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“We don’t change the taste to suit the locals because the Peranakan style is the way it is. A lot of Indonesians in Melbourne love it.” – Chef Steward Gan
While I was in Jakarta, I was invited to a special lunch Taste of Peranakan at Waha Kitchen. Hosted by Chef Stewart Gan from Melbourne, who will take us through a journey of traditional Peranakan recipes handed down from generations.
Waha Kitchen. From the outside, it looked pretty unassuming, boring and plain. But taking a step inside, and we were greeted with an electic mix of Indonesian and Scandinavian retro furniture, warm and cosy, funky bits and pieces, vintage this and that.
It had a very cool and relaxed atmosphere. I liked it immediately!
The space was very hearty. There was lots of natural light. Lots of elbow room. And lots of seating.
We arrived at 12.15pm. It wasn’t busy or noisy. The waitstaff were friendly.
Waha make their own blend of coffee, roasted and ground on site. The place smelt amazing. And I was keen to try it out. The coffee beans come from a local, sustainable, and fair-trade coffee producer, which uses Italian standard in the production.
Staffed by trained baristas, equipped with La Marzocco machine, and always ready to brew your next perfect cup of coffee.
This is my short, Piccolo Latte.
It tasted lovely!
We began our entrees with Soft Shell Crab to share. Soft shell crab lightly fried and coated in biscuit crumbs and crushed roasted seaweed. Num num num…
And continued with Roast Duck Laksa – egg noodles and mee-hoon served in fragrant coconut curry, topped with boneless roast duck, beans, eggplant and fried tofu. I love their delicious roast duck laksa. Damn! it tasted FANTASTIC!
Hmmm… all the flavours exploded happily in my mouth.
I was very satisfied.
The serve was huge! For mains, we had Nyonya Lamb Shank Vindaldo – Australian Lamb Shank slow cooked in red yoghurt curry. OMG! They all looked great. It was very tender and a delight to eat.
And, Roast Baby Chicken – whole baby chicken marinated with lemongrass, roasted and finished with galangal honey glaze. It looked great, YUMMM!
Continued with Buttered Prawns – whole fresh wild king prawns coasted in golden egg fluff, flavoured with curry leaves, fresh chilli and spring onions. Perfectoooo!
It was a hearty serve and an enjoyable dish.
And I love their Nyonya Fish – whole fish of the day, fried, dressed in lemongrass, tamarind sauce. I’m glad I tasted it, because it was really delicious, fresh and full of flavour.
The sauce was superb.
Wok Fried Baby Kai Lan with Salted Fish – fresh baby kai lan, salted fish sauteed with garlic and oyster sauce. It was one of the nicest vegetarian wok fried baby kai lan I’ve eaten…
It had a home-cooked feel to it, tasty, full of flavour and hearty.
For dessert, we had Petit Four – don’t ask your server whats in petit four. They don’t have a clue. That’s because Irfan and Dewa (Waha Sous Chefs) will surprise you with 4 of their amazing Peranakan bite size desserts of the day. Enjoy haha!
I thought this dessert looked marvellous all plated up. And I hope to try making it at home to serve at a dinner parties.
Overall, the entrees and mains had a very peranakan home-cooked, traditional simple, good “honest food” taste to them. I enjoyed the whole experience.
I’ll definitely come back during the day to try the dinner menu.
Ooh.. the kitchen opens 24-hour everyday to satisfy cravings any time without compromising taste buds.
Jalan KH Wahid Hasyim No. 127
Jakarta – Indonesia
Happy Sustainable Travels!