Saturday, 30 July 2011

Ramayana, Sedap Sari, and Durian Fiesta at Rangkasbitung - Banten

A lot of hidden gems..
Rangkasbitung map (image from weather-forecast.com)

..waiting to be discovered. That's what i think about Rangkasbitung or Rangkas in short. I believe not many people know about this area, cause it's not a big, metropolis city like Jakarta, although it's actually a capital city of Lebak regency.

It's my grandpa's hometown, and I used to go there once a year to pay a visit to the cemetery (some kind of my tradition to pay a visit to great great grandparents). Rangkas is a hot city, with the average temperature of 35-38 degree Celcius, although the trees are more than trees in Jakarta. It's my first visit after I went back to Indo, and this time I won't miss a chance to highlight Rangkas' culinary spots. The only hitch was the temperature, 41 degree Celsius really makes me uncomfortable.


Ramayana
The restaurant's board

Soo it's lunch time. As I said, there are many culinary gems hidden in Rangkas. I say "Ramayana" is one of them, although apparently it's quite popular among Rangkas people.

Simple interior

It is an Indonesian-food-based restaurant, offering quite many types of Indo foods such as nasi rames, soto ayam, and oxtail soup. Everything here is simple, maybe they focus more on the food than the decor.

Menu

With 41 degree outside, I immediately craving for cold drink. I demolished almost three bottles of cold sweet ice tea. I can't understand why the grandma's okay with hot tea. It's burning outside.

Drinks

We tried few of their signature dishes, but I didn't get to try everything.

The rice

Sate ayam (chicken satay) is the uncle's choice. Tender chicken chunks drenched by thick, slightly-spicy peanut sauce. A bit of soy sauce and fried shallots make this dish even better.

Sate ayam - IDR 20,000 ($2.2)

Sate kambing (goat satay)  is another type or satay ordered. I didn't try it cause I don't like goat. Or lamb.

Sate kambing - IDR 20,000 ($2.2)

I gave soto ayam (chicken slices, tomato, potato, and melinjo chips in rich coconut-milk-based soup) a welcoming drool when it arrived to the table. They use coconut milk in the soup so it's rick. So rich it may cause heart attack soon enough. It's amazingly tasty though, the chicken slices are succulent and generously given. The melinjo chips add delicious crunch.

Soto ayam - IDR 20,000 ($2.2)

Sop buntut (oxtail soup) is grandma's choice, but I didn't try it cause I don't like oxtail. The smell's mouthwatering though.

Sop buntut sapi - IDR 20,000 ($2.2)

So I opted for nasi rames (rice with various side dishes). Really my picture cannot do this dish justice. Nor can my description. It's just so awesome. I thought it's ordinary nasi rames at first, you know, rice with rendang (slow cooked beef in traditional spices), fried vermicelli, stir fried beans, sambal goreng kentang (fried potatoes with chilli sauce), and some gravy; but I was in awe from my first mouthful. The gravy is rich and sigh-worthy. The beef is succulent, even the potatoes are tasty on its own. Everything just work out perfectly on that plate. Best nasi rames ever.

Nasi rames - IDR 15,000 ($1.7)

Ooo yeah their chilli sauce is made in hell. It's so hot it burns me inside. But I eat it anyway. Cause I am crazy for chilli.


Sedap Sari Bakery


Sedap Sari is my fav bakery in Rangkas. The place is totally humble, but the smell of freshly baked breads always wins me over. It's quite hidden, so if you're not lucky you won't find it.

They have the best banana chocolate bread ever. I don't know how they do it, but the bread stays fluffy for the next three days. And they claim no chemical substances added.
L-R: banana chocolate bread, freshly baked breads in display


Duren Jatuhan Haji Arief
The place's icon

It was my first time visiting the place. Duren Jatuhan Haji Arief (DJHA) is truly a place for durian fiesta. Maybe some people hate durian's smell or taste, but for some of us (including me) find that this king of fruit tasty, deliciously creamy, and smells so good. Some say Serang's 9the capital city of Banten provence) durians are better than monthong durians, so I can't wait to taste them.

Mountain of durians in the store room

It's actually not a restaurant. They only provide some wooden seating, without actual chairs or tables. They have an enormous durian field nearby, so they can pick the fruits anytime and sell the best ones to customers. When I went to the store room to pick durians, I was greeted by the fantastic smell of durian. Tasty tasty durian smell I must add.

T-B: the place's board and pictures of durian types, opened durians in stereo foam trays

So this is how it works: you pick your durians, ranging from IDR 15,000 to 80,000 ($1.7 - 8.8), and then you can decide whether you want to eat them on the spot or bring them home. If you want to bring them home, you can also ask the crew to open the durians for you and put the flesh on stereofoam trays. I found that most families eat their durians on the place. The place's quite packed.

L-R: wood based interior, the scale

We chose one durian to be eaten on the spot, but I left for the toilet for about 5 mins. And this is what's left for me *sob*

It didn't disappoint though. It's sweet, creamy, and has a bit bitter lingering taste in the end. Just my kind of durian. It's, indeed, better than monthong durian.

Demolished

I wasn't satisfied yet so I persuade mom to buy two durians home hehee.

My precious fruit

O yeah they also have few animals on the backyard. One of them is this creepy, hyperactive squirrel which seems very willing to bite me hard anytime *shudder*

Hyperactive squirrel

I know Rangkas is still unfamiliar for most of us, but if you have a chance to visit, I say it's a great opportunity to discover its culinary gems. But yeah bring some fans or air conditioners with you or you'll melt.

P.S. Pardon the low quality photos. I think it's time to try Adobe Lightroom hmm.


Rating:

Ramayana: 5/5 (Must try)
Exceptional food, service is helpful and very friendly, OK ambiance although can be crowded during lunch time, price is affordable.

Duren Jatuhan Haji Arief: 5/5 (Must try)
Great fresh durians, price is OK, service is helpful, nice natural ambiance.










Address:

RAMAYANA RESTAURANT
Multatuli street no.71
Rangkasbitung 


SEDAP SARI BAKERY
Jl. KH Mansyur III No. 10 L
Rangkasbitung, Banten



DUREN JATUHAN HAJI ARIEF
Jln. Raya Pandeglang Km 14, Baros
Serang  



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2 comments:

  1. Hi Irene, Rangkas is my hometown, and yeayness, finally someone writes "sedap Sari" Bakery on a blog, since I love their breads as well. My fave is "roti abon" and everytime I get back home, my mom always brings me "Sedap Sari" :)

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    Replies
    1. It's my pleasure really, I do love the bread very much. In fact, it's one of my fav breads ever. I haven't tried roti abon, but I will try it when I have the chance to go to Rangkas again.
      Thanks for dropping by. Cheers! :)

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