Growing up in a multi-ethnic tropical country made me familiar with diverse and tasty food, because each ethnic in Indonesia has their own secret recipe which can make you fall in love at the first taste. One of those delicious foods, which was also chosen as the #1 in the world’s 50 best food voters in 2011 by CNN is Rendang. What’s so special about it?
Rendang is an authentic delicacy by the Minangkabau ethnic group from Padang, West Sumatra. It’s a beef stew cooked with tropical spices such as chili, pepper, clove, ginger, curcuma, and boiled together with coconut milk. The process to make this delicious Rendang needs at least two to four hours because it is important that the spices are soaked up well by the meat. When the meat is well done and tasty, it’s usually served together with white rice, Sambal lado mudo (mashed green chili) and boiled casava leaves. We call that collaboration, Nasi Padang. The taste of Rendang is unique and full-flavoured. Once you’ve tasted it, you won’t ever forget it.
Where can we find Rendang? Luckily, many Minangese migrate from their hometown and when they settle in their new place, they will open a Padang Restaurant. This restaurant only sells Minang/Padang food and has a unique way in serving the food. If you have a chance to visit a Padang Restaurant in Indonesia, you will see them serving all of their meals including Rendang to your table without you even asking. This serving style is called ‘hidang’. But don’t worry, you aren’t expected to eat them all, nor to pay for all of it. You will only pay for whatever plate you eat from. This type of Padang Restaurant serving meals also inspired the famous Dutch Rijstafel. The difference is that with the Dutch Rijstafel serving style you have to pay all of the meals that are served.
Don’t be surprised if you see an Indonesian eating Nasi Padang and Rendang not only as dinner meal but also as breakfast or lunch meal, as in Indonesia we eat heavy meals three times a day (not only as dinner). At least it will give you chance to go to Padang Restaurant and taste the Rendang whenever you want.
So, are you ready to taste the world’s most delicious food?