it. It's light and crunchy and we gobble the lot. The cucumber pickle helps cut some of the oil, and the chilli side adds a little more kick.
Pempek kapal selam - fried fishcake - $7.50. I always love the egg surprise in pempek. This one had a nice texture to the fish cake, not the rubber consistency of some. The surrounding sauce was more spicy than usual, but this really suited the plain flavours of the pempek. Golden and crispy on the outside, and a few noodles, almost as a garnish.
We'll be back to try the sweet, crispy version.
It's a small menu, but lots to try. Grilled chicken could be calling too.
The bevearges look refreshing, and you can always try the teh botol in little poppers in the fridge ($1.50).
Bakso's House / Rosebery Martabak is at 341A Anzac Parade, Kingsford. Phone 9662 3706.
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