Restaurants & Bars 4

Indonesia - Rijsttafel on a plate at Hotel Tugu

klyeoh | Aug 20, 2011 08:34 AM

Melati is perhaps the classiest restaurant in the classiest hotel in Malang, a pleasant Dutch-colonial highland town 2 hours' drive south of Surabaya.

I tried the Tugu Rijsttafel which consisted of sweet tempe (soybean cake), fried grated coconut flavored with chilli, turmeric & sugar/salt, shredded spiced beef (serondeng), potato fritters, marinated dried curried beef, sweet-spicy free-range chicken, turmeric-tinged cucumber/carrot/onion pickles, sweet banana fritter, boiled longbeans with spicy sambal dip, a crispy paper-thin ground-nut cracker, and banana leaf-wrapped steamed white rice. The various flavors and textures, all packed into one plate (which was quite large, by the way) certainly provided a fascinating journey of discovery for my taste-buds.

If you think the above meal-on-a-plate was a mouthful, so to speak, there are other equally complicated combinations available from their long, elaborate menu which included Babah (Indonesian-Chinese), Dutch, Chinese and Indonesian options.

Another interesting option would be the Nasi Kuning Komplit platter, which consisted of yellow turmeric-tinged coconut-scented rice served wrapped in a banana leaf for added fragrance. The accompaniments included free-range chicken cooked in Javanese spices, shredded dried beef, flavored grated coconut shreds, hard-boiled egg, stir-fried spicy tempe (soybean cake) with vegetables, and a peanut cracker. It's guaranteed to satisfy any diner who's looking for an all-in-one meal.

An interesting very local/East Javanese a la carte item on the menu must be the Rujak Cingur: a spicy salad of longbeans, cabbage, tofu, tempe, compressed rice cakes, pineappple, starfruit (carambola), cucumber, rose apple (jambu air), boiled gelatinous cow's nose (yes, you heard me right), all covered in a dark-brown fermented shrimp sauce-flavored sauce, topped with flower-shaped rice crackers. It's absolutely delicious!

The beautiful setting amidst the green foliage next to the hotel's swimming pool was gorgeous.

Address details
Melati Restaurant
Hotel Tugu Malang
Jalan Tugu No. 3
Malang, East Java
Tel: +62-341-363891

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