Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Queens Restaurant – Hotel Danau Sunter

Queens Indian Restaurant is probably the oldest Indian restaurant in Kakarta. I remember first going there back in 1990 when they were located on Jl.Vetran. Back then it was not as popular with foreigners but rather local Indians frequented the jointed. They allowed us to bring our own booze in with no corkage charge and there was no time set for last order. For Sindhi’s that’s great because we love to site around and eat small chop (starters) for hours while talking story.

I think ownership of the place changed hands quite a few times but over the last 8 years I think it has remained stagnant. The décor never used to change before as it was all about the food. But recently they moved from their old location to Jl.Sudirman, where the Ferrari show room is, in the basement. The place is more done up and they cater to the tourists and foreigners as well as the old Indian crowd. A year or 2 ago they also opened up a branch at the Danau Suter Hotel in Podomoro.

This resto is even more up scale. They went al out with the Indian theme design and even revamped the menu with some new dishes. Queens has always been known for is fusion of Indian/Indo/Chinese food. The food is awesome and the menu extensive. Indians who have lived in Jakarta for years swear by it. The bastards cater practically every Indian wedding. And they are good at it too. In the new place they tried to put more of a twist on their existing reputation by adding on a Japanese fusion menu. That is like Tandoori Tepenyaki or something. I am not really blown away by it but they even put in this bar like in Japanese Restaurants where they cook in front of you.

The rest of the place is done up pretty standard Indian restaurant style, with gold trimmings and pictures of Maharaja’s on the walls. There is a stage in one corner where they have live music performers in the evenings. I have seen them before and they are actually quite good singing classical Hindi gazals. In the afternoons they also play some clasics by Pankaj Udas or Jagjit Singh. It is a little too dark for my liking in there but it is clean and cool so one can’t really complain. Its attached to a hotel so I guess they have to set some standards.

Once seated you fill find these munchies on the table, a small bowl of papadum pieces and an assortment of garnishes like inions, mango pickle, and chatni. You also have some cold carrots and cucumbers to dip and chip.

So you can’t really kick off an Indian meal without papar’s or papadum’s as some people call them. These here are deep fried with chopped onions, tomatoes, and green chilly sprinkled over them with some red chilly powder and a dash of lime. The combo is actually pretty awesome and it does not take long to prepare so if your hungry it’s a good thing to order while decide what to eat. Plus it goes great with beer.

We ordered this lamb dish to start with. It was to be a light lunch so we did not opt for any heavy butter or curry dished. These tender cubes of lamb were grilled and cooked with masala and chopped onions. It really melted in my mouth.

These fried pieces of fish were awesome as well. It is an all time favorite of the friend I was with (VJ). They are coated in spices so flakey. The serving is large enough for 3 people to nibble on comfortably.

The last thing we ordered was this pangsit siram. Now a pangsit is like an Indo/Chinese type won-ton thing. Its smothered in this thick spicy gravy with chicken. The pangsit’s are also filled with chicken. It’s a fairly meaty dish but the combination of the crispy and soggy pangsit skin is the perfect neutralizer. The prices are a bit on the steep side and I believe the branch on Sudirman is cheaper. And if you want an authentic Indo/Indian/Chinese meal, this is the place to go. Mow with a Japanese twist.

Normally I would order a lot more but as I said, this was a light lunch and I was planning to get back to work. That did not quite happen and I ended up fucking off for the rest of the day. In fact I did not really make it back home until 3am. One beer at lunch and look where things get. I swear to god, I have absolutely no self control. I loathe myself. Tonight is the Champions League final. Barcelona is taking on Arsenal and I hope Barca wins. Somewhere in KK a Spanky is grinning mischievously, hoping for the contrary.

1 comment:

Jax said...

Dude, self-control is a state of mind. And I like to ask what on Earth we're 'controlling' ourselves for. This is the age of unbridled minds and attitudes. The world is out there so go get it eh? Saying it like that makes it sound like that Visa ad with Sachin Tendulkar saying, "Visa power. Go get it," in his own shrill way. Hey, some days you just got to fuck off, right?

And all that "small chop" looks so ono!