Having just recently returned back from the land of Thai, I was already getting withdrawal symptoms from the food there. I was in the mood for something a little bit spicy, something nice and fragrant, and so what better a solution that Bumbu which provides a happy marriage of both Thai and Indonesian and a smidge of Chinese in their menu?
Actually I’m usually a little wary of places which try to offer different cuisines in such a way but I have to say, I’m glad I let my guard down on this occassion.
Tucked away in a beautiful shophouse on Kandahar Street in the Arab Quarter, the interior inside – especially upstairs – is beautifully ornate and quite a lovely surprise I hadn’t bargained for. In fact, it did remind me quite a bit of True Blue.
The menu is pretty extensive with lots of variety and all extremely reasonable. I felt like the cat who was about to get the spicy cream!
I am rather addicted to Mango Salad ($8.80). In fact when I’m in Thailand I pretty much live off this but this was definitely the Indo kind. The difference between the two is that the Indo version is more firey and the mango used more crunchy. Still it had it’s lovely trademark freshness common to the two and it was a great way to kick off the appetizers.
I’d heard the Pandan Leaf Chicken ($3.20 each) here was good. A Bangkok favourite, the leaf keeps the chicken juices inside leaving the chicken soft and juicy, with a very subtle pandan flavour. Just lovely.
Having never tried Krathong Tong ($7.80), which are essentially crispy tartlets filled with minced chicken, carrots and corn, I thought why not. This was a nice, simple, tasty, home-style dish and though no show-stopper, quite nice to have in the mix.
However the dish that is an absolute must comes under the mains and it’s the Coffee Chicken ($10.80). Chicken marinated in coffee? There was no way I was going to let this one pass me by! Juicy pieces of chicken with an intense, sticky sauce and beautiful coffee roast flavours coming through. This dish is genius and I could simply not get enough of it! So much so that guess who is currently looking up recipes to make this one at home….
It’s also very much worth getting the Steamed Fish in Spicy Lime Sauce ($25.80). On this occassion, said fish was seabass and it was cooked to perfection drenched in a lovely sweet-sour and slightly spicy sauce that was incredible more-ish. Make sure you soak through your rice with the sauce and pick every last piece of fish off the bone – delicious!
Wash this all down with some fresh home made lime juice and there you have your perfect Indo Thai feast! Feeling very satisfied by this point, I felt it necessary to stop there. However I was very tempted by the Ice Chendol ($4), and Sago Gula Melaka ($3). I felt even more satisified when the bill came and I realized that the total bill was very reasonable.
Bumbu is a great little spot for Indo Thai cuisine lovers. Delicious, great value and in a lovely setting and a menu full of choices. Hard to go wrong really isn’t it? I know I’ll be back there to try out more.
Written by Ms Demeanour