Dubai: I had my first tryst with Indonesian cuisine recently at Betawi in Jumeirah Lake Towers and I have become a fan ever since. I would go as far to say that if you have been wanting to try this Far Eastern cuisine, this is the place to go to.
Situated by the lake, the eatery has both regular and al fresco seating and, with the weather still fairly pleasant, one can sit out and can enjoy a scrumptious dining experience.
I started my meal with the Es Cendol, a milk-based traditional beverage made with tapioca, pandan leaf and brown sugar. Although sweet and thicker than the usual pre-meal drinks, it was refreshing.
When it came to starters, I didn’t have to waste time making up my mind. It had to be the satay sticks. I had heard so much about it and now was my chance to sample it. Traditionally known as sate ayam – and sometimes kambing – the grilled chicken satay mixed with peanut sauce was an absolute delight. Spicy and tangy, I had it with vegetable pickles and crackers which was a awesome combination.
Soups are a big part of Oriental cuisine and Betawi has five signature preparations on its menu. I settled for Soto Betawi - a traditional coconut-based soup, served with diced beef, cabbage and steamed rice. Rich and creamy, the milky broth was amply complemented by the soft and juicy beef slices.
For the main course I opted for the famous Nasi Goreng. The Indonesian fried rice, mixed with chicken, vegetables, egg and served with crackers on the side, was indeed the highlight of the meal. The perfect blend of chicken, vegetables and egg made for a truly satisfying dish.
When it came to dessert the place didn’t have many choices. In fact it had just one item on the menu. Called Dadar Gulung, it’s an Indonesian version of the pancake. Stuffed with sweet coconut and neatly rolled, it would surely impress anyone with a sweet tooth. It’s a must-have to bring your meal to a sweet end.
Meal for two: Dh130
Location: Cluster D, Jumeirah Lake Towers
Contact: 04-454 2329
We recommend: Es Cendol, Satay Sticks, Soto Betawi, Nasi Goreng