Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ubud - Kingsford, Sydney.

Ubud can be described as one of the most well presented Indonesian restaurants in Sydney in terms of atmosphere and setting. The wall is decorated by lanterns, stone-carved pictures and the incense that infuses the room with an addictively welcoming and invigorating scent that can only be described as the dreamy smell that makes you reminisce sipping young coconut juice on the beach bar of Bali. Anybody know what the scent they burn is? I need it desperately.

Though I highly commend the ambience of Ubud, it appears their dishes can simply described as hit-or-miss. After sampling a variety of dishes which are the most basic ones you could order from an Indonesian place; it felt like Ubud’s selling point was their setting rather than the food (though there was a gem found – read further!)

Here Comes The Food

Udang Goreng Mentega: Deep fried King prawn and Stir Fried with Sweet Soya Sauce and Onion. A very sweet composition of ingredients which would normally be successful however it sadly failed as there was a lack of authenticity. The soy was thickened to gooey consistency and overpowered the sweet chunk of prawn which was generous and not overcooked. The onions were also a bit undercooked and had the jarring taste that comes with it as a result. Overall, a dish that should have been easy to execute but simply did not hit the mark – smelled great but lacked taste.

Soto Ayam: A traditional indonesia chicken soup that simply missed as it did not taste anything like chicken. There was no sense of a expected hearty flavour that has infused the broth which would be achieved through a slow simmer. Rather, the soup was watery and the only flavour that could be tasted was the fried onion and fresh green shallots that had been sprinkled on top.

Kangkung Cah: Stir Fried Morning Glory with Shrimp Paste: Another dish that didn’t hit the mark; it did not have the intense smell of shrimp paste that you should waft furiously craving for attention as the dish is served. It simply tasted like basic wok-fried greens with garlic. This dish is so simple yet there was a lack of any shrimp paste at all.

Beef Rendang: Traditional beef curry which falls easily to apart into pieces when jabbed at with your fork; this dish when compared to its predecessors was definitely tastier and had a refined sense of authenticity about it. The mild curry did not overpower the tenderness of the beef which was flavoursome and resulted in a second order.

Ayam Bumbu Ubud: Grilled Chicken with Special Ubud Sauce was a combination of sambal, a gritty peanut sauce and the smokey-taste from the grilling process. Not a bad dish, but for me the sauce wasn’t as “special” as I hoped.

Ayam Goreng Ubud: Nothing stood out about this dish either; yes it is ayam goreng and there’s nothing more you can do to make it better than it is, but when compared to places that also serve this dish such as Ayam Goreng 99; a question arises of why you would pay $12.90 for half a chicken – when you could go elsewhere and pay for the same dish at a lower price but be given something that makes you foodgasm.

Lodeh: A vegetable curry which was the aforementioned ‘gem’ in the introduction to this entry. The curry was not watery but had the liquid-consistency to be poured and soaked with rice. What made this curry delicious was the coconut milk that had been generously infused into the ingredients causing a sweet yet still subtle flavour to accentuate the muted flavour of the vegetables. By far, my favorite dish of the meal.

Ubud - Indonesian Restaurant

582 Anzac Parade
Kingsford NSW 2032
Sydney, Australia

02 9344 4961

Trading Hours
Dinner: 6 nights (Tuesday - Sunday)
Tuesday - Thursday, Sunday: 6pm - 9pm
Friday - Saturday: 6pm - 10pm
Monday: Closed



Helen (AugustusGloop) said...

Funny how I keep hearing mixed reviews about this place - and it's usually Asians who are the ones who are less impressed. I'm not usually one for fancy Asian restaurants. More often than not, I find the flavours muted and erring on the side of sweet, not to mention--as you point out--higher price points.

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Mochachocolata Rita said...

ahahaha! an indonesian restaurant in kingsford eh? how predictable, i guess they know where their market is :p

so sorry about your disappointing experience there. i too had been disappointed by a fancy schmancy indo restaurant here.

bah! i dont think any ayam goreng/ayam bakar can trump those from ayam goreng 99.

btw, the watery sop ayam...that sounds kinda authentic indonesian home cooking. hehehe. or my nanny has been cooking it wrong for the past 10 yrs? maybe! (her version is totally water and fully laced with MSG hehe - but her everything else rock!)