Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Sabia (Brazilian cuisine)

Without LOVE, days are: sadday, moanday, tearsday, wasteday, thirstday, frightday, shatterday. (quote from my friend's blog,

Well.. It's Valentine day in Bandung..

On my way to my best friend's wedding (sounds like a movie huh?), I spot a tiny cafe just behind the Gedung Sate a.k.a Governor Office. This is a small place, a terrace hut that post a black banner bearing the name of SABIA, Brazilian Cuisine. And it caught my eyes fair and square. Brazilian cuisine? Never heard of them.. except maybe.. Portuguese style grilled chicken and a cuppa Brazilian coffee.. Curiosity was the main reason I drop by after congratulate my buddy on her wedding.

Hmm.. My lack of knowledge in Brazilian cuisine was worst than I thought. I didn't recognize a single spot of Brazilian dishes on the menu. Steak or alike is too-not-Brazil for me, so I go for the explanation under the dishes name. I order hot brown bean soup (I think kidney bean is south American, so I order them), and Moqueca. This is "Brazilian fish and shrimp stew with tomato, pepper, coconut milk and onion, serve over hot Brazilian rice". And off-course, hot espresso to finish with. Then, I wait anxiously..

First, the soup of kidney bean. It was thick and bold. The base flavor is beef stock, without too much fat. The cream consistency is rather heavy and the taste is plainly salty with a strong aroma of kidney bean. A splash of Tabasco turn this plain soup into heart warming dishes in this rainy day. I was satisfied, in some way..

Then here comes the Moqueca. I think it was good. The taste is not as strong as I expected. In my head, the default of south American dishes is heavy, strong and bold. I think an extra cilantro is required to bring up the feeling. I believe that SABIA is playing safe. Not many Indonesian love cilantro.. I, personally, am a cilantro lover.

The fish is great. It was fresh and cook to tenderness but still firm to the fork. I don't recall the fish, but I believe it's snapper. The shrimp came in decent size and freshness and proper tenderness. Coconut milk was used in good amount, and made this meal relatively light. Overall, it's a good heart-warming dish. And yes, almost forgot the rice.. It was Brazilian rice. Long grain rice cooked in light oil (olive? I almost suspect butter, but I think it's not proper) and subtle taste of onion and garlic. Basmati rice? maybe. Good..

And the espresso..

It came in a small cup. Not a demitasse, not an espresso cup. OK... That's one thing. And almost no crema. I can see a ring of crema on the rim of the cup.. They need a lots of improvement in brewing. The crema came in dark color, only not enough quantity. Using a proper demitasse, I believe it will made half to 1 mm thick of crema. The coffee, I suspect, is using Excelso as base. Slightly burnt aroma, medium body and low acidity. The leather complexion is nicely build and the finish is sweet but not too crisp. For not too serious coffee sipper.. It's OK, considering the rainy day outside and a beautiful dishes I just had..

Price? Good..

I will come again..

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