Posted in Foodie, Review

Radja Gurame: mantap, bro!

So I said I’d post more eatery reviews sooner than later, and without realizing it… it’s another weekend! My bad… that what happens when real life prevails – I have so little time to sit down and write. Because there are so many things I’d love to do with my free time besides writing.

Anyway, after an extravagant meal, it’s only natural to tighten our belt a bit as we opted for local delicacies at Jln Pesanggrahan, Radja Gurame. It is located between Gowagyu and Cheese Cake Factory, opposite Sandwich Bakar and Ikkudo Ichi. We’ve frequented the outlet for more than half dozen times, which is quite often considering our first visit was only several months ago. It has since become one of our go-to restaurants due to location, ambiance, taste, and of course staff and price. You know me~ xp

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From the outside, its contemporary, woody, café-esque exterior with huge signboards (two of ‘em!) gives off an impression of a middle-to-high-end eatery. So is its interior. (Which made us wary at first – we’re unwilling to spend lotta dosh on gourami, above all things.) Brown is the dominant color as its fixtures is mostly made of wood – the solid, heavy table-and-chairs, windowsills, ceiling planks, even the tissue holders. I just love the décor. With medium lighting, cool temperature, and up-to-date, aptly-volumed music on the background, it feels cozy and homey and is indeed a great place to chill out with family or friends. By apt volume I mean it in a way that you don’t have to shout-talk to that someone across the table yet can be sure that your conversation won’t be easily eavesdropped by the noiseless, fixated-on-their-gadgets patrons on neighboring tables.

Seating-wise, it offers three options: outdoor, indoor with chairs, and indoor cross-legging on the elevated platform (lesehan). They cater to different needs and preferences, provided that it’s still available. Regardless of the day we had dinner there, it’s always three-quarter full. Only until recently did we realize there’s another floor! The seating arrangement and everything mirrors that on the ground level, only with brighter lighting and bigger outdoor area. I guess no one wants to sit outside in the dark fighting the heat, humidity, and hungry mosquitoes, but it would be a nice setting in daytime.

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[Gurame Hotplate BBQ 39K (+rice), Pepes jamur 7K, Tauge cah polos 11K]

Food-wise, as the name implies, Radja Gurame offers quite an extensive selections of gourami fish blanketed in various soup, sauce, and condiments ranging from the usual gurame goreng/baker, asem manis, and cabe ijo to the not-that-common lada hitam and sambal mangga to the intriguing hotplate BBQ and kuah Thailand/tauco. We’ve been wanting to try gurame pesmol but it is not available yet – no notice whatsoever is pasted on the menu indicating that. We inquired about it every time, but no such luck =(

Sup gurame is sour and a bit spicy; the soup is thin and clear. Gurame hotplate BBQ may come across as hmm to you initially, but BBQ sauce complements gourami unexpectedly well. The sauce is sweet with viscous consistency and is able to mask any fishiness gourami usually has. The sight of gurame cabe ijo is drool-inducing; alas, it is not spicy at all. What a letdown. Below the bed of crushed green chilies is the fish drenched in brown soupy liquid. Out of the menu I’ve ordered so far, however, ayam bakar remains my favorite. Sweet soy sauce is well marinated into the chicken meat – it tastes real’ good! One of the best ayam bakar in town without a doubt!

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[Gurame bakar ijo 38K (+rice), Paket ayam bakar 20K, Sup gurame 40K]

Its main menu is upgradeable to set meal for around 4K extra (which comes with rice, tahu, tempe, lalap, and sayur ayem) although you get only rice for fancier gourami selections. Its sayur ayem is also one of the best – it’s rich, spicy, and flavorful. Yum~

If the above doesn’t tickle your fancy, other types of fish like bawal or kuwe are available. Or other local delicacy options like empal, babat/paru, various kinds of pepes, stir-fried vegetables, nasi goreng, or even gado-gado. But of course gourami would be its strongest dish. Empal that we had was thin, dry, and hard to chew; pepes jamur is to bland for our liking; kangkung and tauge are nice but the serving is too small. Paket ayam bakar is enough for one person, while the fish is better shared.

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