Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Restoran Indah Sayang, Taman Melaka Raya

Late afternoon at Indah Sayang
TJ - The odd thing about Melaka is that most of the restaurants (that I've seen anyway) don't have any signage saying it's halal or pork free or not halal. I've had to go into the restaurants and ask. This restaurant was recommended (while we were contemplating nak masuk ke tak) by a random Singaporean family  that always comes back to Indah Sayang and I can see why.
Addictive tapioca chips awaits you

The decor is nothing to shout about. You want a pretty kitschy nyonya restaurant, head to the many other nyonya restaurants available at Taman Melaka Raya. You want a cozy little place with good food, drop by Indah Sayang. 

Assam Fish

K (our invisible third contributor) can and has slurped down the Asam Fish's kuah like it was soup! The bits of pineapple provides a tangy sweetness that compliments the spicy sour kuah (sauce) made fragrant with daun kesum and lemongrass.

Cili Garam Prawns

The portion for Cili Garam prawns (literally "chili salt") was a little small for a group of 3. Damn. The dry-ish sambal is, of course, spicy, salty and sour thanks to tamarind juice and a squeeze of lime. I lovelovelove this sambal but it NEEDS MOAR PRON PRAWN.

Kerabu Pucuk Paku

The Kerabu Pucuk Paku (Fern Salad) was a surprise - we've never had a kerabu so wet. Young and tender ferns in sweet, sour, salty and spicy mix with a strong taste of coconut from the kerisik (toasted dessicated coconut) and santan (coconut milk). It was good but definitely not the highlight of the meal.

Ayam buah keluak

One of the reasons why I keep coming back to Indah Sayang is for the Ayam Buah Keluak . Buah Keluak is poisonous unless prepared properly (which involves burying it in ash for forty days). AIYA GILA. There is no way I'm gonna prepare this dish at home and I don't know where to buy prepared buah keluak anyway.

The gravy is thick with spices, its taste reminiscent to rendang (it's the lemon grass and galangal) but with an added bitterness thanks to the buah keluak. The fruit's flesh is black and squishy yet slightly meaty, with a pungent earthy taste (maybe that's the ash). Unfortunately, this dish tends to overpower the other ones but I can't stop ordering my faves regardless. Warning - buah keluak's an acquired taste although Nina was loving it from the start. ("What can I say, I'm a connoisseur.")

There was chicken with the keluak?

Nina - the bitterness was undercut by the delicate nuttiness. Not to be hyperbolic, but it was a revelatory experience. I've been spoiled! This restaurant's ayam buah keluak has now set the bar for me. I was so intent on enjoying this dish I had to pass over the assam fish, which was also great, but the flavour would've overwhelmed the buah keluak so... a choice must be made!

The proprietor was gruff and friendly in that particularly brusque way all Malaccans seem to have (it's not an insult, it's just a howyadoin, if you're in Melaka). He was warning us about the cincaluk (the shop also sells cincaluk and gula melaka and tapioca chips for you to take home), and that it was very salty, to which TJ can attest (It's meant for making cincaluk omelet, not as cincaluk the dip - TJ) . XD The tapioca chips (RM9) is a must buy. It's a biiiiig pack but don't worry, you'll go through it in no time.

RM77 for 3 pax

Restoran Indah Sayang (nearby Watson)
138, Taman Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka. 
Tel: 06-2820285 
Price Range - $$
No Pork Served - but they do have booze

(the tumblr photopost)

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