Ah, Indomie. A food product so popular, it has become a cult classic for so many different people. The genius of Indomie is of course the instant quality of the product. For starving students however, it is also the fact that the product is incredible cheap. In Singapore, four packets of Indomie can go as low as less than $4. First introduced in 1972, Indomie is now distributed across the worlds. Many of these countries, like Singapore, carry the original flavour of Indomie, and often cooked with just hot water and the seasonings that's included in the packet. In Indonesia however, cooking a bowl of Indomie has evolved into something of an art.
It didn't come as surprise that on one fine day, I read on my facebook timeline that there are a series of Indomie cafe popping up all around Indonesia. These cafes serves up a range a dishes, from the classic Indomie with corned beef (the way my Dad used to cook it for me.) "Oh, they have that here!", my mom told me over the phone when I told her about it. I immediately made a mental note to go and visit at least a couple of them when I visit my hometown.
What in the world is an Indomie cafe?
A crazy place where every single variation of flavours and ingredients possible combined with your favourite pack of Indomie. A spicy Indomie is not just spicy here, it's five different levels of spicy. Like your Indomie goreng (fried) or with soup? They have it all. Each cafe have their own signature mix, some of them combining the dishes with cheese or higher grade ingredients, such as wagyu bakso (meatballs). Most of the time the cafe also offer other old school favourites like Pisang Goreng (fried bananas) or Roti Bakar (toasted bread.)
But in any case, how special or delicious can a bowl of instant noodle be? I tried two Indomie cafes and found out.
So? How was it?
The first cafe that we tried was Kedai Roti Bakar 543, I was genuinely very excited when we stepped into the cafe. The hype is real! I'm finally trying out an Indomie in an Indomie cafe! My standard was pretty high of course, the Indomie that my Dad usually makes for me were really delicious. Since I was there with my family, we decided to order a few different types of Indomie because #YOLO.
We tried two spicy types of noodles, Indomie Sambal Rica and Indomie Pedas. Sambal Rica is an special type of Indonesian chilli mix from Manado, a city on the Indonesian island of Celebes. It's very different from the sambal we usually see here in Singapore. "Rica" as word actually means spicy, which pretty much sums up how the chilli is. The Indomie Pedas on the other hand used the smaller chilli, or chilli padi.
The most interesting aspect of these two dishes was the fact that you can actually choose the spiciness level. It ranges from 1 to 5. My boyfriend, being the most adventurous one, chose level 4. I decided to go for the the safer level 2.
I'm not going to sugar coat it, it was fucking spicy! Well at least for me. Luckily the portion that the dish came in was pretty small, which is pretty much the serving that one packet of Indomie gives you.
The way that noodle is cooked also shows the amount of care that was put into it. On top of the seasonings that the packet of Indomie have, such as soy sauce, I could tell that extra seasoning was added in to balance out the flavour and the noodle has a nice, springy consistency to it.
We also tried other more exotic combinations of Indomie dishes at another Indomie cafe called Warunk Upnormal, one being Mutton & Egg and another being Cheese Indomie. I found these two to be really interesting because honestly, the way the they cook the mutton was through stewing it rather than deep frying or pan frying it. This resulted in the mutton in having a thicker and creamier mouthfeel. The broth that this dish came in however was a little too thick for my liking, rendering the whole thing over the top and overwhelming.
Overall, I think that the two Indomie cafe's sense of novelty is the main driving force for people to come and check out the place. Though some of the dishes are arguably delicious and unique, some of the combinations is a little bit much for me.
Should you try it if you ever pop by Indonesia? Definitely! Indomie is definitely comfort food for a lot of people, and it's definitely really fun to try out flavours combined with different ingredients that you might not try on your own.
Jalan Pahlawan Trip No.4, Oro-Oro Dowo, Klojen, Malang City
Kedai Roti Bakar 543
Jl. Surabaya No. 12, Gaading kasri, Klojen, Malang City