Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ira's Gourmet

Indonesian food has always been a bit of a mystery to me, so I was delighted when Cathy of Gastronomy invited me to a dinner featuring dishes by Ira's Gourmet, an Indonesian caterer based in Pasadena. Charles and I were ready to be wowed when we arrived in Ira's darling backyard and we were not disappointed!

Ira bacem tempe
Bacem tempe: fried tempeh seasoned with onion, garlic, coriander and sweet soy sauce. I did not realize at the time that this dish was tempeh, although I do recall being perplexed by what this ingredient could be.

Ira ayam goreng
Ayam goreng: fried chicken (my favorite item of the evening). Ira's chicken will make you lose any sense of decorum; I made a mental note to order a tub of this stuff sometime for a party.

Ira bakmi goreng
Bakmi goreng: fried noodle. Charles liked this dish the most; I see an unsurprising pattern emerging of fried delights being the stars of the show. Although, let the record show that he really loved the lemper (sticky rice filled with chicken in coconut gravy), which I failed to photograph.

Ira bafem tahu
Bacem tahu: tofu. I love a simple tofu dish that doesn't skimp on flavor; this was prepared like the tempeh.

Ira empal
Empal: sweet fried beef. I remember thinking of it as almost a beef jerky, but not dehydrated. Another good one in my book!

Ira sambel goreng terong
Sambel goreng terong: eggplant in chili sauce. I know I had some of this, but I cannot remember much besides "spicy," sorry!

Ira telor baldo
Telor balado: egg in balado sauce (a tangy tomato topping of sorts with some chile heat).

Ira dessert
Dessert: fruit in coconut condensed milk. A refreshing ending to a laid-back summer meal.

I thoroughly enjoyed having authentic Indonesian fare made with that homemade touch; I would, in fact, call Ira's food "Indonesian soul food!" Big thanks to Cathy and Ira for a lovely night!

To read more about Ira's Gourmet, see Cathy's post about Ira's lunch boxes and menu here.

Ira's Gourmet
704 W. Howard Street
Pasadena, CA 91103
(626) 345-9931
Cell: (805)708-9888


Gastronomer said...

Glad to hear that you and Chaz had a great time! Is it cool if I call him Chaz?

weezermonkey said...

I wish I could eat lemper every day.

Marie said...

Gastronomer: Haha yes please call him Chaz if you like! Good to see you and Vern the other night!

Weezermonkey: A lemper for all seasons - name of your future autobiography? :)

Foodycat said...

Oh wow! I've never had Indonesian food, although my husband likes it. For me the sweet beef and the eggs look like the dishes of the day.

Marie said...

Foodycat: Try to get your hands on some Indonesian grub sometime! It's so interesting all the different cuisine that falls under "Asian" food, isn't it?