Mostly, cities in Indonesia have Padang Restaurant, or at least Padang hut. It is popular too internationally. Do you know it? The cuisine of the Minangkabau (a land of around West Sumatra province) people is commonly called Padang cuisine, due to it is the central and largest city of the region. Padang food is famed for its spicy and unique way it being served. All the dishes are displayed at a glass counter near the entrance for customers to select their favorites. I think this is an ancient tactic to whet one’s appetite.
Ordering at a Padang restaurant couldn’t be easier: sit down, and watch the dozens dishes with highly flavored foods pile up. It is served in small portions of various dishes, but constituting, with rice and insipid tea. Eat what you like, ladies and gentlemen, then pay only for dishes you’ve actually consumed. Don’t worry, the waiter knows exactly what have missed there. 🙂
You’ll soon look at rendang sapi (spicy curried beef cooked until the sauce is dry), soto padang (crispy beef in spicy soup), ayam pop (popcorn-like of chicken), curried fish, sate padang (beef satay in curry sauce), fried chicken, etc. Padang dishes can be used unusual ingredients, including internal organs like hearts, lungs and brains.
And don’t forget sambal, the spicy sauces ubiquitous at Indonesian tables. Specially in Padang restaurants, it is obligatory to serve sambal ijo (green spicy sauce). Usually sambal is red or orange, but sambal ijo is naturally green. Not spicy on my tongue, so don’t hesitate to try it.
Because Padang cuisine is dominated by meat and coconut milk (which means cholesterol risky), I strongly recommend you to balance them with vegetables. They’re delicious too. So, bon appétite! [photos from Masakan Padang in Facebook]