Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Eat n Eat Food Court @ Mal Kelapa Gading Shopping Mall V

Finding good local food without the risk of getting a stomach upset was always going to be a tall order for our tour guide, especially after spending his last 3 years working coincidentally in Malaysia. I would think asking him to recommend a place to eat in Malaysia would have been a far easier task.

In fact i face the same problem as the tour guide when friends from all parts of the world come knocking on my door, asking me to show them the wide cuisine that Malaysia has to offer, not withstanding the fact that their stomach is oh so fragile.

So there are times when i have the luxury to drive and take them out to a good local place (what less can be expected from me) and if they are unlucky, suffer from purging after.

Otherwise with a (lets face it) inadequate public transportation system, ultimately i end up pointing them in the direction of shopping malls, if i am not free. Even if you were to ask me personally, half my meals during the weekend would end up being consumed in shopping mall restaurants as it is quite the norm here.

I suppose the pressure was on the guide and finally he guided us to Mal Kelapa Gading, one of the largest shopping malls in Indonesia.

Initially when i finally found out that we were heading to a shopping mall, people around me thought i was going to throw a fit and scream like a baby sitting on the floor because mommy wouldn't buy candy. I mean i could technically embarrass myself since it is not every blue moon i am in Jakarta, right?

[In the end, some sulked while others smiled]

If there was any consolation, the Eat n Eat Food Court is not your everyday stalls lined up in a row and white school benches to eat and leave. The whole place has been made to look like it comes out from the 70s with lots of wood and dim lighting used in the decor.

It does resemble the carts they use outdoors minus the soot, dirt and the dirty old man that comes with it

One drink that the tour guide asked us to try was the Alpokat Juice, blended avocado with chocolate condensed milk. Creamy and sweet, some may find it abit hard to swallow but i say, give me a whole avocado to eat any day if i had a choice. The funny thing though is that avocados are abundantly available in Indonesia, so why is Malaysia importing them from South Africa or Australia for exorbitant prices? Feeling very adventurous? Try the cendol with added tapai and durian. The tapai is essentially fermented tapioca resulting in a very raw and strong alcohol taste, not for the weak hearted.

Another common drink is the Strawberry juice which does have a similar colour to Watermelon juice. Taste? Got to find out for you.

Once you are all refreshed, you go seek out your food.

Me want this, ok?

Bebek? Duck but Fried duck? I found heaven.

We can have all this?

Some dishes are cooked to order, like the bebek goreng as well as the bakmie, literally meaning fried mee.

Lookwise, the bakmie may look similar to our mee mamak that we get at our local stalls in Malaysia, tastewise, it is on the sweet side, flavours are mild and not pungent nor tongue numbing.

Something definitely not easily available, is the fried duck. Fried to perfection, crispy skin and juicy meat, one drumstick will never be enough to share around, unless you continue to order.

Lontong Cap Gomeh Komplit. Having problems wondering what you should have with your rice or noodles, or in this case lontong? Make sure you choose the option "komplit" which i assume is "the lot" or "give me everything you got". This was the favourite dish among us, wowing us with the combination of all the different components, while not spicy, it was just right and the spices used worked perfectly. I even slurped up most of the soup/sauce.

Nasi Gudeg is another version of mixed rice, similar to Nasi Padang that originates from Yogyakarta. Jackfruit is supposedly used here so i am guessing the sauce on the rice may have some element of the fruit giving it a rather unique flavour. The background portion of what looks like acar is as i found out online is buffalo skin. Looks like i was half correct when i exclaimed i think i found pork skin in this dish! Should have seen the face of my halal adik.

Nasi Bakar, at this point, offer me rice and i usually turn you down politely or become violent from all the carbohydrates. However, the rice on this plate was oh so fragant and along with a smoky side to it too, i had to take a few bites. At this point too, you might also figure out that the staple dishes in anything local involves kampung chicken, tau foo and tempe, anyone care to explain why?

More Tau Foo Bakar?

Apart from pork free dishes, there are some that use pork, i.e. in the pork satay. The satay is grilled along with sweet sauce, a resemblance to their culture, everything being on the sweet side. These were juicy and tender.

What looks like dried noodles topped with minced meat of questionable animals which by this time i was too full to even dig in.

Overall, i must say that the food court did serve its purpose of introducing different local cuisine and dishes while in a very comfortable environment. The food was also pretty tasty, i must admit and maybe didn't warrant that sitting down on the floor like a baby.

It may look clean but we were disgusted by the sight of a baby cockroach that came popping out from the table towards leaving the place. However, to ask me whether it is authentic, would be akin to asking me to write this piece out, without using a keyboard.

Location: Mal Kelapa Gading Shopping Mall, Jakarta

Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars (not including the cockroach). Safest place to eat without upsetting your stomach and in a nice and "clean" environment.


Life for Beginners said...

That photo of them four bloggers squatting down is just too cute for words! Hehe.

And yeah, thing about eating in Indonesia (no offense, btw, to my friends there, the same could apply to some places here) is that you do have to watch where you eat. I've gotten many a tummyache during my year in Jakarta and Bandung... but sometimes the taste is just worth it! ;)

J said...

Mmmm.. the fried duck looks goooood. :D

Well, at least this way you all could try many types of Indon cuisine while your tummies acclimatised to their local bacteria? :)

Selba said...

A lot of people like to eat at this mall.

btw, the tofu, it's not tau foo bakar, it's "tahu gejrot" aka our Indonesian stinky tofu, originally comes from Cirebon - a small town in West Java. It's not being bakar but fried ;)

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

selba: yeah i guessed so when he bought us to the shopping mall.

thanks for the identification! although i must say for stinky tofu, it wasn't smelly and actually also had that hint of smokiness.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pureglutton said...

What are the yummy stuff in that Lontong Komplit (besides the lontong)?
Bebek Goreng sounds nice!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

pureglutton: i think theres radish, alot of mild spices and probably coconut milk and the young chicken drumstick!

yapthomas said...

I hate you! Now you made me hungry. It's not even lunch yet! Ish.. :P

thule a.k.a leo said...

I hate you! I miss Indonesian food now

Sean said...

hey, this looks really interesting, almost like an indonesian version of lot 10's hutong? :D

babe_kl said...

ohh so they sell pork along side too? :p

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

babekl: yeap! cool hor?

sean: tat was my first impression too!

leo: dont la, i take it slower ok?

yapthomas: dont worry, im sure u had a great lunch n dinner too

qwazymonkey said...

U must have been like a little kid in a candy store after all. Your choices are an endless! Reminds me of Food Republic in Vivo City

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

jon: i was!! suddenly i realised candy was all over, with or without mummy!

Hanis Zalikha said...

Yeah we are cute like that thanks. Chomelll. Kehkehkeh. OMG RINDU MAKAN W YOU GUYS :")

vialentino said...

hi ur foodie site....nice food recommendation as well....

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

vialentino: thank u for ur kind comments

hanis: haha chomell...

Barb said...

Food looks just amazing, I love indonesian food, and your photos are stunning as well. Nice shots!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

barb: thanks for the compliments!

thenomadGourmand said...

err..why is all the pics so dark?

yea, food courts r an almost perfect choice whn one wants variety.

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

tng: dark?? u sure ur screen not set right?

Niki Cheong said...

One of the best meals of our trip!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

niki: of kors!