Friday, February 21, 2014

Warung Cobain : Authentic Indonesian Food in Batam

For our last night in Batam, Paul and I wanted to try the local fare. There were a lot of choices so after walking around Nagoya Hill Mall, we decided to dine at Warung Cobain. There was some bit of a discussion how to pronounce the second word. Paul said it should be ko-ba-in while I read it as co-bayne similar to Nirvana's singer Kurt Cobain.

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Anyway, the restaurant was packed so we had to make do with the tiny table for two by the kitchen. Where was a slightly foul smell coming from I-don't-know-where but we just ignored it and ordered away.

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First on our list was the ever famous Ayam Goreng (Rp. 11,818) or more popularly known as the Ayam Penyet. This is Indonesia's signature dish which is basically a smashed fried chicken. This is also widely available in all Indonesian hawker stalls, food courts and restaurants here in Singapore. How this dish is prepared is still a mystery to us but we love the juicy chicken meat and Paul enjoyed munching on the crunchy skin. As we shared this quarter piece of chicken, we could detect a slight lemongrass flavor which we think was used to marinade the chicken in. Definitely, a trip to Indonesia is not complete without this.

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We were on a high after our seafood lunch earlier that day so we got Ikan Goreng (Rp. 26,363) which is basically deep-fried Tilapia in local Filipino setting. Sadly, they do not serve this with vinegar so we found it very dry. Paul tried asking for ketchup (I don't really know why haha) and they gave him a black bottle with sticky soy sauce inside. The local server said "this is kecap (ket-sap) manis". Oops! Not the tomato ketchup that we had in mind but what do you know, the kecap manis complemented the fried fish very well. It tasted like Alex III's Java Sauce which had a good combination of sweet and salty flavor. Well, guess what we ended up doing next? We basically had kecap manis with the chicken and even added a few onto our rice. We obviously went kecap manis crazy! Okay, going back to the fish, it was definitely a great deal given that it's only worth $2.50 / P87!

warung cobain 1
Lastly, we tried the Nasi Goreng Jawa (Rp. 18,181). I know it was a bit of an overkill to have all fried dishes in one meal. We actually didn't noticed it until we saw all of it on the table and we just went "oops!" Apparently goreng means fried in Indonesian. Now we know better. Well, no regrets anyway as the Nasi Goreng Jawa was good! I was somehow expecting it to taste like my all-time favorite Java Rice but instead it tasted like a regular fried rice. To add more life to it, a few drops of kecap manis did the trick! While this was good though, I'll make a mental note to just stick to plain white rice when having Ayam Goreng as both strong flavors were just fighting for my taste buds' attention. Best to let the Ayam Goreng take centerstage, right? I liked the crunchy kropek that came with it though.

So there you have it, our authentic Indonesian dinner. It was very reasonably priced as we paid about Rp. 75,000 (S$8 / Php. 285) for everything.

We're so happy that we chose Warung Cobain and this is one place that I would highly recommend to everyone who visits Batam and is in the mood for some local Indonesian fare that won't hurt your budget at all.

Warung Cobain is located at the Food Street in Nagoya Hill, Batam, Indonesia. They also have another branch at the Upper Ground Level in Mega Mall. 

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