Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Rumah Makan Lamun Ombak @ Padang, West Sumatra

This is a very famous restaurant in Padang, West Sumatra. In fact, they have a number of outlets and this is the smallest one in Padang. We came to this outlet due to its closer proximity to the airport as we would be heading back to the airport from here.

Rumah Makan Lamu Ombak, Padang
I have seen that Malaysian are pretty crazy over this restaurant and many of them specifically request to have their meals here while in Padang. This restaurant primarily serves Minangkabau Food and the food quality is pretty good and I an waiting to taste it myself.

Our Dishes Just Arrived
Here as you can see, they bring all the dishes that are available in the restaurant for you. You then have an option to choose the dishes that you would like to have and you would be charged according to the dishes that you consume. For example, if it was like fried chicken, a plate would have two pieces and you have the choice to only take one and you would be charged based on that. However, if it was a vegetable or gravy, then the moment you take even a bit from it, you would be charged for that plate and this is the Minangkabau concept. However, in comparison to Malaysia, food here is so much cheaper.

Lunch Starts

On the whole, the food at this restaurant is very good. The choices are plenty and the taste is up to its mark. However, I only have one comment. Hygiene is quite poor here and if possible, don't ever go near the kitchen as that would frighten you. Despite that, none of us got sick anyway by eating here and it is a great restaurant to dine in when you are in Padang, Indonesia.

Address: No. 99, Jalan Khatib Sulaiman,
              Padang, West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Opening Hours: 0800 - 2230 Daily

Pangeran Beach Hotel Coffee House @ Padang, West Sumatra

We arrived at this hotel after a very long drive from Bukittinggi which took us almost eight hours. As it was a long and exhausting drive, we did not want to venture out for dinner and decided to have dinner at the hotel. We stayed at this beautiful hotel in Padang called Pangeran Beach Hotel.

Lobby at Pangeran Beach Hotel
Once the check in was done, we walked over to the coffee house which is right at the end of the hotel, beside the Indian Ocean. By this time, there were no customers at the Coffee House and all the staffs were busy preparing the cutlery for the next day's breakfast.

Not wanting to have anything heavy, we ordered some light dishes to be shared between the two of us. The staffs here seemed quite blur and surely needed more training.

Waiting For Our Orders

Waiting For Our Orders
It took a while for the orders to arrive. I was not sure what the problem was but the entire group of staffs that were working in the common area all went in to the kitchen to prepare our meals and the first dish came only after 30 minutes.

Spicy Fried Rice With Chicken
This was the first dish to arrive. This dish was very good and it was tasty. I just loved the way they fried the chicken. It was crispy yet soft and infused with the right spices and marination. The rice however was too spicy. I guess that is the norms in Padang but still it was too spicy for me. Both my dad and I could not finish it as we were worried that we may have gastric tomorrow if we continue to eat this spicy stuff.

Fried Banana Fritters With Grated Cheese
Honestly I thought this dish would be much smaller as it was a desert item and when it arrived it seemed bigger than the main course. It was nice however too much for the two of us. I liked the way they had infused a local dish as in Fried Banana Fritters with Honey Syrup and Grated Cottage Cheese which is western tastes. It can surely be shared with at least five people. Otherwise, it was a nice and different dish.

Egg Sandwich
This was the last dish to arrive. I would not rate this very well for a few reasons which I shall mention. Firstly, the bread was not fresh. As such when it was toasted, it had become hard and course. Secondly, we had requested for mashed eggs and told them specifically that we did not want to have fried eggs in the sandwich to which the waiter nodded. However, when served we got the fried eggs version.

There were pros and cons at this restaurant and I believe the management should work on a number of things to improve this Coffee House and the experience that customers would be facing.

Address: Hotel Pangeran Beach Padang,
              Jalan Ir H Juanda 79, Padang 25115,
              West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Opening Hours: 0600 - 2300 Daily

Telephone: 0751-7051333

Pondok Flora Restaurant @ Pagaruyung, West Sumatra

This restaurant was a brief stop that we had while driving to Padang from Bukittinggi. It is located just before the small town of Pagaruyung which is famous for its Malayapura Palace. One thing that stands out at this restaurant is that it is built on stilts above a paddy field and as far as your eye can reach, it is all paddy fields and is very soothing to the eyes.

At The Parking Bay

Surrounding Area of the Restaurant

Us At The Restaurant
This restaurant was very crowded and it seems like it is more of a tourist stop as most of the patrons were tourists. I was told by the driver that although this place is meant for tourists, price wise it is very much cheaper in comparison to many of the other restaurants nearby.

It was interesting to walk through this restaurant as it was separated to many compartments. There are also elevated platforms for locals and Malays who would like to sit on the floor and have their meal. Within a few minutes the food had arrived as the driver had called them  earlier and informed the approximate arrival time. Our table had also been reserved.

Layout Of The Restaurant
Now to rate the food. The food here was only average although they seem to be a famous tourist stop. The fish even had sand and mud and it was not cleaned properly. Though there were many dishes that were served, we did not really enjoy the lunch and I would recommend that if you are passing this way and your tour operator stops at this restaurant, please do request for him to go over to a different place.

Food Being Served
On the whole, this is a restaurant that is to be avoided.

