Hermawan and Risman (above) from the local Microsoft office took me out to a place near the office for a real Indonesian lunch. This little cafe served Padang-style food where the servers bring out a bunch of dishes, and you only pay for the ones you eat. You can see the various plates stacked up in front of us. There was a great chicken curry, another chicken covered in curry and then roasted, some nice shrimp with potatoes, and a good dried beef. Almost everything was very nice.
With some glee, Hermawan put this crispy brown thing on my plate and wanted to see if I'd try it. Risman sat giggling. I asked what it was; Hermawan just said he'd tell me after I ate it. So I did. It tasted kind of like a pork rind, but beefy and a bit grainy. Not bad all in all. It's a dish called nasi padang -- fried beef lung. Well, that was a first for me. I think I earned some cred by eating it without flinching. As we left the table, I finished off the last bite just to show I wasn't scared of it. Somehow, I don't think it's going to ever make it big in the States.
We also had a tasty but slightly weird looking dessert. It was a bowl of coconut milk, tapioca noodles (I think), some bright pink fruit (like a cross between passionfruit and a pomegranate), jack fruit (yum), and avocado over ice. Frankly, the ice scared me the most as the water isn't great around here (I've been avoiding ice all week). It was yummy and refreshing, I must admit.
When it came time to tally the meal, the waitress pointed to a few dishes where we only ate part of the dish, like one of the two pieces of chicken; she only charged those as half a dish. A bit scared, I asked my hosts whether they re-served the uneaten food. They both smiled and said "I think you know the answer." As Michelle wrote to me when I told her this, "Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, ick, ick, ick"
Lack of American-style hygiene aside, it was a good meal. I'm glad to have had at least Indonesian meal outside the hotel ordered by locals in the know. It was very memorable...
(Pardon the poor photo quality; these are camera phone snaps. We left the office in a hurry since we were short on time so I forgot my real camera.)