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!
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.
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.
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.
Bacem tahu: tofu. I love a simple tofu dish that doesn't skimp on flavor; this was prepared like the tempeh.
Empal: sweet fried beef. I remember thinking of it as almost a beef jerky, but not dehydrated. Another good one in my book!
Sambel goreng terong: eggplant in chili sauce. I know I had some of this, but I cannot remember much besides "spicy," sorry!
Telor balado: egg in balado sauce (a tangy tomato topping of sorts with some chile heat).
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.
704 W. Howard Street
Pasadena, CA 91103