I still prefer Asian cuisine to the other cuisines of the world. My favorite is Japanese, followed by Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian.
There are exceptional dishes in Vietnamese or Thai food, but I can name only less than a dozen that are really outstanding. It’s the same with Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine.
Once, on a visit to Bali, Indonesia, I didn’t know where to eat, so there was nothing to write about—except for one dish called Dirty Duck. It was a half duck deep-fried until crunchy. Even the tiny bones were chewable. It was terrific.
I first tasted Singaporean food in Amsterdam. Among the dishes I really enjoyed were stir-fried flat noodle dish with bean sprouts and spicy beef rendang.
The beef made such an impact on me that now, it is the only dish I will eat with unlimited rice.
I found a memorable beef rendang again in an Indonesian restaurant on the side streets of Kowloon in Hong Kong. This place is a must visit every time I am there.
Over a year ago, Warung Indonesian restaurant opened in Kapitolyo, Pasig.
Whenever I’m there, I spot a few tables with men in batik shirts. Assuming these are Indonesian nationals, their presence must be a good indication of the standards of food in Warung.
When I visit, I always order the stir-fried noodles, the chicken sate, the nasi goreng or fried rice and a few others, thinking these are the only good ones on the menu. Boy, was I wrong.
I took a risk and ordered Ayam Goreng Bumbu—deep-fried marinated chicken, served with spiced crispy flakes. So yummy!
The Ikan Bakar (literally “burned fish”) is grilled fish served with Indonesian bagoong, chopped tomatoes and onions. Very good, too.
Of course, I had to have the Sate Ayam or chicken sate bathed in authentic Indonesian peanut sauce.
Sisters Louh and Tess, who own the place, were long-time residents of Indonesia and started selling their food on Sundays at Legazpi Market in Makati. They still do.
The Cendol (iced dessert) was also very good and refreshing.
At every table are packs of kropek which I suggest you have with the all-around side dish of sambal—spicy, sweet and very flavorful.
Recently, Warung started offering a lunch platter with meat, veggies and rice for only P199.
All dishes are neatly and beautifully plated. The dining area is well-lit and decorated. There are rooms for private dining.
Warung, to me, is the most authentic, delicious Indonesian restaurant today.
Warung Kapitolyo, 83 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig City. Call 091780009158 and 09175347089.
Japan food/dining tour
Those interested to join my Japan food/dining tour of Fukuoka and Hiroshima, e-mail [email protected]. It will be on March 22 to 27. I will forward your request to JTB (Japan Tourism Board) and they will communicate with you. Limited slots only. This is in partnership with JTB.