Indonesia - Lunch at Depot Twie Mie Gadjah Mada
Opened in 1974, Depot Twie Mie Gadjah Mada is a Malang favorite for Chinese-Indonesian-style pork noodles.
The noodles here closely approximated wanton noodles (which I'm literally screaming for after a few weeks here in Indonesia. BTW, I'm also hankering for Thai, Indian, French, Italian & Japanese food, but that's another story)
Anyway, I ordered the house special - "Pangsit Mie Ayam Jamur", which was chicken noodles, and came with minced chicken-and-pork meat topping and a couple of poached wanton dumplings. Lovely. Missed the KL-style dark soysauce & sesame oil dressing though - but Chinese-Indonesian palates here seemed to have different emphases: they tend to opt for more oniony, saltier, sweeter flavor, and eschew oyster sauce, black vinegar, sesame oil, etc. A little bowl of clear pork consomme sprinkled with finely chopping scallions was served on the side.
Also ordered some deep-fried "lumpia" (spring rolls) - these surprisingly looked flat rather than cylindrical in shape, stuffed with some meat-based filling which (raised eye-brows) actually tasted more like Aussie Chiko roll filling than anything Chinese. The sweet-sour sauce dip complemented the rolls pretty well though.
The drink was interesting - "Es Kopyor", which was a kind of rose-flavored syrup and coconut juice, with young coconut flesh. Refreshing.
Depot Twie Mie Gadjah Mada
Jl. Pasar besar No. 17A
Malang, East Java
"BTW, I'm also hankering for Thai, Indian, French, Italian & Japanese food, but that's another story"
Geez, and you're in Indonesia until early December, right?
Hmm. Would you say there is a certain "general uniformity" or "sameness" to the cuisine in Indonesia *in a broad sense* with little "other" available outside of the really big cities?
Heh. The first thing that popped into my mind when I read "Es Kopyor" was "Ice kopi-or" (= kopi-or ping in Malaysia) which would be a VERY different drink from what you picture. :-)
You've got that right, huiray - Indonesian cuisine throughout Java comprised of variations of "soto ayam", "sate", "nasi pecel", "nasi rawon", etc. Central Javanese (Yogyakarta, Solo) tend to be much sweeter than West Javanese (Jakarta, Bandung) or East Javanese (Surabaya). On top of Javanese, the other very popular cuisine here is Padang food (from Sumatera) - an array of (usually cold) curries, fried items and sambals served with rice.
Outside Jakarta and Bali, non-Indonesian cuisine is very, very difficult to come by.
You know what? With regards to Es Kopyor - I had EXACTLY your thought when I first ordered an Es Kopyor all those years ago (Jakarta in the early-90s) - instead of the expected caffeine injection, the waiter brought me a coconut-jelly drink flavored with pink rose syrup!
Off to Hong Kong (which I regard as my "second home" after Singapore) in early-Dec, so am looking forward to some Cantonese congee, wanton noodles and other comfort foods for a change :-)
Off to HK next? Lucky you.
Thanks for the quick summary of Indo food you find in Java. How about nasi campur, or tumpeng? It's a little ironic to think that the popular conception of "Indonesian food" in the West is rijsttafel, based on Sumateran nasi padang; and something that I understand is rarely found there nowadays anyway. (i.e. rijsttafel, rather than genuine nasi padang from a stall etc)
The only place I'd seen rijstaffel here had been in the posh hotels. Nasi tumpeng seemed to be a celebratory dish here, and not so widely available as I'd expected.
In East Java, where I'm spending quite a bit of time at the moment, "Nasi Pecel" seemed to be more common, rather than "Nasi Campur". That said, the East Javanese doesn't seem to like strong curries or sauces very much, preferring lighter soups or stews. Indian food is very, very unpopular as local tastes found Indian use of spices overwhelming.
huiray, on our 5th week here, a local colleague celebrated his 45th birthday and - lo & behold, we had the celebratory rice dish: the "Nasi Tumpeng"!!
Yellow rice (turmeric-scented and coconut milk-flavored) "Nasi Tumpeng" was shaped in a conical form, and surrounded with spiced prawns, curried potatoes, julienned egg omelette (very important), fried chicken (another essential ingredient), bergedil (potato croquettes), curried vegetables & pickles. Oh, plus fried noodles - in Indonesia, it's customary for rice to be served with noodles as a side-dish - carbo plus carbo. It was delicious.
Apparently, the "cone" shape of the rice was actually meant to resemble a pair of hands clasped in prayer/supplication, like a Thai "wai". To serve the "Nasi Tumpeng", the guest of honor will slice off the top-most peak of the rice cone, as a gesture to thank the gods (or God) above. We had two"Nasi Tumpeng" cones at our birthday party - each cone was enough to feed 30 people! It was utterly delicious!
klyeoh, very nice to see and read about! Thanks for remembering I asked about it.
The style of rice must be a special order "for celebratory occasions" only, then? Can one order it just for the heck of it, for a nice dinner with other folks, that sort of thing?
Interesting, the importance of the omelette and chicken. What do they represent?
The noodles-with-rice thing ... hmm, I don't remember seeing noodle side dishes in the pictures of other rice dishes you have pictured here, but I must have missed them.
huiray, I'd have loved to order a "Nasi Tumpeng", too, just for the heck of it. But it can be regarded as extravagant, and almost like us ordering a multi-tiered cake just to gorge.
I've got to ask my Indon colleagues on the significance of the eggs and chicken - these are used in many offerings in pre-Islamic Hindu culture which influences much of traditional Javanese life.
As for the noodles with rice - the pairing is ever-present in the "Nasi Pecel" breakfast dish, which is as ubiquitous in Java as "Nasi Lemak" in Malaysia! I still can't get used to it though. But I remembered once, in 1994, I saw an English woman enjoying a bowl of steamed white rice with a large helping of fried noodles in Wong Kei, that notorious Chinese restaurant in London Chinatown (in)famous for having the rudest waiters in the world! She never bothered to touch the other dishes on the table - a large platter of fried crabs and a vegetable dish, throughout the meal.
Regarding the rice-with-noodles thing - that was a vivid image you painted of that woman in Wong Kee. :-)
Y'know, in many (if not most) of the Chinese-American restaurants I've been to here in the US the automatic thing is for rice to be provided with noodle dishes - e.g. with fried noodles, "lo mein", etc; even with soup noodles (!!) in some places - unless you stop them and specifically ask for no rice to be provided.
Oh, thank you for this post. I love that someone other than Malang people actually like this noodle as well. I have a blog post of this great noodle place:
"es" in indonesia means simply ice, and "kopyor" means coconut flesh
"nasi tumpeng" is definitely a celebratory dish, not meant for everyday meal, usually for "slametan" occasions, see a really good article on "slametan" in english wikipedia