Chunky Satay and ‘Jasmine Tea in a Bottle’ at Gado & Grill

From backpacking to luxe travels, Indonesia is undoubtedly one of the world’s most famous vacation destinations. Just like its sunny beaches and chilled vibes, Indonesian food is fantastic too.

With the paragraph above being the biggest clue, it’s time for another savory food post! I’m bringing you along on a trip to Indonesia – as in, a gastronomic trip through an Indonesian restaurant in Singapore!

Being Singapore’s southern neighbor, Indonesian food is popular locally. An Indonesian establishment I tend to visit is Gado & Grill, named after the Indonesian gado gado salad and their grilled dishes.

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While I absolutely love Gado & Grill’s grilled chicken, a staple dish that is a must-try is satay. Satay is native to Southeast Asia, and it is marinated meat on skewers cooked over a large charcoal barbeque. Visiting Southeast Asia without having a plate of satay makes the gastronomic experience incomplete – it’s the region’s culinary pride and joy.

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As this little establishment is located within a mall, their ‘Chunky Satay’ wasn’t cooked over a huge charcoal barbeque. Although it was likely grilled, the satay was absolutely delicious. The peanut sauce, which is a trademark of satay, accompanies the juicy chicken. Along with those skewers of meat, the peanut sauce is key to a great satay dish. Their savory yet sweet peanut sauce tastes delicious, with bits of crunchy peanuts. Satay and peanut sauce are probably the most common Southeast Asian eats you’ll find globally. The fun part is that the sauce, just like the marinade, has variations – depending on the recipe. Some recipes include peanut butter, while others opt for roasted peanuts.

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Topped with a load of shrimp crackers and cubes of fried beancurd, this satay is lovely. Shrimp crackers are ubiquitous in Asia. They’re the Southeast Asian version of regular chips but with a seafood flavor (of course!).

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While I was enjoying the juicy and flavorful satay, I leaped on the opportunity to try a signature drink that I’ve heard is truly Indonesian – Tehbotol. Tehbotol literally means ‘tea’ and ‘bottle’. This tea (jasmine tea + sugar) seems to be the Indonesian equivalent of the Singaporean and Malaysian iced lemon tea (which comprises of lemon + black tea + sugar). Whilst my order of Tehbotol arrived in a cup with ice cubes, I was eager to taste it.

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This tea is nice! I was expecting a sugary edge, but it wasn’t very sugary at all (or to me, at least). The jasmine tea’s flavor was stronger, hence being aromatic and refreshing. I’m glad there wasn’t an overload of sugar as the tea itself shone. It was a wonderful accompaniment to a delicious lunch.

If you’re thinking of having Indonesian food, or if you’re planning to try it for the very first time, you can’t go wrong with satay. This crowd favorite is a winner. Also, the Tehbotol is certainly worth trying.

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