Of Rawon Iga, Lumpia et al @ Semarang, Indonesia

Posted: May 30, 2011 in Glorious Food Elsewhere
Tags: , , ,

We were too early for the next appointment and so it was suggested that we have an early and leisurely lunch- which was also the smokers excuse to having their ciggies fix.We stopped at Wong Art – a bakery cum cafe / restaurant .

We ordered ala carte meals, there were orders for Ikan Asin fried rice ( salted fish fried rice), Singapore fried rice, soup buntut ( Oxtail soup) and I decided to go for Rawon Iga- which I didn’t for the life of me know what it was but made the decision because the company said this was a specialty for Jawa and it came with rice.

Turn out that what I ordered  was beef rib stew/soup accompanied by rice,  some fritters , a few pieces of bean sprout and chili. The soup was rather heavily flavoured, and the ribs were soft and well marinated. I wasn’t sure to drink the soup or to pour bits of it over the rice pyramid , so I observed the soup buntut fella on what he did and he was slurping the soup while gesturing ‘good’ with his free hand. The Malaysian follow suit and found that the soup was too salty to be sipped like regular soup, so I decide to treat that as gravy rathe that soup lahh .Yum…

The fresh fruit juices in Malaysia are usually watery and one might get more ice than juice and in comparison the fruit juices that I had in Indonesia are usually very concentrate / thick . And the mango juice that I had at Wong Art had an almost  mash potato kinda consistency. Nice…

This was what the Ikan Asin fried rice looked like – was told that it taste pretty good too.

 * * *

Too soon, it was time to say goodbye to Semarang, we had nasi padang at the airport ..hmm…I like nasi padang…

 My fellow travelers from Jakarta said that the bandeng presto ( smoked fish ) was a specialty and they bought a few boxes of them, I worry about bringing animals ( although dead) back to KL and the chances of having them confiscated so I refrained. The specialty of Semarang is lumpia and thinking that this might be my last chance of buying some souvenirs from my trip , I decide to get a basket of lumpia. This was the ‘special’ version and costs me Rp80,000 ( about RM30)  for 10 pieces

 In case you are wondering what lumpia is – it’s popiah /spring rolls, these were already fried. If you are interested to make it, you can try out the recipe by clicking here   

Tastewise, pretty good. plenty of filing which include :  meat , dried prawns, eggs, bamboo shoots etc. the bamboo shoot gave it that pungent-ish smell which I am ok with /I found to be yummy but turn out that the smell was an acquired taste and the people back home refuse to go near these lumpia…even the better, I got to finish all 10 of them !! buwahahahaha

Apart from the rolls,  tucked snugly  at the side of the basket were packets of garnishing  to go with the lumpia : spring onions, garlic, chili padi and some brownish sauce.

If you get to Semarang, don’t miss out to visit the Cheng Ho temple , extracted from http://www.chengho.org/news/news8.3_english.php

: In Semarang, there is a Sam Po Kong Temple which is known to locals as Gedong Batu Temple(Kelenteng Gedong Batu). According to one story, during one of the Admiral Zheng He’s expedition, one of his trusted lieutenants, Wang Jing Hong, was taken suddenly ill. As a result, the fleet stopped at Semarang and they found a cave and use it as temporary shelter. Later, people built a temple to commemorate Zheng He at that site and it was known as Gedong Batu or Kedong Batu meaning ‘piles of natural stones used for damming a river).

 I had a chance for a brief stop at the temple and it was huge ! ( had to keep on reminding myself that  I am in Indonesia where ignorant little me would not have associate this country with  having  Chinese temples.

And while I am on the subject, I was amazed/ appreciative that for such a populus muslim country , the Indonesians I met were rather liberal, one could go to a Chinese restaurant which serves pork and find muslim patron having a pork free meal, or muslims eating their pork free meal at a kopitiam where there were  other stalls selling pork dishes, this was to me like a breath of fresh air (view in contrast to the situation in my own country).


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