Udang Goreng Mentega – What is it about this dish that just have you licking the plate clean? I’ll tell you, it’s the buttery garlic cream sauce. Of course the shrimp, mushroom, green and red pepper, onion and potato stir fried have a part to it, but once those ingredients are gone, the creamy sweet sauce sits and stares at you, calling your name. And all you can do is transfer rice to the plate, mix it with the sauce and make sure you got every last drop. So when you try this and you feel like picking up your plate and burry your face in it, it’s okay, it’s understandable and maybe one day it’ll be acceptable.
One of my all time favorite appetizers is found here in Bandung (which, by the way, is pronounce Bon-doong). The Pangsit Keju can be compared to the well known crab rangoon from Chinese fast food, though this cream cheese wonton wrapped and deep fried morsel has a light crisp, melt-in-your mouth delicacy. Sweet creamy goodness wins over your taste bud. And to give it a little more flavor, they serve it up with a side of Sriracha. Add a little heat and tang and you’ll understand why this is an all time favorite.
You’ve probably noticed from the photo caption, these dishes have names you don’t normally read off a menu. Don’t let that scare you. It’s part of the fun to try to pronounce the dish to the server and they know exactly what dish you’re trying to say. The descriptions are very clear so you know what you’re getting. For example, Bebek Bakar…what is that? It’s a very delicious dish from their House Favorites Entree section: oven roasted semi-boneless half duck served with a side of steamed vegetables and a sweet and spicy garlic sauce. Cooked perfectly with lots of flavor and tenderness, you wouldn’t even know you’re eating duck. Often they get overcooked and served tough, though no need to worry about that here.
Practice your Indonesian and place your order at Bandung. I still got a long way to go and get Udang Goreng Mentega down perfect. I may purposely never get it so I can keep practicing.