Cafe Ind – Indonesian and Indian food

cafe ind

I’ve wanted to come here for ages but it was always closed when I was out. I heard the food is good and they serve both Indonesian and Indian cuisine – thus Cafe Ind. My good friend Arthur came over and dropped off some of his muesli cookies…

(which I’ve almost finished, eating them as a midnight snack)

cookies

…and we headed out to check out the curiously named Cafe Ind(dehouse).

Nasi Pecel (RM 14)

Nasi pecel is one of the unique Javanese rice served with pecel (cooked vegetables with the classic Javanese spicy peanut sauce) and warm plain rice (nasi putih). It tastes best when eaten with fried tempeh and the traditional cracker called peyek. In reality pecel has a lot of versions and ours has it’s own uniqueness. It’s served with chicken satay on a lemongrass stick and herbal boiled egg.

nasi pecel

I got that from the menu liner notes and it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. It’s a really good dish where every single one of the sides tastes good. Arthur ordered this one and I tasted the tempeh, which I didn’t think was tempeh at first.

It’s not deep fried but cooked so flavourful that it made a convert out of me. I like the way they skew the chicken stay onto lemongrass stalks too!

Nasi Tumpeng (RM 15)

Nasi Tumpeng is traditional Indonesian rice platter served during special events such as birthdays, weddings, or any other occasions. It’s somewhat a Nasi Lemak for big occasions. Our aromatic rice, served on a bed of banana leaf, is complemented by several different which varies daily. You have the honor to have the Tumpeng as the mark of an achievement!

nasi tumpeng

That semi-garbled bit of liner note in the menu describes my dish perfectly. It’s santan (coconut milk) rice with with a nice hat made of banana leaf on top – cute! :)

There’s a side of kangkung, which goes very well with the peanut sauce from Arthur’s Nasi Pecel. The chicken kurma is superb too! Choice, tender cuts in a flavorful and creamy curry. I also like their spicy beef and the otak otak that’s made in-house.

Indian Ginger Tea (RM 6)

indian ginger tea

This is an iced ginger tea which is rather diluted from the vast amount of ice they put inside. It would have been much better if it had been thicker.

Butter Curry Chicken (RM 14)

butter curry chicken

This is something we ordered from the Indian menu. They have three menus – one for Indonesian food (which is what we had for mains), one for Indian food, and one for beverages. There are three (3) pieces of chicken inside, including a drum. I thought it was delicious!

mulu ice cream

We also went to the new Payung Mahkota and had the Mulu Ice Cream. It’s the best ice cream I’ve had in Sibu! Very complex textures with the cake, ice cream and muesli sprinkled on top. I said this would be national level ice cream – it’ll be great even in KL! One of the best ice creams I’ve ever had. It’s hands down the best dessert on their menu.

kahlua ice cream

The liqueur ice cream is pretty good too. There’s Kahlua and Blue Curacao. The former needs to introduction, being the most popular coffee liqueur around but if you’re not familiar with the latter, it’s used in cocktails for it’s blue color. The refinishing citrus taste from Blue Curacao comes from the laraha fruit, which is a predecessor to Valencia oranges.

blue curacao ice cream

The orange juice I drink back when I was studying in Melbourne uses Valencia orange concentrate around winter if they have a severe shortage of Australian oranges – it’s 100% orange juice squeezed daily otherwise and they’ll tell you when it’s not by stating it on the label – a very transparent move I love in Australian products.

payung mahkota

Dinner at The Cafe Ind is great! I had a lot of fun talking to Arthur about everything. Thanks for getting the desserts! :)

waitress

I like the service there – the waitresses are knowledgeable, speaks English and will take the initiative to ask if there’s something they don’t know (which a lot of Sibu and KL restaurants don’t do).

I asked her about the tempeh, which doesn’t seem like the usual deep fried ones I’ve had. This is much better.

peeping tom

The Cafe Ind charges for water though – RM 2 for a glass of RO water and RM 4.50 for mineral water. However, the meals are very reasonably priced and dinner came up to a little over RM 55 for the both of us. I love the ambiance too, Cafe Ind would be perfect if they turned off the flashing lights and pop music.

cafe ind sibu

You have the honor to have the Tumpeng as the mark of an achievement! smirk

A wonderful array of Indian sweets

sss

I’ve been a huge fan of these absurdly sweet concoctions since I first encountered a variant of the diabetic-inducing delicacies in Sri Lanka. The first time I had it, I had a look of pure shock in my face from the insulin response. It delighted the Sri Lankan shopkeepers.

The SHEER amount of sugar inside will astound you.

indian sweet vendor

I recently found one a place in town called Bakti Woodlands that offer similar sweets. It called mithai and touted as South Indian in origin, but most are from the continental Indian area (most of the sweets are similar throughout the region, with just different names).

sample box

They had a sample box of 10 different types of sweets for RM 10. I bought that and spent the night savoring the sweets and went back for more a few days ago.

