RICH curries, robust stews and thirst-quenchers doubling up as dessert sum up the menu of Sari Indah Restaurant.
The restaurant at Alamanda, Putrajaya, specialises in Minang cuisine, in particular nasi padang dishes originating from the town of Padang in West Sumatra.
Imagine a platter of rice with tempting dishes too many to count to whet your appetite.
Three young entrepreneurs who visited Indonesia often enjoyed the Minang food served at the Sari Indah Restaurant in Jakarta.
They toyed with the idea of bringing the concept to Malaysia and it led to the opening of Sari Indah two years ago.
The trio formed Global Cuisine Sdn Bhd to oversee the operations of Sari Indah.
Recently, the company was also tasked with managing D'Istana Jalamas Cafe at Istana Budaya and has a minor stake in D'Tandoor Restaurant, Damansara Utama.
Sari Indah is a semi-fine dining restaurant with bamboo poles, lights shaped like traditional fish traps known as bubu and wood carvings to exude a contemporary aura.
Brown and cream tones resonate throughout the restaurant located within view of the fountain.
For those curious about Minang cuisine, the current Ramadan buffet offers many samplings with Rendang Daging Minang, Gulai Ikan Merah, Asam Pedas Bawal, Gulai Babat, Cincang Sapi Gulai, Dendeng Kering and Dendeng Lambok.
A word of caution though – Minang cuisine is not for those with weak stomach.
The intoxicating blend of spices, herbs and rich ingredients like coconut milk and meat are good for an occasional indulgence but not for daily consumption.
Sari Indah head chef Saiful Anwar was keen for us to try the Gulai Tunjang, made from beef tenderloin.
He said the portion was boiled for 20 minutes to remove oils, fats and other residue before it was returned to the pot for further boiling.
“When the portion is totally rid of fats, we amalgamate the meat with spices and cook the tenderloin for a good two to three hours. During the process, the gravy becomes thick and redolent of spices,” he said.
Assistant chef Nur Yadi from Jakarta extolled the virtues of the Gulai Otak, made from the brains of a goat.
He said the frozen portion that arrived at Sari Indah was divided into several sections and cooked like gulai.
The Dendeng Kering Balado, another house speciality, was chewy to the utmost. This was a lean piece of beef boiled for some time as strips.
Afterwards, it was cooked with spices, removed, pounded, fried and served with sambal.
A small selection of poultry dishes is offered too like Gulai Ayam Kampung and Ayam Goreng Bumbu. Sari Indah also doesn't disappoint when it comes to serving the famous Indonesian offering, Gado-gado.
Some thirst-quenchers like Es Sari Buah Laici and Es Teler Putrajaya double up as dessert so you're presented with best of two worlds.
As portions were large, we recommend sharing.
Sari Indah also offers catering services with a wide range of Ramadan menus for buka puasa.