Indonesian is hard to find here in Kaohsiung. I’ve heard of a couple of places but have been unable to find them. We found one home-kitchen-style place in a mosque that wasn’t bad, but it was a bit of a drive out. When one place opened up on our way to work, we were understandably excited – Indonesia had had some of our favourite food in our travels of SE Asia.
It was very obvious that someone had transformed their front room into a restaurant as soon as we walked in – there was a lot of house within sight of our table. We placed our order and waited.
Satay came out first. It was a tasty, though simple, sauce and very good meat. Half a dozen skewers made for a solid appetizer.
Gado gado was by far my favourite individual dish from SE Asia. A huge plate of vegetables with a boiled egg, tofu, and lots of complex peanut sauce. This one was a little lacking – not so many veggies, no boiled egg, and the peanut sauce was the same as the satay (that was not the case in our previous experiences). It was still OK, but only OK.
The coconut chicken that came last tasted like a chicken cooked in a strong coconut curry sauce. Good meat and the sauce was OK – I like coconut a lot, so that saved this one. Maybe the problem was our expectations.
All of these made a decent meal together, but when we got the bill, it was almost twice what we had been expecting. One cannot expect international food to be cheaper than local food, but this one meal cost us more than we had spent on lunch for the entire week! I wouldn’t have even minded if the food had been something worth coming for, but it was merely mediocre. To pay the amount that we did (over $30US for the two of us, which may not sound like a lot back home, but that’s more than you’d spend for one at the entire-floor-sized buffet in the most expensive hotel in town) for a middling meal like this ticked me off a bit, especially with things like the peanut sauce being one big batch. I’m picky about details sometimes.
I would definitely not recommend this place to anyone and almost wanted to warn people coming in as we went out. I don’t have an exact address, but I will definitely tell you how to avoid it if you contact me.
The search for good Indonesian continues!