They didn’t have the boxes anymore – I was told that the sample boxes are only sold during festive seasons. I knew what I liked and what I didn’t so I bought it a la carte at RM 1 each.

mithai

What I like about these sweets is that you can taste the different types of milk (goat, cow etc) inside. Here’s a sample of the sugar laden, ghee-infused concoctions that will delight (and challenge) everyone with a sugar tooth:

Jangiri

jangiri

This is the most common sweet you’ll find around here. It tastes like a very light and fluffy doughnut and is made with urad flour and sugar before being deep fried in ghee (clarified butter).

indian sweet stall

There’s a stall just beside Bakti Woodlands selling it for RM 0.70 instead of RM 1 but I find the former to taste slightly better.

Mysore pak

indian confection

This wonderful slice of sweet heaven is made with a truckload of ghee, sugar and gram flour/dhall flour. The interesting thing about dhall flour is that it’s gluten-free, which means my niece can probably eat it. This is my second favorite mithai (Indian confection / sweet).

The dude who was behind the counter didn’t recognize me at first until I brought up the topic of the sample box. He was intrigued and asked me if I was doing research. I wasn’t. Heh. I bought RM 30 worth the second time, and here’s the second video of him introducing the sweets – first one didn’t turn out right.

Laddu

laddu

There’s a type of laddu that costs RM 2.50 (as opposed to RM 1 for the others, like the one above). It’s a huge, fist-sized round ball made with brown sugar, cashew nuts and dried fruits.

There’s also a smaller type of laddu, generically named Ghee Ladhu here:

coconut laddu

The word laddu means “small ball” and can contain almost anything. There are some with ground coconut (the red one) but I prefer the plain ones with raisins inside.

Halwa

indian sweets

This has gotta be my favorite mithai ever!

Halwa is a very generic term that describes a lot of sweets across the Indian subcontinent and even to the Middle East. The name itself is Arabic for “sweet”. I first encountered it in Sri Lanka. I’ve also heard it referred to as barfi.

almond halwa

I like the white almond slices that contains an obscene amount of condensed milk. Halwa tends to be crumbly and insanely sweet. I imagine the recipe for it looks a little like this:

  • 2 tons of sugar
  • 40 kgs of ghee

for a tray of sweets. Heh.

apple halwa

I’m particularly fond of the apple shaped halwas. I highly recommend this if you’re willing to test the limits of your insulin tolerance. It’s sweet, crumbly and has a distinctive milky taste that you can smell as well as taste. The “stem” of the “apple” is made from a clove stick! :)

apple sweet with cinnamon stick

You might need a shot of insulin to stabalize but its worth it! Melt-in-your-mouth buttery goodness! :D

Guess the price of my nasi campur (photo included)

guess_nasi_campur.jpg

Guess how much this combination of nasi campur costs? There’s more
sotong pieces than meets the eye, some of it is obscured by the chicken
drumstick. No, I didn’t play “Hide the sotong” intentionally, it was
due to the real estate on the styrofoam packs. By the way, “Hide the
(most expensive item)” is a technique where you cover up a more
expensive item with a less expensive one – like covering a drumstick
with cabbages. This is an extreme example, it’s just to illustrate the
point. I’ve never done that intentionally though, not for any moral or
personal reasons, it’s just coz I don’t bother.

The way things work over here is like this – you get handed a plate
or take away pack filled with rice and you choose whatever you want
from the array of dishes displayed. You can opt to have as many items
as you want and the portions you choose is up to you. The price (which
can vary depending on time of the day, whether you’re a regular, as
well as many other factors) is tallied up when you’re done, based on
your choices. However, “Hide the xxx” doesn’t work all that well
nowadays, because the proprietors usually check underneath due to the
popularity of this method.

Back to the post, my lunch has a drumstick, sotong and chili covered
brinjals. You don’t eat for a couple of days and then you feel hungry
enough to eat a horse. ;) Anyway, guess how much this nasi campur pack
costs?

The Taj @ Crown Princess Deepavali Buffet

the_taj.jpg
The Taj.

