Bumbu Desa offers a seemingly authentic Indonesian eating experience: its staff members comprise exuberant Indonesian young men who chant intermittently while they cook and serve a staggering spread of simple fare.
Customers can flip through a menu or point to whatever they want from a mouthwatering array of food on a long table. It's a challenge to choose only a few items!
Cumi Goreng (deep-fried squid marinated in turmeric paste). Satisfyingly hearty and fragrant, but only recommended if you don't mind lots of chewing.
Cireng (fried tapioca flour). Thick, savory peanut sauce saved an otherwise bland platter.
Lalampa (steamed sticky rice, stuffed with mackerel, then grilled in banana leaves). Kinda unmemorable; tasted like the regular pulut concoctions available locally.
Pergedel, a crisp blend of sweet corn, egg & flour. An addictive snack, not oily at all.
Ayam Pop & Ayam Bumbu Desa. Steamed, then fried with different spices. Tender chicken is this outlet's forte, though the flavours are slightly less intense than expected.
Rendang Daging, a Minangkabau favorite. Slow-cooked beef with coconut milk. We feared this would be terribly tough, but it turned out surprisingly succulent. Beware though: thenomadgourmand also ordered this earlier that day for lunch, and her beef was horrible.
Ayam Tangkap (young kampung chicken fried with shallots & curry leaves). Spicy!
Daun Umbi Tumbuk (pounded cassava leaves & anchovies in coconut milk). A bit too watery for our liking. Definitely not a healthy veggie recipe.
Gulai Tilapia. A Padang delicacy. The yellow curry seemed rather ordinary and forgettable, but the fish was firm, fresh and flaky enough to recommend.
Nasi Liwet. Sundanese rice, steamed with anchovies & coconut milk. Less aromatic than nasi lemak, but well-prepared enough to please patrons who loathe wet, soggy rice.
Es Campur. A refreshing treasure trove of avocado, young coconut, traditional jelly & other sweet treats. One of the most enjoyable desserts we've had in ages.