Country: SIJORI Growth Triangle (Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore)
The Stew: Rendang (Beef Stew)
Other Food Ordered: Kangkung (leafy greens), Nasi Lengkap (aromatic rice), Roti (savory flat bread), Tek tek (stirfried noodles), Gado gado (salad with peanut dressing)
Desserts: Pisang Bakar Keju (banana with shredded cheese and sprinkles), Bubur Ketan Hitam (black sweet rice with coconut milk), and a coconut ice shake
We couldn’t find many restaurants for Singapore, Indonesia, and Malaysia, so we decided to consolidate the three of them with the restaurant Borobudur. It calls its cuisine Indonesian, but was recommended to us by a Malaysian friend and seems to be the most authentic food that represents all three countries / city-states (which are also joined together by a financial “triangle” called the SIJORI Growth triangle).
So far all of the restaurants have had their highlights, low points, and adventurous moments. Borobudur is the first establishment where everyone enjoyed every dish. There were no complaints, no dishes left with food on them, and everyone was consistently smiling and eating at all times.
For starters we ordered an appetiser of Roti (savory flat bread) and Gado gado (a tofu salad with peanut dressing). The Roti was as delicious as always. It’s a familiar dish that is often found in Indian cuisines and makes for a delicious, starchy starter. On the other hand, the gado gado was extremely unexpected.
Described as a “salad” we were waiting for a lighter dish that would make a good appetizer, but were met with a large serving of tofu, yes with vegetables, but absolutely drenched in peanut sauce. Don’t get me wrong though–nobody was complaining! This was a wonderful surprise and we were happy to eat our “salad” (which, let’s not kid ourselves, was really just delicious peanut dressing with some tofu and veggies).
For a main meal we ordered the nasi lengkap (aromatic rice with sides), tek tek (stir fried noodles), and a side of kangkung (leafy greens). All of these dishes were scrumptious. The aromatic rice was less exotic than we were expecting. It was not nearly as aromatic as the stinky tofu we had tasted early during our taiwanese cuisine exploration. It was simply a seasoned rice with some savory and delicious sides, including a well cooked beef with a yummy sauce (Dan’s favorite of the night!).
The tek tek was a familiar dish of noodles that one might experience in most asian cuisines. They were thin glass noodles that had been stir fried and also cooked along with a generous portion of peanut sauce, which Iraina loved.
Our vegetable side (a rare thing to have at our table) actually turned out to be one of the most favorited. Kangkung is a leafy green veggie known in English as “water spinach” that was cooked to perfection with the maximum flavor and spice. For me it was like eating one of those foods that are totally addicting and I can’t get enough of–like pringles, or waffles–except it was a vegetable! Hands down this was my favorite dish of the night.
Finally, for the stew we ordered a popular beef stew called Rendang. The meat in this is cooked extremely slowly with a generous level of spice. It’s an extremely comforting, yet flavorful dish that everybody definitely enjoyed.
The most exotic dish of our dinner happened to be the dessert. One of the most unforgettable dishes we’ve had so far, it seemed like a joke or a mistake at first, but my Indonesian friend confirmed that it was completely authentic and something she regularly craves. We ordered a “banana topped with cheese and chocolate rice”. In my mind this would be a grilled banana topped with sweet cheese like a ricotta with some homemade chocolate or something along those lines. Nope! It was a plain banana topped with Kraft-style shredded cheddar cheese and chocolate sprinkles (or “jimmies” as my Bostonian husband and brother-in-law call them). This was the biggest surprise of the night, and although we were all taken aback, we continued to taste it. It was hard for some to get past the unusual combination, but I found it was a delightful combination of foods, and would gladly order it again!
We also ordered the Bubur Ketan Hitam, a soupy mix of black sweet rice with coconut milk, and a coconut ice shake. These desserts were much more familiar, even though all were delicious.
All in all, our Malaysian / Indonesian / Singaporean food adventure could not have gone better. We enjoyed every course and were surrounded by great company. What more could we ask for?
Dan’s Favorite: Beef from the aromatic rice combo platter
Iraina’s Favorite: Tek Tek Noodles
Ned’s Favorite: Rendang (Beef Stew)
Gabi’s Favorite: Kangkung (leafy greens)
Addison’s Favorite: Kangkung (leafy greens)
Borobudur, 700 Post St. San Francisco, CA 94109