wow. turns out our beloved agong is also a june baby! his hari keputeraan was on the 6th but his malaysian rakyat residing in the united arab emirates celebrated his birthday on this date. from 5.30pm to 8pm, the tamouh cafe at reem island, abu dhabi was open for all malaysians to a makan-makan with our ambassador dato' yahaya and dubai consulate general, tuan syed hasrin.
abu dhabi is about 45mins drive from dubai and we went there malaysian style - convoy 5 cars! some were not sure of the location, and mr. khairul had no problem heading the convoy.
it was super-hot as the summer sun shines with all its might and when we arrived at tamouh cafe, i can't wait to get inside and be caressed with the cool and comfort of the place with the anticipation of the yummy food.
we went inside...
...and were greeted with this spectacle!
let the pictures say it all. it was hot, crowded, and stuffy. however, it was also a very loud, mesra mini malaysia happening inside the long canteen-like space.
hardly no seats seemed available, but i squeezed in with kak ziela and her kids who managed to get a row of chairs at a wall. mr. khairul did his usual socializing and networking bit. kak ziela and i had a pleasant chat with this chinese guy who works in abu dhabi.
"you're from abu dhabi ye?"
"no, i'm malaysian!"
"ye la, you're working in abu dhabi."
"oh! oh! ya lor.. malaysian working in abu dhabi..."
hihi. lawak la pakcik tu. and he was nice enough to bring me a drink!
food was fantastic, with endless choices - chicken, beef, lamb, prawn, squid, fish, mix vege - with all sorts of masakan - kurma, curry, fried, sweet & sour, honey-dipped, minced, stewed - lots and lots of typical malaysian lauk!
but the huge crowd made it impossible to get to them! and those who had taken theirs, kept hanging around near the buffet table eating while standing for lack of chairs, making it more difficult for the buffet line to move! biase lah malaysian maa.. attacking the buffet table is our forte!
mr. khairul and i? we 'divide and conquer' - i saved the seat, and he would get the food. haha. khaleef meragam a bit as he just woke up from sleep so mr. khairul had him along.
malaysian warmth and hospitality was still firmly intact despite being far from home, and lotsa people helped him with the food on one hand, as he was carrying khaleef with the other hand. malaysia boleh!
this is khaleef. making silly faces with apit, kak ziela's youngest. they're simply adorable trying to look like cool superheroes...
meanwhile kahfi dah start mengamuk because of the heat so we decided to leave early. well, we ate secubit singapore meehon, chicken curry, baked lamb - a little of this, a little of that so were still quite hungry as we left.
next stop? let's go makan at an indonesian restaurant serving nasi padang - sari rasa restaurant! dah sampai abu dhabi, boleh la try!
it's situated somewhere opposite the marina mall. just look for al-reyami office furnishing place with green signage, and you'll find the restaurant round the back. you really cannot see it from the front so do walk to the back of the building. the restaurant should put up a signage at the sides as well to make it easier to spot!
once inside, we're immediately led downstairs where the restaurant really is. there's a cashier beside a lauk counter just like in a typical nasi bungkus or mamak restaurant in malaysia. then there's rows of chairs and table; and to my delight, a section at the far back for those who prefers sitting on the floor.
i really love this concept as it's easier to 'please' kahfi who either wants to hang back in his crib, or hang out on the floor (with a napkin spread, of course!) - senang dan selesa bila duduk di lantai! khaleef can golek-golek all he wants too!
the walls were made to look like red bricks, with a beautiful peacock fan on the walls. the carpeting was soft plastic flooring, memang selesa!
time to order!
from the moment he heard there's an indonesian restaurant in abu dhabi, mr. khairul wanted bakso. bakso bakso bakso. to me bakso is like bihun sup, with meat balls.
there's one gerai in puchong that has the best bakso ever, that even after finishing this one at sari rasa restaurant, he firmly said, it not even close. sedap tu sedap, tapi memang tak boleh lawan makcik indon puchong tu!
i wanted rice. and fried chicken. period. so the waiter suggested 'nasi timbel' - a dish of rice and fried chicken, with special sambal, ikan masin, tauhu goreng, tempe and vegetables.
since i'm turning 30 in 12 days, i wanted to try 30 new things. one of them is trying out tempe. for the first time! tempe is a popular javanese food made of soya bean. how was it? ok i admit i didn't really know as i mashed it up together with my rice, chicken and egg... but i did try!
(eh tau tak kat arizona ade tempat nama tempe?)
the best thing about this dish was, everything was hot and fresh. fresh vegetables, freshly fried, freshly cooked - not the one where they just take your chicken from a whole bunch of already fried chicken few hours ago. it was a very simple dish, but satisfying!
the savoury must be followed by the sweets! i got myself the 'es campur' just to see how ABC is done in an indonesian restaurant. and it certainly was a unique treat! there's no jagung, laici, green cendol nor kacang. but it's got diced cincau, nata de coco, coconut bits and get this - nangka! wow, that really excites me sebab dah lama tak makan nangka!
the rest was the same as our ABC - the right mix of sweet brown syrup and milk - but instead of ground ice, they just put a couple of ketul ais in the bowl. boleh la!
mr. khairul ordered a drink fit for happy hour - 'soda gembira'. seriously! it's called the happy soda. the waitress brought a glass of milk with drops of red syrup, and pour in a can of ice-cream soda. rasa macam ais bandung bergas!
"lepas minum, you tersengih-sengih la ye?" i quipped.
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come by when you want a taste of yummies from indonesia!