I’ve mentioned once or twice about how they are renovating the square (actually a triangle) in front of my apartment. Several new food stalls (warungs) are part of the renovation. One of the stalls is actually more of a cart, selling turkey wraps, or geros. I tried one once, and while it was tasty, I couldn’t finish it because it was too spicy for me.
There is a warung facing my apartment that was fascinating me as it developed. It ended up taking the whole side of the park with four different glass shelf displays, plus the open area where a young woman, presumably the wife of the owner, cooks. I can see her nightly from my perch three stories above as she cooks various meals in her wok. It’s really quite entertaining.
I really wanted to try the food, but I think I was hesitating because it would be entering a different world, having to deal with the language problem, understanding whether what I ordered would be edible for me, eating dinner in a small park occupied by only locals. Basically, I was afraid to explore.
Shame on me.
Tonight, I blustered up the courage, poured myself a good-sized drink, and ventured down to this no-name dining establishment. As I asked for a menu (knowing I wouldn’t know what I was ordering), I looked around at all the Indonesian faces, many of them looking at me as if to say, “What are you doing here?”
Then a chunky man, sitting right next to me, pulled out one of the chairs at the closest table and asked me to join him and his friend. Surprisingly, I accepted. What ensued was a constant back and forth while I waited for my order and while I ate. Aria (spelling ?) spoke some English and had been a sailor in the past, once docking in San Francisco.
He asked me where I was from and I told him the U.S., and he wanted to know where in the U.S., so I told him Florida. And he said, “Yes, San Francisco.” Apparently, his main geographic reference point for the U.S. is San Francisco.
I ordered the Nasi goreng ayam special (rice with chicken in a special seasoning) because it was the only item I saw on the menu with ayam (chicken). I wanted some meat with my rice or noodles.
The chicken was delicious, but like all the chicken here the meat was scarce. The rice was delicious also, but it was too spicy for me to eat it all, although I did do a pretty good job on a big plate of food. Sorry, no photos, but I plan to bring the camera next time to feature the warung on my blogs. I was full, nonetheless.
The tab: Rp2,500 ($2.25) plus a 45-cent tip.
I may have to start rethinking my strategy of buying groceries and cooking my own meals, at least for one meal a day. It might actually me cheaper to eat out than in.