BUMBU DESA: From the land of Kopi Luwak & Batik

Indonesia is my preferred destination for holidaying in the entire South East Asia. From the vibrant nightlife in Jakarta to the stunning natural beauty of Bali, the country has never ceased to spellbind me. So far Bali has been my favourite holiday spot. A land rich in culture, heritage, art & craft and of course food! My love for Indonesian food is pretty well known. The multitude of spices & herbs used in their food is what makes the cuisine a foodie’s delight. From their satays to bakso, gado-gado & rendang- every dish is scrumptious.

Few moments from my Bali trip 🙂

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Tanah lot, Bali

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Prawn Satay & Nasi Goreng Platter

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Grilled Tilapia

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A random flea market, Nusa Dua

I am always keen to try out new Indonesian eateries in town & when I learnt that Bumbu Desa, a popular restaurant chain in Indonesia has an outlet in KLCC, I decided to check it out. Honestly, this won’t be an exhaustive review as we sampled only a couple of dishes, but I can of course share my experience with you guys 🙂

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The restaurant is located on the 4th floor of Suria KLCC and with its warm lighting & elegant décor, it looked rather inviting. We were ushered in by a friendly wait staff and quickly asked for the menu as I was very hungry. There were many appetisers & main course to choose from but we decided to settle for their set menus (For a complete listing of their menu please visit Bumbu Desa Menu). I ordered Nasi Rabeg Kambing, which is a spicy mutton dish. The mutton came accompanied with Sayur Asem, Nasi, Peanut sauce (similar to gado-gado) & small disc shaped crackers.

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Nasi Rabeg Kambing

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A closer look

Sayur Asem is the perfect appetizer. Made with corn & squash, its sweet & sour taste made our tastebuds dance. Flavoured subtly, it is a very comforting soup. The peanut sauce was mildly spiced which balanced the hot & spicy mutton impeccably. About the mutton, I really have no words. Perfectly cooked, tender & juicy, & spicy without being too hot. I like my food very spicy, maybe my Indian palette is responsible for it, and so Indonesian food is an absolute winner for me & from whatever I had at Bumbu desa, I am coming back for sure, to try out more from their menu & give a better comprehensive review.

S had ordered Nasi Rendang Daging which he claimed was as good as the ones he had in Indonesia. The beef was succulent & tasted fabulous.

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Nasi Rendang Daging

The crackers in both the sets were unimpressive. They were neither crispy nor made any difference to the whole dish. I think one can do without it.

The wait staff was very friendly and obliged us every time we made any requests, from changing seats to clicking photographs, explaining the dish to us, etc. Do come and eat here if you want an authentic taste of Indonesia without burning a hole in your pocket.

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Sanook- A little thai gem

So guess who’s back from a hiatus 🙂

2016 has been a roller-coaster ride, some ups, many downs 😦 but that’s life. What I learned is that you should treasure each and every moment you spend with your dear ones and never let the passion in you die.

So I have decided to follow my love for all things food more fervently. Along with experimenting in the kitchen and sharing recipes, I would also dabble in restaurant (from small roadside shack to a 5 star) reviews specifically keeping in mind our Indian travelers. We Indians love to travel and South East Asia is one of our favourites. The enormous range of cuisines and flavours are simply overwhelming. From Nasi Lemak to Gado Gado, Bibimbap to Mee Goreng, Satays to Tutu cakes- one can’t even envisage the sheer variety on offer. So I will mostly tell you guys about places to eat keeping in mind our palette 😀 Basically a handy guide not just for travelers but also for Indians who are new to KL and plan to set base for a while.

That brings me to my very first restaurant review- Sanook (Pavilion Mall, KL)

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A Thai restaurant, Sanook is a small cozy eatery located at a corner in Pavilion mall, Bukit Bintang, KL. The other outlet is at Sunway Pyramid West Hotel. The husband and I, let’s call him S here, were craving for some Thai food, while we were pottering around the upscale mall. So we headed to the area that housed the most eateries. Looking around for some time, we finally spotted Sanook- a little further from Food Republic (food court at Pavilion). The lively décor and welcoming staff are hard to miss.

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The place was relatively empty for a Saturday and we were wondering if we made the right choice. But then they say, never judge a book by its cover, so we decided to check in anyway. The menu had many Thai starters and main courses to choose from, along with few options for sushi burgers. The husband ordered Original Pad Thai-Chicken, which is his favourite. In fact sometimes I wonder if he is on a secret mission to discover the best Pad Thai ever 😀 The pad thai looked delish and the portion was enough for one. The crunch of the peanuts, juiciness of the tender chicken, spice from the chilly, tang of the lemon along with the warm rice noodles, were a riot of flavours in the mouth. But what upset me in the beginning was that they didn’t serve lemon wedges with the noodles!! Isn’t it a crime? Pad thai without lemon?? But they made up for that with their taste. The pad thai was absolutely lip-smacking! I would have preferred a little more sprinkling of salt though, but S didn’t seem to mind. Overall it was very scrumptious.

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I had ordered for Tom Yum Seafood Fried rice and Spicy Red Curry Chicken in a peanut based sauce.The curry was not too spicy, but nonetheless flavourful with generous chunks of boneless chicken pieces. The coconut milk was very well balanced with the spices and the kaffir lime. None of the flavours were overpowering which I feel is the real hallmark of Thai food. But the insane number of chunky galangal pieces I found in my curry was sort of annoying and distracting me from enjoying the dish to the fullest. But overall, it was delightful.

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However the star of the night was definitely the fried rice. It was in fact one of the best tom yum rice I ever had. The fresh prawns, fleshy calamari, sharp kaffir lime leaves, fragrant lemongrass, spicy red chillis and the aroma of crushed shallots and garlic, in just the right measure is what made the dish mouthwatering. I just couldn’t have enough of it. In fact I wanted to pack some for home.

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Sanook is pretty easy on the pocket. A similar dinner for two would cost around 80-100RM. So do check this place out. I am definitely returning soon.

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