Don’t you just love it when you get interstate or overseas visitors that are not really interested in doing the tourist trail? You know, walking around as a guide looking at the Opera House and Bridge, tourist-trap Darling Harbour and that useless over-priced monorail. It’s exhausting stuff.
Having Big Bro down for a few days was fantastic as I knew he wasn’t at all interested in seeing “the sights”, and was more interested in hanging out eating and exploring the real Sydney. Thanks to sharing a love of food we probably consumed enough over the last few days to feed a small nation. I had a basic plan of where to go and the first place off the mark was paying a visit to Ayam Goreng 99 in Kingsford. Last time I was in the area the queue was far too long. On our visit last Friday for lunch we were first in thanks to getting there half an hour before opening. Talk about eagerness!
While waiting for the lights to be switched on we had sufficient time to choose what we wanted from the menu on the outside window, and spent no time placing our order once seated. Same drill as my previous Indonesian experience down the road – write your own order on the paper and hand it over to the very friendly staff.
The procession of dishes came out quickly and the first off the rank is pepes jamur (4.5), roasted mushrooms in banana leaves with onion, chilli and spices, and pepes teri (4.5), roasted anchovies done the same way. I found the mushrooms a little on the ordinary side and lacking any of the spices, though the small pot of killer chilli sambal would have changed that had I been that brave. It was possibly the hottest sambal I’ve come across. One dip of the finger for a taste was enough to make me choke up and squeal like a twelve year old girl.
The pepes teri is a tiny portion compared to the mushroom parcel and the mention of anchovies made me expect larger fish than what we got. At first you think it is shreds of fish but in actual fact it is the tiny fish we call silverfish here in Oz or whitebait as they do in New Zealand. It’s absolutely delicious and almost had me ordering another portion.
The sate kambing (9.5)comes on a bed of lontong, tender cubes of rice cake drizzled with a divine coconut cream/sweet soy concoction. The lamb on the skewers was to die for. Beautifully charred and caramelized on the outside and medium-rare inside. Peanut sauce also comes with.
The ayam goreng mentega (13), fried chunks of chicken in a sweet and tangy sauce. It sits on nothing more than a few leaves of lettuce and is tender, crispy and delicious. Perfect with the sides of coconut rice and cah kangkung(9), stirfried onchoy with garlic, belacan, chilli and onion.
The moaning and groaning coming from the pair of us was of downright gastronomic ecstasy. We were satisfied to the brim, almost. The only thing that would turn our little feast into perfection would be one of the wacky desserts on the menu. Todays choice is es campur (5)– mixed jelly and fruits with shaved ice, condensed milk and syrup. It seems I’m taking a liking towards to this kind of thing. After our delicious and rich meal a dessert like this is ideal balance to it all. An Indonesian happy ending.