Dear fellow tasters,
What’s not to love about Monday? Especially when there’s an invitation for a blogger gathering *grin*. Last Monday, I got invited to a food bloggers gathering slash break fasting slash product launching event for a new line of Wall’s ice cream product. The theme was “Ramadhan bersama Yang Manis Dari Masa Lalu” (translation: Ramadhan with Something Sweet From The Past). Choice of place: an Indonesian spices restaurant, suitably named Rempah-rempah, located on Jalan Senopati which is already quite known for its array of good food restaurants and more.
I arrived a bit late for the event since I could only leave work at 5pm and I had to wait for my +1 to pick me up. The place was already packed with some fellow bloggers I know, but the timing couldn’t be more perfect because it was already time for break fasting. So, we were immediately allowed to taste some of the already prepared Rempah-rempah buffet. To start with, I scooped out something sweet or ‘tajil’ from the es cincau adem (iced grass jelly drink) bowl and a couple of keroket ayam (chicken potato croquette). Then moving on to the sop senggang halimah (some Indonesian beef soup). All were quite enjoyable but I especially liked the tasty croquette and the rich spiced-up soup with tender beef pieces.
The main buffet was stocked with various Indonesian cuisines, prepared and cooked with Indonesian spices. Rempah-rempah restaurant is owned by a Tapanuli (North Sumatran) family, so the menu selection mostly originates from Sumatra, such as the balado limbat (chili crispy fish), abon tembakau deli (tobacco floss) and salad melayu (Melayu/Malayan salad). The buffet also featured other traditional menu such as the ayam rempah (chicken with spices) and bakwan jagung (corn fritters). The food certainly tasted quite nice although the spiciness level somehow was a bit subdued. A unique item was the abon tembakau deli or floss made of shredded tobacco leaves. Hmm, imagine eating fried cigarette…
The next part of the event was a panel discussion led by the chatty mistress of ceremony joined by Arie Parikesit, a culinary enthusiast; Ratna Somantri, a dessert specialist; and a PR lady from Wall’s Unilever. We learned quite a bit about Indonesian traditional desserts from various regional corners of the archipelago, the history and making process of ice cream and es puter and an introduction to Wall’s new es puter product called Es Dung Dung.
Es Dung Dung is actually the term people use to call this Indonesian coconut-milk-based ice cream because the vendor usually pushes a cart going around the housing block and attracting his customers by hitting a small gong sounding dung…dung…, thus the name. It is also called es puter (puter is another form of putar which means rotate or swivel) because the process of making it involves manually churning the ice cream mix in a container placed in a tub which is frozen with ice and salt.
Then of course we got to taste the two flavors of es dung dung, ‘kelapa muda’ (coconut flavor, the pink one) and ‘nangka’ (jackfruit flavor, the yellow one). Both flavors were quite enjoyable, sweet and creamy. The texture was smoother than traditional street-cart es dung dung, probably because of the mechanized way of production. There were also actual fruit pieces in the ice cream to balance out the additional substances used in most food mass-products nowadays.
The es dung dung tasting continued with an es dung dung styling competition. Three teams of two participants each tried their best to beautifully present the ice cream within three minutes of time. The winner team get a cemal cemil parcel, containing some childhood snacks and toys which we rarely see these days. Surprisingly, I also got the same parcel, not from the styling games which I didn’t participate in, but from the twitter picture contest. We were also given a frozen goodie bag containing two packs of es dung dung. Thank you Mas Arie and Wall’s for inviting me to a pleasant evening with something sweet from the past.
“You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream.” –American Proverb
The taster’s notes:
Favorite dish – the sop senggang, ayam rempah and of course es dung dung
What to try next time – didn’t really check other menu but will try anything spicy
Price rating – unknown
Jl. Senopati Raya No. 60, Jakarta Selatan
Ph: +6221 7254352
Fax: +6221 7248970