Lunched with 3 of my friends at this *interesting* restaurant up in the cool highlands of Batu in East Java today.
Waroeng Bamboe was famous as much for its unusual setting - built on bamboo stilts atop a giant fishpond filled with carp fishes of all colors & sizes, as for its seafood dishes. Some of the tables had recesses underneeath whereby diners dip their feet into the pool, allowing the carp to come nibble at your feet whilst you nibble on cooked fishes on your dining tables (?!)
My dining companions chickened out, so we chose a table with no hole underneath our table - but it was a tad uncomfortable as the low tables were reminiscent of traditional Japanese or Korean setting. In fact, after 30 minutes, all 4 of us couldn't feel our feet - although we did try to "blend in" with the crowd by trying to sit cross-legged whenever we can - for me, it was 5 minutes before I had to get up and stretch :-(
The food was good, and the fruit juices (fresh coconut, lime juice, avocado shakes, mango punch) were some of the best we'd had in East Java - very fresh. What we ate:
- Grilled "Nila" fish, basted in sweet dark soysauce;
- Fried "Kakap" (local seabass) which were so crisp, one could chew of the bones & all;
- "Udang Saos Inggris" - literally translated as "Prawns in English sauce". In Indonesia, it meant prawns cooked in a mixture of Worcestershire sauce & sweet dark soysauce. Unusual, but good - the sweetish, piquant sauce went well with our rice. Sauce contained lots of slivered onions, too;
- "Sop asem" - sour, tamarind-flavored vegetable soup, which I can never, ever get enough of!!
- "Karedok" - fresh cabbage, potatoes & tofu salad blanketed with a spicy, peanut sauce;
- "Cumi cumi goreng" - crispy battered squid rings, served with a blob of mayonnaise.
- "Nasi liwet" - steamed coconut-scented rice, with fried tempe & spicy anchovies.
We must have made quite a sight for the locals - 4 big foreigners struggling with numb legs, a table waaay much too small for our height & size, and one of my friends lying flat on his back on the woven-bamboo mat after the meal cause he exclaimed that he ate too much. Just as well we were all sitting so close to the ground :-D
Waroeng Bamboe Lesehan Sidomulyo
Batu, East Java