Palembang style of spicy Carbonara

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Whenever you go to Palembang, Sumatera island of Indonesia ask the locals about Mi Celor (‘Mi’ = noodle, pronounced like mi in miracle ; ‘Celor’ = dipped into, pronounced like cello + r) . 

One of the oldest joint is belong to Mr. Haji M. Syafei at 26 ilir. that’s where I had for breakfast in Palembang. 

For pasta lover and noodle enthusiast, this is a must try. the broth is very thick from the thickest part of coconut milk, and yet it so damn creamy you would think they use eggs and cheese. It instantly remind me of Carbonara sauce because it so smooth. 

The spices and condiments contains seafood, so becareful if you have food allergy. 

   
   
this is not a fine dining restaurant, but its authentic. the meal is already mildly spicy, but you can add chilli salsa as you please for the daring ones. 

the noodle’s are home made and have the consistency similar to udon. soak up the rest of the broth with Kerupuk (fish crackers) hmmm… a power breakfast indeed. 

Having the bride’s tear for breakfast at Padang

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I went to Padang again, this time for work, and our host take us to a Bopet. It’s a small neighbourly restaurants that open for breakfast.

If you think Pizza for breakfast is strange, than you might a little bit surprise what I had for my breakfast at Padang.

The Bopet’s speciality is on a clear soup with special padangnese spices called SOTO PADANG. The toppings are deep fried beef’s cube. Ranging from the meat, lung, stomach, intestine, etc. The most popular ones are the meat and lung. They are so damn crunchy and savoury, without greasy taste.

I had the two most popular topings and white fluffy rice to soak on all that lip smackin’ broth. The condiments provided were sambal or chili paste, sliced lime and dark sweet soy sauce. For extra few rupiahs you could ask for a small plate of cruncy lung cubes. I did. I love lung.

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the crackling crunchy beef lungs served with herb and fried red onions.

 

My favourite way to eat SOTO PADANG is: I asked for a bowl of meat topping clear soup and add extra plate of lung. Half of the crunchy lung immersed into the broth for a couple of minutes. I add few spoon of white rice into the soup bowl, add sambal, lime and sweet soy sauce and stir. Every time I take a spoon full I get a little bit of every thing: a fibery crunch from the meat cubes, an airy crunch from the lung cubes and a spongy-gummy savory lung make the experience so delicious.

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my tummy hummed in satisfaction, feeling warm and fuzzy after a bowl of hot soup in the morning

 

And for dessert, Yes we have dessert at breakfast, is a glass of pink punch called the bride’s tear. The colour is blushing pink. The taste is sweet and savoury. In the punch there were coconut milk, rose syrup, hair thin jelly in pink. I asked why they called it the bride’s tear; they said because it’s so girly yet innocent like a virgin bride but the taste not only sweet, also savoury. like tasting a young wife’s tears. I am not sure about the accuracy of this background story about the bride’s tear stuff. I taste so damn good anyway.

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this is a glass of bride’s tears punch. a cold sweet end to my power breakfast in Padang.

 

So, whenever you go to West Sumatera, stop at Padang and try the breakfast culture at the nearest Bopet. Mine was called Bopet Rajawali.

 

 

Japan in a dash

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A week ago I just finished a Kaizen healthcare tour in Japan. It’s not a holiday event, It’s a business trip. But, I managed to take a few of quick shots of food collages we’ve been tasting.

Unfortunately some of my foodgasm experiences I couldn’t get my phone fast enough because it reached my mouth  first. I tasted some of the best sushi in my life from just by the corner cramped between offices building at Shinagawa. The sushi master served me the best eel sushi I’ve ever tasted in my life. I usually think of eel as a so so dish. And some of japanese restaurant in Indonesia served grilled unagi that are good. But this mind blowing-ly excellent. I didn’t remember if what I eaten what fresh water eel (Unagi) or sea water eel (Anago). I’m sure the waiter told me in Tarzan style sign languange (she didn’t speak english. But said yes when I ask “Is this eel?”), or but maybe I’m too hungry to listen. Okay, back to the Unagi/Anago suhi I had. The eel flesh is so fluffy, not oily at all (It usually is at regular sushi in Indonesia) and the most important thing the seasoning was so mild and balanced (usually it will be too sweet for me). Oh my God! It’s like eating cloud on the bed of vinegar rice. Totally foodgasm experienced. And I went there twice, still forgot to click my phone. The tuna, salmon, shrimp and octopus sushi also very very good. When I told the other tour participant about this, some of them said they also experience A++ sushi at other neighbourhood at Shinagawa. So, look for teeny tiny sushi restaurant when visiting Shinagawa for mind blowing experience. Oh the price isn’t that expensive either. My colleague and I ate a big plate of assortments sushi, plus two extra shrimp, a grilled tuna cheek, a bowl of salmon sashimi and four extra eel sushi and I payed for both of us for 4800 Yen.

