Sai Sai Jaran Jaran #6: SILENT SIREN’s Hinanchu has her fill of Indonesian food in Tokyo

15.February.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

Sai Sai Jaran Jaran is a featured series here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON from the members of the all-female band SILEN SIREN (aka Sai Sai) who visit various hot spots in Japan and experience different things, the Sai Sai way.

 

For the long-awaited 6th entry we take a trip with band leader Hinanchu. She lived in Indonesia for 10 years from the age of 5 to 15. She fancied a bite of nostalgia so she hit up an Indonesian restaurant in Tokyo. Indonesian cuisine isn’t a familiar taste to the people of Japan, but it seems like there are a lot of delicious options.

 

Hinanchu visits “cabe” in Meguro for a bite of nostalgic Indonesian food

The first place we visit is “cabe” in Meguro. The Indonesian Embassy is close by this restaurant. Over half the customers that dine there are from Indonesia. The restaurant is considerate of Islamic law and so provides authentic Indonesian cuisine that uses absolutely no pork or pig-derived ingredients. The head chef is a Javanese woman who has expert skills in creating major Indonesia dishes as well as food seldom handled in Japan.

Hinanchu begins by ordering one Sate Ayam (¥220) and Fried Tempeh (¥500). Sate is famous dish from Indonesia of skewered meat. When made with chicken it’s called “sate ayam.” Tempeh is made from soy and used in place of meat for various dishes, making it popular with vegetarians and those on a macrobiotic diet.

“Tempeh is a food that was always at street food stands. I used to eat it a lot as a snack when I was small! It’s a nostalgic flavour! It’s sort of like natto, but it doesn’t have a smell. It’s easy to eat.”

The Soto Ayam (¥730) is a chicken soup made with vermicelli. It’s like Japanese miso soup and can be found in all regions of Indonesia. It has a turmeric colour and looks like curry soup but it’s chicken flavoured. It’s said that Sapporo soup curry took a hint from this dish.

Mie Bakso (¥800) is an Indonesia meatball soup with noodles. cabe handmakes all of its meatballs so one of its characteristics is how large the meatballs are.

“This is what I’ve been wanting to eat forever! I’m moved that I’m able to eat proper Indonesian food for the first time after coming back to Japan! The other [band] members love Indonesian food too so I want to come again with everyone.”

The restaurant is spacious and comfortable. They also sell Indonesian ingredients and goods there too. You can try a lot of different flavours on the menu so we recommend visiting here if you’ve never tried Indonesian cuisine before.

 

Merah Putih Cafe in Shin-Ōkubo

Hinanchu’s next stop is Merah Putih Cafe in Shin-Ōkubo. It’s located inside a multi-purpose building that’s filled with a multicultural exotic mood that will have you wondering whether you’re still in Japan.

 

The restaurant serves food from Padang, the capital of Indonesia’s West Sumatra province. This region is famous for its food which is distinct for its spices.

The first dish Hinanchu picks is an assortment of Padang style food “Nasi Padang” (¥1,280). The assortment changes each day. On this day it came with fried omelette, fried chicken with coconut, salad and rice.

“The chicken is spicy. It was delicious. I lived in Jakarta so it was refreshing trying Padang style food!”

This restaurant has a lot of regulars including tourists from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and other East Asian countries. The people of Indonesia love rice so the restaurant serves it with spicy food, fried food and other types that go well with it. We recommend this place if you’re looking for an authentic taste.

Having visited two Indonesian restaurants in Tokyo, Hinanchu made the following comment: “Since coming back to Japan I’ve been wanting to eat Indonesian food, but there’s a lot of restaurants here that serve Southeast Asian cuisine. I’m happy I was able to enjoy authentic meals today. I was sucked into the nostalgia, it was like being back over there.”

 

Hinanchu also spoke Indonesian with the staff who were also from Indonesia and took a photo!

 

Indonesian cuisine isn’t a familiar taste to the people of Japan, but there are many delicious things to choose from. If you’re in Japan why not try it for yourself?

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