To be honest, I haven’t had much experience with Indonesian food here, and when a friend first suggested Bumbu Desa to me, I was a little sceptical. The kind of scepticism you feel when a friend suggests something like Burger King as a place for burgers. (And with a tagline like ‘Indonesia’s leading restaurant chain’, how could you not?)
One afternoon, I decided to visit the KLCC outlet to see what the fuss was about. Given its location on the top floor, I’ve always thought of Bumbu Desa as one of those expensive fourth floor restaurants. It sure looked the part: dim lighting, comfy-looking chairs and a simple but chic decor complete with Indonesian figurines lining one wall (to make it clear it’s an Indonesian restaurant). Despite its prime location, the prices here are pretty reasonable, with mains priced between the RM11 to RM15 mark. The menu comprises mostly Sundanese and Padang dishes with descriptions that made me want to order everything, but on our server’s recommendation, we chose the ayam cabai ijo (marinated chicken served in a mixture of crushed green chillies and spices) as well as the gado gado, perkedel kentang and tumis kangkung.
When our food arrived, what we first noticed was how small the portions were; they were just enough for my dining partner and I, but if you’re in the company of a big eater, you’ll need to order an extra plate. Portion-wise, the perkedel looked the saddest – RM6.90 gets you two small pieces in a basket that could have easily fitted five. It was at this moment that I discovered the catch behind their seemingly low prices; they want us to order two of everything. Sneaky.
Portion gripes aside, the food is pretty tasty. And super spicy. I can’t remember the last time I had to take a break from eating something because it was too spicy, but that’s exactly what happened with the ayam cabai ijo. It was hard to stop – I tried scraping off the green paste, but it wasn’t the same. Eventually I ended up taking lots of breaks in between mouthfuls. Meanwhile, the gado gado (an Indonesian rojak dish with mixed vegetables, boiled egg, tempe and potatoes with peanut sauce) offered a nice respite from the spicy chicken; the peanut sauce was both sweet and spicy, and I liked the generous serving of crispy keropok. The perkedel, despite my earlier reservations, was also well-made and flavourful (I shamefully wanted to order extra). The only forgettable dish was the kangkung, which was bland and a little too wet.
I can’t vouch for authenticity, but for a chain, Bumbu Desa is a decent place to visit for Indonesian food. I’m already planning to try the ayam pop on my next visit, maybe even tackle the ayam cabai ijo again – this time with a glass of milk.
|Venue name:||Bumbu Desa KLCC [CLOSED]||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Daily, 10am-10pm|