So here are some pictures of the other food experience I had while dashing through Japan in between heavy schedule of the tour. Enjoy!

1. we had vegetarian lunch

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The veggie appetizer

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veggie main (rice with veggie croquet and salad)

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veggie dessert (rather awesome sponge cake with ice cream)

2. Izakaya style dinner

 

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Appetizer 1 cold tofu with dressing

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appetizer 2 tuna and white fish (forgot the name)

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tapas style main 1 a little of everything from fish, egg to seaweed. The main 2 course is mushroom rice, forgot to photo but it’s the best food for that night

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forgot what it was

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roasted tea ice cream for dessert. like a frozen smoke but sweet.

 

 

Don’t miss the King while you’re in Medan

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Who’s the King?

I don’t mean the royal. I mean the King of fruit, Durian.

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The King of Medan; Durian Medan

I know that Durian is an acquired taste. Even the mighty Andrew Zimmern felt weak in the knee facing this amazing fruit. But if never tried it, how you know you don’t like it? Don’t judge food from it smell. Hey, if this javanese girl can take the smell of blue cheese and grew to like it, you can do the same with Durian.

Durian Medan will not be the same like those jumbo fruit on steroid stuff you might find at Singapore or Bangkok. Most of Durian Medan came from the forest, or forest like farm. It flesh won’t be as thick as Singaporean or Bangkok’s but the taste ….oooh…. so good. It got more depth, layers of different sweetness and texture.

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These ones were on the bittery sweet side because it contain more alcohol in the fruit.

The most famous durian eating joint in Medan will be Ucok Durian. I personally won’t recommend this place for you if you came alone without the locals, because they unfortunately less friendly. I prefer to look for other Durian joints, that you can see a mountain pile of durians but less customer.

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If you saw a huge pile like this, that means you have lots of option to choose from. So anywhere in Medan with mountains of thorny balls, you’ll be fine.

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These were my favorite, so buttery with mild sweetness.

Why is that? Because most of Durian Medan are great, you won’t be difficult to eat deliciously. But you can have more attentive vendors that spent time to explain things for you, ask your preference of the fruit (mild sweet, very sweet or bitter sweet), provide you with water to wash your hands and other tiny extra services that you most likely won’t get it at the popular joint. Besides, you will be eating it on the spot. If the vendors gave you the bad fruit, ask them to replace that for you. Or if you don’t like the taste, not to your preference, ask them to replace it. Remember, only pay for the fruits you agreed on and eating. Don’t pay for the bad stuff. Whenever I come to Medan, I just stop by to any Durian joint crack one or two for my self, and I never disappointed.

Dude, please try some when you come to Medan. If you like it, that’s great! You’ve experienced one of the most intoxicating beauty of fruits in the world from my perspective. But if you didn’t like it, well at least you know for sure.

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My mom just can’t wait me to take more pictures.

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Oooh, she’s loving it. Don’t worry about funny face or a bit mess, every good food always like that.

Cool your self from the sunny Medan with old school home made ice cream

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Yes, I agree with you that Medan sometimes can be super sunny even for equator-born gal like me. I often seek for small restos or tents that offers not only cool remedy for my sweaty body but also some history for my mind.

One of my aunt’s favorite is Ria ice cream at Surabaya street, Medan.

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Watch carefully for this non-challant sign. Psst, I always missed it and make our driver took another turn. it happened every time.

You must look carefully for not so obvious sign board at noon. The sate padang and martabak carts displaying their food in front weren’t helping the store to be easier to find either. That’s how old school they are. My mother in law and my aunt said that the store had been around since their teenagers. Wow, that’s like 25-30 years ago!

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My aunt’s fave combo; choc-orange with lychee.

The selection of ice cream flavours really describe their glorious history at the 70’s and 80’s. Sweet corn, oranges, very light chocolate flavor (back then, chocolate and milk were expensive), light strawberry and durian. They also mix the ice cream with fresh or canned fruits, like lychee, palm fruits, papayas. My mom’s favourite is the ice cream soda, with plain soda water and sliced fruits. Oh so vintage but yet so appropriate with the Medan vibe and repelled the heat effectively. We don’t want heavy milky ice cream on a very hot and humid day, we just want cold freshness that light and easy breezy like the long waited wind on summer days.

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My 1st try was the sweet corn and kopyor (or young coconut) with palm fruits condiment

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Hmm mommy with her ice cream soda, but her eyes wandering to the martabak vendors at front. They also great, but I recommend to eat separately from the ice cream to be able to appreciate each dish better. PS: I eventually bought her one portion of martabak (savoury pancake made from plenty of eggs, mince meats and green onions) to go for her late snack at the hotel.