Sunway has probably the highest Indonesian student population in Malaysia. In fact, I'd be surprised if it didn't. Because of that, Indonesian restaurants have popped up like weeds, especially in the Mentari Court area. Ayam penyet, baso, and my latest favourite haunt, Resto Surabaya.
No. 18-1, Jalan PJS 8/2 Dataran Mentari, 46150, Petaling Jaya
Daily: 11 am till 11 pm
Authentic east Java dishes, a nice break from all the typical ayam penyet joints.
Drinks are on the sweet side; order with less sugar/milk.
When I invited an Indonesian classmate to come with me, she agreed so fast you would think she hadn't had any Indonesian food for a year. As we escape college grounds during lunch hour, she declares, “It's alright, it's only class. This is Resto Surabaya!”
We make our way to the restaurant, which reminds me of so many other Indonesian restos not just in KL, but in, well, Surabaya. Sparse with the occasional handicraft, smells of sambal and bacem in the air – my lunch date's enthusiasm is so contagious that I cannot help but tap my foot impatiently for our food.
Drinks arrive first. The soda gembira is served a little differently than other places; they pour in the milk and syrup first, and give you a can of ice cream soda separately so you can mix it to your desired sweetness. We also have teh kotak, which I cannot go without ordering at an Indonesian restaurant.
Soto ayam lamongan arrives first. Similar to soto madura, it's filled with soun and chicken strips in a clear yellowish broth. We dive into it with our hands, happily slurping up flailing strands of noodles noisily. The chicken is chewy yet soaked through with the broth, while just a touch of sourness hits the back of my throat.
Ikan bakar milenium is like really tasty mystery meat. It's fried till crispy and topped with what they call “saus milenium” which is, as far as I can tell, a sort of roasted sweet chilli paste. I crunch through an entire side of the fish and eat it with nasi uduk, sort of like Indonesian nasi lemak. (At this point, my lunch companion is no longer speaking with me, but has a state of perma-bliss on her face.)
Cumi goreng oven garam is basically fried battered squid. Topped with a very simple fried chilli mix, it's the sort of dish you could snack on during conversations or while watching the telly. Not floury at all, with a great hearty crunch.
My absolute favourite of the day is tahu and tempe bacem. Tofu and tempeh marinated in gula merah and various other flavourings, fried to sweet-savoury perfection. It is now my turn to have a blissed-out look on my face, as my companion notes that she has never seen me this happy before.
A very generous lunch for two came up to just under RM50, a feat considering how much we ordered. Staggering back out to the main road to catch a cab back to campus, we groan about how we are going to fall asleep in class later. I'll definitely come back here again during future lunch breaks. After all, I spied rawon on their menu..
p.s. – Just so you know, I did fall asleep. It wasn't pretty.