Eating tasty Indonesian food was high on my list of priorities before I got here, and I have been quite successful so far. For breakfast I’m just having crackers and fruit, and for lunch I just take whatever the Freedom Institute has, but every day I’ve had something different for dinner.
James and I yesterday had Javanese-style fried chicken. Again, little itty-bitty fried chickens are so much better than big hormone-injected breaded fried chicken that you get at KFC or Popeye’s. They are tender and sweet and juicy and fall right off the bone. We also had emping goreng, little chips made out of pounded melinjo fruits and deep fried, and a sweet Javanese tofu preparation which was extremely tasty. Two days ago we had grilled fish North Sulawesi style, grilled over an open charcoal fire right on the street, with a very simple marinade and sauce of birds-eye chilies, tomatoes, and shallots. I’ve also sampled siomay, little steamed Chinese-style dumplings, served hot off of a cart on the street, and gado-gado, Javanese vegetable salad with peanut sauce, also prepared for me right on the street. Tonight I want to get some fried noodles for dinner. One of the nice things about the Freedom Institute is that it’s two blocks from a Catholic Church with an attached Catholic high school, so there are always enterprising food sellers hanging out in front of it.
Two nights ago we went out with two graduate students also at the Freedom Institute. They’ve been in country for over a month each, and were dying for some fresh vegetables, so I directed us to a Middle Eastern restaurant that I know. After that we headed to Aphrodite, JM’s and my “local,” as the Brits like to put it. It’s just the same as ever, crawling with Australian and Dutch men and filled with local women looking to snag a prize.