For those who have never been to a padang type restaurant, it can be an intimidating endeavor.
Once you are seated, you are given a plate of rice. Then, like a parade’s procession, dish after dish is placed on the table in front of you. The sheet number of dishes can be mind boggling.
You are not obligated to eat all of the dishes in front of you. In fact, you only pay for the dishes you eat.
Of the 19 dishes placed in front of us, we tried the beef rendeng, which was almost beef jerky like in texture, and was much spicier than past versions I’ve had. It was pretty good.
The perkedel, or potato patties, had a great potato taste, but was lacking the crisp exterior I was hoping for.
The morning glory was cooked well, and was a solid dish.
The eggplant was soft and tender, but was kind of oily.
The fried chicken was slightly on the dry side. As with the perkedel, a crisp exterior would have been appreciated.
The main drawback I see from eating at a padang restaurant, is that the food is cooked ahead of time. The second, and maybe most importantly, is that the food was served either slightly cold or at room temperature. I have been told that having the food served at this temperature is the norm.
For a foreigner, I think eating at a padang restaurant is more the experience rather than for the food itself. I am sure that the food would be much more appealing if served hot.