Address: Jalan Sultan Bagagarsah, Lima Kaum,
              Pagaruyung, West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Opening Hours: 1030 - 1600 Daily

Monday, 23 January 2012

Coffee Tea @ Tabek Patah, West Sumatra

Yes, you had read it correctly. Its is not Coffee or Tea but Coffee Tea. This unique drink preparation is made here only. It is tea brewed from Coffee Leaves and these coffee is grown in this mountain region.With that said, I felt that it is worth to mention this in my blogs as anyone passing this region should definitely try this.

Parking Bay At The Factory

Seating Inside

The factory is just a small one but of late, they have started exporting their produce to other countries in the Asia Pacific region and are slowly gaining popularity here. These coffee tea is brewed and then it is poured into cups and then stirred with a cinnamon stick for added taste. This drink is also said to have many medicinal properties which truth is not justified yet using scientific approaches. 

Mix Your Own Drinks Here

Drinks Station

The taste however, was flat just like tea and it did not have any of the usual bitterness of coffee, in fact with the cinnamon, it tasted slightly sweet too. 

A Closer Look At The Drink

Us Trying The Drink

It is interesting to find such concoctions out there and as this is such a peculiar and unique drink, if you happen to pass this region, please do stop over for a short refreshing drink with a lovely sight.

Address: Objek Wisata Panorama Tabek Patah,
             Jalan Bukittinggi - Batusangkar,
             Salimpaung, West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Opening Hours: 0800 - 1700 Daily

Satay Madura @ Bukittinggi, West Sumatra

Tonight we wanted to try something different, something like common street food in Bukittinggi. As such, we headed to the center of town along Jalan Jendral Sudirman, right beside the Hospital to one of these stalls selling Satay Madura which is an Indonesian delicacy from the province of Madura. There is another version of Satay Padang but that is made of beef and we do not eat beef. Hence, we had to settle for this version.

At The Stall in Jl Jendral Sudirman
The stall is a simple one, just a shack built on a drain by the side of the road. It is common to find many Indonesians dine in stalls like these and the food here is usually good and cheap. It was a cold night today and I was told that this dish is quite spicy and it seemed absolutely perfect.

The Hawker Preparing The Food
The Satay Being Grilled
It was interesting to see how he prepared the food. It seemed so simple to prepare but I am sure there is loads of work that he has got to do at home preparing the basic ingredients.

Satay Madura
The final dish arrived. Simple as it looks, there were 8 skewers of Chicken Satay and some rice cakes at the base. It had a light brown sauce which was very spicy and above that, it was garnished with chillies making it even more spicy. It was lovely so much so at the end, I ended up having 3 plates of these for the night. If you are just used to the Malaysian version of satay, then you must try this dish if ever you are in Bukittinggi or any other part in Indonesia. A highly recommended dish and it was safe, I did not have any medical issues the next day having eaten at a stall.

Address: Next To Hospital, Jl Jendral Sudirman,
               Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, Indonesia.

Opening Hours: 1800 - 2300

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Bika Talago @ Koto Baru, West Sumatra

Not very far from the village of Pandai Sikek, in the town of Koto Baru, we stopped at one of the traditional cake shops called Bika Talago which is the local speciality here. 

At The Entrance To The Stall

Being Made The Traditional Way

Traditional Methods

Two Variations to the cakes

These were more like banana pan cakes but they were baked using traditional methods. They are baked in clay pots and taste extremely good. It cost USD 0.20 per piece and there are two versions. 

Man Manning The Traditional Ovens

Its a Long Que and Yes it Takes Time

Baking In Progress

The que for these cakes were extremely long and there is a continuous flow of customers coming in. I surely need to thank the driver for having stopped here and introducing us to this cake, it was simply delicious. 

Us Trying The Dishes

If you happen to pass by this area, please do stop and try this cake. You would not regret it.

Address: Jalan Raya Padang - Bukittinggi.
            Koto Baru, Sumatra Barat,

Opening Hours: 1500 - 1730

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Rumah Makan & Restoran Pak Datuk @ Padang Panjang, West Sumatra

This visit to this restaurant was done during one of my tours around the West Sumatran Province in Sumatra, Indonesia. This is a famous restaurant serving Nasi Padang which is a genre of Minangkabau Food. I have previously tried this food at a branch of this restaurant which lies in the town of Dumai, Riau. With that said, I was very confident that the food here is pretty good.

Minangkabau Style Architecture
Sign At The Entrance

Front Courtyard of the Restaurant
To my surprise, this restaurant was crowded with not locals but tourists and mostly from Malaysia. Now, coming back to this restaurant, as with all other Padang Style restaurants, once you sit at your place, they would serve all food that is available in the restaurant in small portions. And then, it is your choice. If you like that dish, you can then take it and then it would be charged. If it is left intact then you would not be charged for it. Without an exception, it was the same practice here too.

Dishes Being Served
As I love Indonesian food above all else, I enjoyed the dishes here. They were not too spicy, still within my tolerable palate and they were delicious. I have always had a galore time in Indonesia when it comes to food as their prices are so cheap. Both my dad and I enjoyed the meals here.

Crowd Waiting Outside The Restaurant
While we were having our lunch, there was still a huge crowd waiting outside the restaurant for tables as they were fully occupied. I definitely recommend this restaurant both in this locations as well as their other branch in Dumai. Few years back, they had a branch in Melaka but then it was closed down.

Address: Jalan Padang - Bukittinggi,
              Padang Panjang, West Sumatra,

Opening Hours: 1000 - 2100