After a long hard driving from Jakarta (thanks to Kampanye!), I arrived to the town where I was born. Sukabumi.
Late lunch at Ibu Entik's resto always give me sense of acceptance and welcome. Feels like home allright. Maybe it's the old house used for the restaurant, with the high ceiling and everything. Reminds me of my grandpa's house just two blocks away.
The food display at the counter shows various menu. That day, they have fried fish, fried chicken, fried tofu and tempe, beef stew, beef rendang, kering tempe (sweet dry-fried tempe), beefskin and bittermelon, salted squid in light curry and lots of pepes. Mushroom, fish or chicken covered in various herb and spices (mainly turmeric, basil, ginger, galangal and lemongrass) wrapped in banana leaves, tied and steamed for hours.
All meal come with plenty of various greenies (lettuce and eggplant to name a few) and a small portion of sour and red-hot sambal. Free flowing hot jasmine tea is ready at my table.
I choose the beefskin and bittermelon, salted squid and mushroom pepes to accompany my steamed rice. And a glass of hot sweetened jasmine tea. Big meal, indeed. All for 8 thousand rupiah only!
The beefskin and bittermelon is perfect. The skin is fried before cooked further and feel very soft. The bittermelon was sliced very thin thus the gravy can penetrate deeply and masking the bitter taste of it. Good.
Salted squid is always good in Sukabumi. Finger-sized squid, dried, salted, with purplish color was cooked in light red curry. The subtle taste of salt in the squid mixed perfectly with the herb and chili used in the light curry. Yummy!
Mushroom used in the pepes is the white mushroom grown on the damp soil. Plump pieces of mushroom mixed with various herb, what more can I tell?
I also take away one of Ibu Entik's specialties.. Deep fried quail. This tiny bird was cooked to perfect tenderness, and surely the taste is much bigger than it looks. It was crisp and crunchy on the outside but moist on the inside. I plan to have the meat seared and re-cooked with fried rice or noodle bowl. Humm.. I must do it immediately.. I can't keep my hand's off of it.
Each bird was sold for 3.5 K rupiah only. The best take away from Sukabumi, I think.