In the midst of Ramadan, many invitations for collective iftar or buka bersama were thrown amongst friends and families. My father's side of the family which came from many areas of West Sumatra would always most definitely held their event in a Padangnese restaurant of such. Sederhana as a grand Padangnese food empire of its own is surely a definitive favorite -- especially their particular branch in Tebet, right across 115 Junior High School and minutes away from Kota Kasablanka, which to us have the best flavor and menu ranging from many Sederhana franchises around Jakarta. Around 5.30 p.m people had started to gather and since this is a large gathering, our family booked their whole upper floor available for 100 approximate seatings. In its true setting, with the dishes coming out in small plates similar in concept to what a tapas or rijstaffel is, you can pick your own selection of side dishes to go along your plate of rice. You pay for what you take and you got to enjoy i until you feel bloated and sinful from its rich goodness.
My favorite menu is definitely their Ayam Pop (literally translates into 'Pop' Chicken) that is firstly steamed in a sea of coconut milk to then later be fried and served in its glossy goodness. The chicken does not come out crispy during the frying process but meant as a way to infuse more of its flavor. Typically ayam pop is served alongside with a special type of sambal sauce added with tomatoes among other spices but I like my ayam pop as it is, alongside with steaming rice and cabai hijau or green chili peppers. Delightful!
What is the meaning of a Padangnese restaurant without a decent plate of Sate Padang or grilled beef in skewer added with ketupat or rice cake that is drenched in spicy sauce consisting of ginger, chili, lemongrass, beef broth, shallots, and kaffir lime leaves. Sate Padang is one of my absolute favorite Indonesian food and the one served in Sederhana Tebet really delivers. Menu such as Sate Padang and Soto Padang has to be ordered by its own and separate from the rijstaffel style of food that is served in a Padangnese restaurant.
The Ayam Pop sauce.
The Ramadan feast ads up extra touch from Sederhana as they serve ta'jil in forms of sweet beverages such as cendol and kolak to sweeten up your day right after the hours of fasting. This time they also serve kue klepon which is a panda-flavored mochi-like rice flour cake that is filled with brown sugar that pops in your mouth. The klepon they serve here were really the highlight of iftar before the pre-dinner goodness from all the rest of the food.
The particular event is fun and always is, no matter how big the family is people always come together and spent hours and hours talking while all and all reminded us to be thankful for the gift of blessings that we had, especially in the eves of Ramadan. Good food and good people really is one of the truest essence of living to remind us to stay grateful. Happy Ramadan for all of us, may you all have great times within the month of blessing!