Saturday, July 16, 2005
Soto Ayam, Batam, Indonesia
I don't really like Indonesian food as it's usually too sweet (and without pork). But one of the few things I will eat is soto ayam, a shredded chicken and rice noodle soup that can be pretty commonly eaten off the street. I had a pretty good one in Jakarta once, so much that the lady didn't understand when I tried to explain that I wanted another one (she didn't speak English).
Anyway, here on a neighboring island of Singapore for the weekend, I got a bowl, with rice, as apparently it is a typical but optional accompaniment (plus the portions here are really small). It was a bit boring until I remembered five minutes later that one of the magical condiments off the street was a big bucket of lime wedges. But even after squeezing in a couple slices, this indoor food court vendor still paled in comparison to the street.
I'm still not a big fan of Indonesian food. I have good memories of a pretty good rijsttafel in Amsterdam (little sampling plates of spicy Indonesian food kept warm for their Dutch colonists on heated racks), as well as a relieving soto ayam after cold hard rains (and after getting really tired of one week of non-stop pickled herring in Finland), but otherwise, I'll probably give Indonesian food a pass when given a choice.
Digested at 3:20 PM
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