x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Cheap as chips: Bandung

The large terrace out front of Bandung brings diners in; but the Indonesian menu keeps bringing them back.

Bandung It was the large terrace that brought me in; it is the menu that keeps bringing me back: large portions of nasi goreng special with shrimp, chicken and egg, steamed vegetables with peanut sauce and a glass of sweet home-made iced tea to top it off.

Awkwardly located in the Tourist Club area, Bandung caught my eye when exploring the Kingsgate Hotel area. Its battered neon sign flickered between a well-lit shisha place and a tiny, dusty South Asian spice store.

The summer heat didn't make for an obvious outdoor venue, yet all the seats were taken. The smell of kretek (clove cigarettes) signalled that I had found a tasty slice of Indonesia. When I have an urge for the perfect sate ayam (chicken satay) I'll drive around the block five times to find parking without a hint of annoyance. And I don't mind waiting for service, either. Don't be afraid to ask for sambal if they forget to bring it out to you.

The back door in the alley leads to the kitchen and is the fastest way to get anything heated or ordered. Try the gule daging kambing (braised rack of goat with coconut and clove), any of the sotos (soups) and don't be afraid of the ikan kering (dried baby fish). I'd recommend rice over noodles, but that's just me. For two people, you're looking at Dh120. Did I mention they deliver?