03 December, 2008

Satay Anika II

140 Lygon St, Brunswick East; 03 9380 9702

After our last visit to Satay Anika, a well-informed reader recommended their beef rendang. Often referred to as a dry curry, rendang actually goes through quite a different cooking process. The meat, usually beef, is stewed for hours in coconut milk laden with fragrant spices such as ginger, galangal and tamarind. As the majority of liquid is absorbed by the meat it then fries gently in its own juices.
I have to agree with irisav, who left the recommendation on the earlier post: Satay Anika's version is a fine dish. The meat is fabulously soft - it's no doubt the milk connection but it brings to mind Italian dishes with slow-cooked, milk-fed lamb or goat. It's quite a refreshing dish too, without the glugginess or oiliness that can come with a curry, and the strong lime and tamarind flavours really give it zing.

Satay Anika serve up this bread with their meals and it's delish:It's closer to lavash bread than prawn crackers, and while not much good for mopping it's great for scooping.

Their calamari (sotong istimewa - marinated, deep-fried and served with plun sauce) was also decently done.The batter appears thick, but it's actually just a dusting, quite peppery, and it's wrapped around tender flesh.

As an aside, Satay Anika also sell yellow tea (in bags to take with you, rather than for consumption in the restaurant). They've got a fact sheet on the counter as well, explaining the history of tea and the distinctions between varieties, which makes for informative reading on the wellness qualities of tea before tucking in.

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