Lunching at Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, Batam, Indonesia
WHAT THIS IS: "We had a 2D1N free-and-easy trip to Batam, for both some much needed R&R and as well to celebrate my birthday in late-September 2016. This is an account of one of the adventures!"
One of the first locales we ate at was a cafe/eatery on the first floor of Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall, in Batam, Indonesia. Entering the stretch which lasted the width of the mall, one end featured predominantly western fare (Pizza Hut, KFC fast food etc), while the other side offered more local / Indonesia food, which I frankly missed since my visit to Jakarta last year for Popcorn Asia :)
We had arrived on a Monday afternoon, around lunchtime, and the space was literally crawling with no one but the service staff - on the “Western Eats” side, while on the other, more local folks we seen packing the tables both inside and outside the eateries.
Starving for grub, we had settled on one eatery, to taste “local fare” - instead of western cuisine we could have eaten any other time back in Singapore. I’d personally wanted to eat local and eat “fun”, and not feel I have to “eat cheap” hahaha
I have nothing bad to say about “picture menus” - where the food is shown in pictures, and you can choose by pointing at it! The staff could not speak English, or even explain what the dishes have, so pictures worked, along with a smattering trickle of Bahasa language :p
What I find “funny” was, there were no prices listed on the menus, when instead they are printed plain as day on the ordering chit, held by the service staff, who was attempting to take our orders.
But everything sorta worked out, especially when we were hungry folks out to fill our stomachs rather than take a culinary adventure! I wish I were Anthony Bourdain on food trips, but for my diabetes and high cholesterol woes, dammit hahahaha
We ordered a plethora of local cuisines - consisting of Ayam Penyet, Gado-Gado, Bakso Campur, and an omelette whose name I had forgotten. Avocado Juice for mum and me, Bandung for my sis - completed the afternoon food assault!
These were essentially local food that one would eat in Jakarta (where I’d first tasted them) either by the roadside or in indoor food establishments. The meal was a mix of success and disappointments.
The ayam/chicken in the Ayam Penyet was tiny and scrawny (which my friend Zainal made a point that it was not the juicy-meds-pumped plumb versions we are used to :p), and the omelette was a sheer waste of energy LOL
I personally liked the mushy Gado-Gado (a bit cold for my taste tho), and the soup for the campur was quite sublime! Very Singa-“Mee Soto”, salty to the taste side of yum!
Add ketchup manis to anything, and all will taste fine, as what I say!
Funnily tho, the avocado drink - even with the gula malaka swirls (which I had thought was chocolate swirls initially) - did not taste as sweet as it looked, in fact it tasted too sublime to have made any impact on the taste buds - but probably better for my diabetic tendencies :P
While I do not remember the final total price, it was hardly economical and comparable to a meal for three in Singapore, albeit slightly cheaper, of course.
And while the staff was decent polite, the food was utilitarian, and I would rather try other stalls if ever I am back in Batam, and in Nagoya Hills Shopping Mall :)