May 3, 2010

Bakso and Satay

@ Restaurant T.A.R., Kuala Lumpur

I must admit that I seldom wander around the Chow Kit area but I'm slowly exploring the place bit by bit and discovering it's wonders. Nowadays, the place is heavily occupied by Indonesians who have come here to work. Even when you visit a newspaper stand, you will see copies of the Jawa Post right next to the local papers.

Last weekend, after reading Eating Asia's entry on Bakso, we decided to give it a try. It's pretty easy to spot the restaurant as it's just off the main road. Right before the restaurant which is next to the KL Monorail entrance, you'll pass by a string of pawn shops. Being a cat lover, I was fascinated with one particular pawnshop as it had a beautiful cat sitting on it's glass counter.

Since it was the weekend, the place was packed with Indonesians enjoying their lunch hence we shared a table with two Indonesian ladies. We ordered a bowl of Bakso each (RM3.50) which came with a mix of yellow noodles and glass noodles and a clear broth. The bakso was pretty good and not too chewy and rubbery.

I spotted one of the tables having satay hence I asked the waitress what it was since there was no mention of any satay on the menu and she said it was "satay kambing". Curious, I ordered a plate of five sticks (RM0.50 per stick) to share. Totally unlike our local satay, it was served with kicap manis and a sprinkling of chopped bird eye chillies. 

Accompanying the satay was chopped lettuce, tomatoes and onions. We were also given a large plate of white rice to eat with the satay that we declined. Per our conversation with the two ladies at our table, they advised us in Northern Jawa, they eat their satay with a plate of rice. We both loved the satay which was tender and slightly smoky from their time on the hot coals. Even the kicap manis went well with the satay and was a nice change from the usual peanut sauce.

I was actually looking for the Es Cendol but despite how many times I asked, they could only prepare me this Es Campur which was filled with home made jellies in red and green. Topped with chocolate syrup, it was pretty unusual and surprisingly, not very sweet. Besides this Es Campur, they also serve the Es Teler with fruits and Es Kelapa Muda with shreds of young coconut.

The two Indonesian ladies were totally fascinated with both of us since we stood out like sore thumbs in the restaurant but they got pretty chatty to us once they knew we could converse with them in Malay (I think they thought I was Japanese since I was snapping pictures). We both enjoyed our meal here especially the satay. Besides these items, they also serve pecal, gado-gado and various cooked curries and dishes that you can self serve from the counter.



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