Saturday, July 21, 2012

Arabic Culinary

This is the entrance of the Sunan Ampel mosque
When you're in Surabaya don't forget to stop by at the Arabic Neighborhood. Well if you're a fan of Islamic - Arabic area. It is located near Jembatan Merah Plaza with famous mosque called Masjid Sunan Ampel. Many pilgrims visit this place.

What fascinated me is of course the food. Arabic food. There was one simple, tiny place which fit for less than 25 people i think in Jalan K.H Mas Mansyur. The restaurant sells Arabic food, its name is "Yaman Kuliner" (Yemen Culinary). It's so easy to find this place. If you're at Jembatan Merah Plaza just go straight to the Chinese gate (Kya-Kya), ignored all the offers from becak drivers and follow your legs to walk along the old neighborhood. You'll find a narrow street next to the river and soon you'll smell stinky fishy smell it means you're near Pabean the fish market. Just go straight and you'll see many old houses build with Dutch and Chinese architecture. This street is called Jalan Panggung. About 200 meters you'll reach the end of this street and you'll find a junction - the big street is called Jalan Kyai Haji Mas Mansyur. Cross the street and find the restaurant near the junction on your left.

The restaurant is next to the other Arabic restaurant. Don't lose your way make sure that you enter the right restaurant with banner in front of the restaurant "Yaman Kuliner". The owner is not a friendly lady. But she's quite quiet so you won't lose your appetite. Sometimes she speaks loudly on he mobile phone like there's no one at her restaurant.

I recommend you to try Nasi Kebuli, Nasi Briyani, and Gule Maryam. Nasi = rice is cooked with some spices..i love the spices. If you're a fan of Indian food this won;t surprise you. The side pickles which is a mix of sliced cucumber, shallot, and pineapple is fresh and tasty.

This is Nasi Kebuli
The rice is cooked with special spices.
The lamb chops are huge, soft anf yummy. This food is highly recommended
The price is about IDR 24,000. There are two types of Nasi Kebuli you can choose with lamb or chicken

This is Nasi Briyani
My sister had this dish
It's nice since she doesn't like lamb she chose chicken
As you can see the chicken chop was also "fine"
The price is for about IDR 22,000

The famous Arabic food is of course lamb, but i assure you that the lamb here is moist, well-cooked, and not smelly. They know very well how to cook the lamb so it won't leave goat breath on your mouth :D

Kambing Oven Jumbo Madu
I also tried this huge Honey Baked Lamb (Kambing Oven Madu). It's huge (Jumbo size) enaugh for 3 people. But i was a little bit upset because i thought I could taste honey, sweet and tasty but i think the lamb is just okay. The lamb is served with the sauce, it looks like  sate sauce but without peanuts. It's quite expensive. It is IDR 59,000 for this huge lamb ( I think what I ate was the lamb's thigh part).
The texture of the lamb is great, it's tender and well-cooked. The restaurant served it on a hot plate also equipped with cutlery (knive and fork).

The sauce was not special. As you can see below it is exactly like sate's sauce. I eas expecting something more :(
There were also shallot slices, chili, and lemon. honey in the sauce. Or maybe there was somethingw rong with my tongue? Not sure but I give 8 for the lamb and 5 for the sauce. Quite sad since it's pricey.

Another food that i had was Tongseng Ayam. Tongseng is goat (lamb) meat or beef stew dishes in curry-like soup with vegetables and kecap manis (sweet soy sauce).At that time the restaurant was running out of lamb whatsoever so that I could only order chicken. So then I had my chicken tongseng. It was nice with light spices. This one is Javanese rather than Arabic food. 

There were slices of cabbage and tomatoes in the soup. The chicken was fried first then added to the soup. The chicken was over-cooked so that they become bit hard. The price for a portion is IDR 35,000 and I got for about 8 chops of chicken in the soup. So it's quite worthy for the taste and the price.

I had my tongseng with rice, a plate of rice is IDR 5,000 in a quite big portion. I can assure you that the rice portion is bigger than any other fancy restaurant :D
Tongseng Ayam

  • Go to "Yaman Kuliner" restaurant at about 10 a.m in the morning so that you can try many kind of "nasi". I recommend Nasi Kebuli and Nasi Briyani. I don't recommend Nasi Buchori cause it tastes like normal fried rice-but sweeter.
  • Take the seat near the entrance since the palce is so small and the owner has only one standing non waving fan.
  • When you take the seat near the entrance (long table with 6 chairs) be ready to get the flying ashes since they barbecued sate next to your seat)
  • Don't come too late in the afternoon. Even if the place opens from 10 in the morning til 10 in the evening they run out favorite menu at noon so that you are "forced" to get non-favorite menu or pricey one like Kambing Oven and Tongseng.
  • They sell other food like fried chicken with sambal but since it's Yaman Kuliner try to taste the Arabic Food.
Good luck!!


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