This restaurant is now closed
"Could I book a table for two tonight?" I ask the voice at the other end of the phone.
"I think you don't book, you just come in and if I have a table then I'll give it to you, otherwise no. It's very busy here!" the frantic male voice answers and hangs up.
"Oh dear" I say to Mr NQN. "Shall we chance it?" and he agrees. After all on Anzac Parade there are plenty of choices available and if they can't take us, we can always try another place. We walk in and ask for a table for two and the man (we guess the one that answers the phone) points us to a table. There is a huge birthday party in progress that takes up most of the restaurant and I recall this being the former site of the one time ubiquitous "Black Stump" restaurant chain.
Service is friendly and prompt and they take our order quickly. The kitchen is slower and we a long time for our entrees perhaps slowed down by the large party. We start with drinks that are kind of dessert. In the Ice Campur there is palm seeds, nata de coco jelly, jackfruit and shaved ice as well as sweet, thick dark brown palm sugar syrup.
The Ice Telur is similar but less sweet missing the palm sugar syrup and with avocado and I prefer the Ice Campur.
Our Martabak Telor is the first dish to arrive. This looks slightly different to the other Martabaks that I have tried which are sweet ones that seem almost like crumpets with filling. This is a thin, very crunchy pastry filled with beef, egg and spring onion and vegetables and tastes similar to a spring roll but in a different form. It comes with satay sauce and a fruity cucumber pickle and we both enjoy this.
We got two of the chicken, lamb and beef satay and each stick is absolutely scrumptious. The marinade penetrates through the meat and makes it juicy and flavoursome and you could easily and happily eat it all even without the peanut sauce.
I adore yellow coconut rice so we both eagerly ordered this. This has a bit of everything including fried chicken, sambal and potato prawns, a potato croquette and Ikan Bilis which is peanuts and small fish toasted with a caramelised chilli paste. I usually like Ikan Bilis to a mild degree but here I love it and I contemplate asking for more. The fried chicken is a tad dry (but I find that is how chicken is usually cooked Indonesian style) and Mr NQN loves the prawn and potato sambal but for me, it's all about the ikan bilis and the yellow rice.
We asked the waiter to recommend some specialities and this is said to be their specialty dish. There is a warning on the menu that this will take 30 minutes but once we got our entrees, we didn't have to wait long for this or our mains. The whole fish comes out barbecued with a sweet Kecap Manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) based sauce and comes with three sauces which are all furiously hot which I like but Mr NQN find a bit too hot. The fish is quite good although the Nasi Tumpung Mini still remains our favourite dish.
Mr NQN loves lemongrass so we thought that we would order this dish which is said to be half a chicken marinated in lemongrass, galangal, nutmeg and coriander seeds. It doesn't appear to be a half chicken though although it is nicely presented on an elevated wooden plate. The flavours aren't bad although they aren't particularly strong.
We get ready to go but our waiter stops us and tells us that they're about to put on the live music and karaoke. We will spare the patrons our singing skills.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you like very spicy food or just a little spice or none at all?
84 Anzac Parade, Kensington, NSW
Tel: +61 (02) 9663 0404
This restaurant is now closed