I know what you might think now: “why eating Indonesian food when you’re blessed with the incredible cuisine of Thailand?” Granted, true! However, if you’re an expat / nomad / long term traveller, you probably had once, if not often, this craving for you own food. Well Kian had it when we lived in Bali and was just too excited when visited a German restaurant in Lovina.
Since Chiang Mai has plenty of options for buying and/ or eating German stuff, I was really looking forward to try Indonesian food in Bangkok. Just before our recent trip to Bangkok we heard about an Indonesian restaurant right in the centre of Thailand’s bustling capital. In my thoughts I already indulged to delicious Ayam Bakar (grilled chicken) along with Tempe and Tahu goreng along and other mouthwatering treats from Indonesia!
A positive surprise came when we explored MBK, one of Bangkok’s largest shopping malls: as we got hungry and were looking for the food court, we stumbled upon ‘5th Avenue’, one of two food courts inside the mall. ‘5th Avenue’ is located on the fifth floor and is more laid out like a large single restaurant with several ‘stations’ inside, each serving dishes of a different country.
We first were looking into the Mexican and Greek section, when Kian suddenly saw the sign ‘Jimbaran – Bali’. We immediately jumped over to see what they offered and were so excited about the fact that we found not only Indonesian, but even Balinese cuisine.
After briefly checking the menu, we figured out that they offered indeed a various selection of Balinese dishes but also common Indonesian dishes. Specialities included Ikan Bakar Bali (grilled fish, Balinese style) or Gado-Gado (mixed salad with peanut sauce).
Well, you can imagine that we did not hesitate at all and ordered our food right away. Kian chose Nasi Rendang (simmered beef with rice) and I took one of my favourites, Nasi Campur (rice with chicken and assorted sides). The taste was good, also not really great. Anyway, wouldn’t anyone be happy to taste a bit of home? The dishes here start at 120 THB which is acceptable and are freshly prepared at the live-cooking kitchen.
By the way, did you know that Rendang was chosen as the world’s number one dish in an online poll held by CNN by more than 35.000 people?
Our search for Indonesian cuisine continued and two days later we eventually visited ‘Rasa Khas Indonesian Restaurant’. We met a friend of mine, also from Indonesia, residing currently in Bangkok and had a great lunch together. Rasa Khas offers a broad range of typical Indonesian dishes such as Siomay (dumplings), Soto Ayam (chicken soup) and Cap Cay (stir mixed vegetables, similar to Thailand’s ‘Morning Glory’).
The restaurant is divided into two areas: a large open air area while the inside is smaller and more private. As it was pretty hot and humid, we decided to take a seat inside. We almost couldn’t decide what to eat but I eventually decided to go for a lip-smacking Ayam Bakar Bumbu Bali (grilled chicken with Balinese sauce) along with Es Cendol (rice flour with coconut milk and palm sugar) and Kian had an amazingly tender Ayam Bakar (similar to mine, however, Javanese style), along with Es Kelapa Muda (fresh and sweet coconut juice).
Both dishes were served with Tempe (fermented deep fried soy beans) and Tahu (deep fried tofu), rice and salad. Each of our meals was priced at 160 THB and the drinks at 60 THB each.
The food was enak (Indonesian for ‘delicious’), the location is great and easy to find, although the service should be way more attentive to those sitting inside.
Here are both addresses:
5th floor @ MBK Mall
444 Phayathai Road, Bangkok 10330
Open: 10:00-22:00, daily
Rasa Khas Indonesian Restaurant
86/2 Sukhumvit 23, Bangkok 10110
Open: 11:00-23:00, Tuesday to Sunday