Monday, August 1, 2016

A Night At Sudirman Street Bandung

Sudirman Street popped out out of nowhere when I stopped by to approach my favorite Martabak stall on Jl. Jendral Sudirman. It was back in December when the place was only opened for a few weeks. I revisited the place again a few months later, dining in inside this time.

This is Ruth’s family weekend-getaway in Bandung.

It was like a deja vu because we’re staying in the same airbnb house and went on technically the same itinerary. This time, we determined to try Sudirman Street for dinner. Parking a few minutes away from the Jl. Jendral Sudirman entrance, this food court was packed by sundown. Last time, we figured this place is only open for dinner, but Google search showed that some stalls opened for lunch as well. Bandung’s mountainous breeze makes outdoor dining possible at lunch, even without sitting inside an air-conditioned restaurant.

We finally found a table near the entrance. In between a fried meatball and noodle stalls. Settled down, I got up first and took a look around. The first thing I noticed about Sudirman Street is pork. Almost every stall serves pork, including the Pinky Porky Martabak stall on the side which use pork meat instead the usual beef. Across the street from the Martabak is a pork satay stall that gathered a lot of crowds and smoke. Looking at the satay shape, I decided to order that first.

The pork martabak has quite a line. When my brother ordered one, he was given a queue number, just like when you’re ordering bubble tea. The cooking took a while so when it’s done, we’ve tried almost half the food in Sudirman Street. We decided to have it at home, just in case somebody get a midnight craving. The martabak is delicious, a little salty and well, it has pork. Some people believes that pork in a dish changes the taste, and it really does on this particular martabak. Needless to say, the box was emptied a few minutes after we reached home.

The satay arguably was the best one I’ve ever tasted. It’s sweet to the inside, the meat is thick and grilled to the right tenderness. So this one is highly recommended for those dining at Sudirman Street. There is also a bloody drink stall next door, which sold everything from Baymax blood to Smurf blood. Those are sugary drinks with different flavors. Wasn’t my preferred thirst quenchers but these interesting drinks are well-loved by the young children.

Walk to the other end, near the Cibadak entrance and you’ll find a nicely decorated wall, perfect for photos if the place wasn’t that packed. I would recommend strolling through the alley first before placing an order. Choose wisely because you’ll be full and realize that you haven’t tried this and that. But of course, tomorrow is a new day and you can always return to try on different stalls. If you’re a pork-fan, this place is pretty much heaven.

A few tips: (1) Came early to beat the night crowd. Especially if you’re here on weekend. We arrived around 6 PM and it was packed. (2) Watch your belongings. Sudirman Street is an open food court and it’s always wise to be cautious. (3) Prepare cash. If you haven’t got any, the mini market nearby has an ATM machine. (4) Order right away after you decide. Some stalls are popular and would run out of food even before the end of the night. (5) Watch your kids if you’re dining with them. Several stalls like the satay cooked in the open, so you might want to pay more attention to your curious toddlers.

But our visit isn’t complete without a stop at the Martabak stall which started the culinary journey. My family had always ordered sweet martabak and thin crispy ones whenever we’re in Bandung. It dated back to our childhood days. The thin-crispy martabak, called Tipis Kering or Tipker, is arguably the best I’ve ever tasted and stayed true for around 20 years. So that’s why we kept on returning to this simple stall over the years. This time, the stall introduced us to a whole new dining experience called Sudirman Street.

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