In February, we told you about an incredible foodie find. Birmingham actually has some of the best Indonesian food you’ll find anywhere, and it’s at the unlikeliest of places-a Thai restaurant in a strip mall in Vestavia. And it’s all because of Marty, their chef who happens to be from Bali.
The first time we went, Marty asked us if he could just cook for us-and we said, um, yes please. What resulted was an impromptu and unexpected Indonesian feast. No way to top that. Except for one thing: one of my foodie friends knows a lot about Indonesian food. A LOT. So at the end of our last visit, we mustered the nerve to ask Marty if we could make food requests. I’m not sure why we were so hesitant to do this-Marty clearly loves to make Indonesian food and happily agreed. And since we only requested two things, Marty filled in the rest with a few old faves from the last post and a few surprises. I’ve just included the new dishes below, including one very hard-to-find Indonesian treat.
First, a new salad. He said he typically makes this with homemade tempeh (wow) but believe me, it was really awesome with tofu. A cabbage wrap with a spicy fresh tomato sauce homemade by Marty, fresh basil, and cukes. Simple and delish.
Next up – this beautiful creature:
Oh, well hello there:
Fried sea bass. Prepared the same as the fish from our first visit – lightly fried in a sweet chili sauce with hot peppers. Pick apart, flip and repeat. Light, perfectly cooked. Incredible.
Next, one of my friend’s requests, beef rendang. Perfectly tender beef in a creamy, spicy curry sauce. Lived up to expectations.
Marty also made us a spicy chicken dish (authentic name unknown) that knocked our socks off in terms of spice. The was also perfectly tender. If you need your sinuses cleansed (quite pleasantly), order this:
And now, for the most highly anticipated part of the meal. Dardar guling. This dessert is a sweet crepe filled with a sticky, syrupy sweet coconut filling. The green comes from pandan leaves, which are infused into the batter. Here you go:
Now in cross section:
If you want these, I encourage you to ask Marty to make you a large batch to take home and freeze. Because one, or two, or six is not enough. You will want more, trust me. That’s what we plan to do next time. This time, we just asked for seconds and cleaned out what he had left in the kitchen.