This is the write up of the annual XM Malaysia Deepavali dinner at
The Taj @ Crown Princess. There are heaps of photos in this post, which
would probably hurt me more than the US$ 60 I just paid for excess
bandwidth, but hey, it’s Deepavali tomorrow. :) Anyway, XM Malaysia and
Zenith Media booked the entire restaurant for the annual get together.

taj_book.jpg

taj_tables.jpg

This is one of the many fringe benefits we get at XM. Free beer
anyone? ;) Anyway, the tables were half taken by Zenith and half by XM.
Our table had mostly tech people, plus quite a few Project Managers and
two from Creative, IIRC. Caveat: I don’t remember all that well when
I’m on this particular GABA agonist my doctor prescribed (Shh! People
who know shouldn’t comment about it. :p) and when there’s free beer
involved since the two potentiates each other, resulting in an early
loss of inhibition. ;)

entry.jpg

pool_statue.jpg

Anyway, about the food at The Taj, it was okay, but not great. Don’t
get me wrong, it’s good…just not as good as their desserts! They have
really great desserts and sweets. I like this particular brown chunky
thing that I don’t remember the name of, but readers from Melbourne,
you can find it opposite the Clayton station exit (from the City). It’s
two shops down from that discount bottleshop where I usually buy my
beer. The shop specializes in North Indian sweets.

speech.jpg

Well back to the event, like I said, I don’t remember much, but
there was this speech where 3 new people from XM and 3 new people from
Zenith Media gave a speech describing their first weeks and the best
one gets RM 500 and the one which the judges deemed was the worst has
to sing a song. Oh right, I just remembered something VERY
EMBARRASSING…I blame the venue for not labeling the toilets properly.
:p

man_drums.jpg

Anyway, about halfway through the event, I felt the urge to answer
the call of nature, as one tends to get after drinking beer – which not
only is a liquid, but a diuretic as well. I walked to the toilets –
there was one male and one female, both side by side. I went into the
male one, saw a toilet for the disabled to my right and went straight
in and relieved myself.

men_drums_flute.jpg

Well, the urination process took longer than usual, considering I
had a full bladder and suddenly…there was this feeling that something
wasn’t right. I stood there, aiming my member and trying to think about
what it was that felt unusual. It’s…voices. Female voices. “Why are
there female voices in a male toilet?”, I wondered. I zipped my pants,
forgot to flush and opened the door to…

statue.jpg

A group of females standing right outside the door! I stared blankly
at them. I think both parties said “What are you doing in the guys
toilet?” and “What are you doing in the girls toilet?” at the same
time. There was about 6-8 of them and I knew all of them. How
embarrassing…that damned toilet sign, it looked like a male one! Chih
Ning wanted to grab my digicam and take a photo of me in the girls
toilet but good thing I made a quick exit, escaping the laughter behind
me. ;)

I think I didn’t even wash my hands in my hurry to get out…

I strongly suggest better signs to distinguish the male and female
toilets to avoid situations like this. I’ve lived at on campus since
2000 while in uni and the toilets and bathrooms are co-ed so I wasn’t
too bothered about it, but this is Malaysia. It’s a good thing that all
the people in the female toilet at that time were from either XM or
Zenith Media. If there were any strangers, I wouldn’t know what the
outcome would be from that mistake. :)

the_taj_dish.jpg
The Taj. Fine North Indian Cruisine.

Anyway, back to dinner, here are the photos of the annual XM Malaysia/Zenith Media Deepavali get together!

salad.jpg

dessert.jpg

sweets.jpg

chih_ning.jpg
Zenith Media table. I only know Chih Ning (the one in white). She’s the one that gives out paychecks. ;)

candid_opp_table.jpg
Candid shot of the people opposite me.

my_table.jpg
This is the other side.

table_us.jpg
This is my side.

jemay.jpg
This is Jemay. He put me in a very uncomfortable position once during a TGIF meeting when my blog was brought up by him. ;)

jit_janet_eling.jpg
L-R: Jit, Janet, E-Ling

misc_shots1.jpg
Miscellaneous shots

misc_shots2.jpg
More miscellaneous shots

misc_shots3.jpg
Yet more miscellaneous shots

tamater_ka_horba.jpg
Tamater Ka Shorba
Tomato Soup with Indian Herbs

naan.jpg
Nan
Indian bread baked in clay oven

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Matar Pulao

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Dal Tarka
Yellow lentils tempered and seasoned with exotic spices

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Palak Paneer
Spicy spinach with Indian cheese

gobhi_kelandi.jpg
Gobhi Kelandi
Cauliflower with yoghurt and spices

goshi_kurma.jpg
Goshi Kurma

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Fish Tikka

tandoori_murgh.jpg
Tandoori Murgh
Tender Chicken marinated with freshly ground Mint, Coriander & Spices

kingfisher_beer.jpg
Kingfisher Beer! It tastes more like cider than beer…

kingfisher_india.jpg
Kingfisher beer is made in India!

my_plate_food.jpg
My plate of food.

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My dessert plate.

techies.jpg
Us techies.

tech_creative.jpg
L-R: Chia (blue), Anthony (white), Mandy (grey), Felicia (black), Loh (light blue), Huai Bin (me) (black)

candle.jpg

happy_deepavali.jpg

Happy Deepavali!

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