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Jimbaran Express Special Fried Rice

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Price: IDR 20.000 nett

The Jimbaran Express stall, located in the fifth floor of Tunjungan Plasa III Surabaya, attracts hungry passer-byes who wish to enjoy quick fix comprised of Javanese and Balinese food. This includes grilled fish, nasi timbel (rice, vegetables, tempeh, tofu, grilled/fried chicken along with sour vegetable soup), plecing kangkung (blanched water spinach with chili paste) and nasi campur (rice with several side dishes including vegetables, meat and tofu/tempeh, our national favorites), to name a few.

About few years ago, I ordered grilled fish and plecing kangkung at Jimbaran restaurant in the fifth floor of Tunjungan Plasa IV and quite satisfied with the food, so I thought this one must be quite okay too.

To make long story short, I ordered Jimbaran Special Fried Rice that costs about IDR 18,181++ (US$ 2.00). The rice came with four crispy melindjo (gnetum gnemon) crackers, grilled chicken with rich chili paste all over it, fresh cucumber, lettuce leaf, sliced tomato, fried tofu. I tasted the cracker first to make sure that they are not hard to bite (I resolute to taste small portion of any dish first to make sure that they cook it right).

The crackers tasted, as they should be, crisp, fresh and slightly salty. Good. The next one, I tasted the cucumber. It was still crisp (so at least I know that they do not cut the cucumber the night before and set it on the fridge). Okay. Then the tofu, it also tasted good, well-fried on the outside and slightly juicy on the inside. Then the grilled chicken – I definitely thought that the chicken was the best of the other side dishes. It was grilled quite a long time so that the excess fat was no longer appeared. The chicken was boneless and there was no skin appeared. The grilled parts were crisps; the meat was not hard to bite and still has some juice in it. The chili paste was great too, a combination of salty and spicy.

And the finale, the fried rice. To my surprise, the fried rice tasted no better than rice, combined with soy sauce and salt. Furthermore, the rice was warm on the outside, slightly oily and watery, and COLD on the inside. It seemed like the rice was cooked in the morning, put in the fridge and warmed when a customer ordered it.

So yes, it was quite a disappointing experience for me. I was lucky enough not to order any drink from the stall as I saw their water dispenser was dirty with greyish, black mold, and I saw the staff handed over a plate of cah kangkung (stir fry water spinach) with something leafy hanging below the plate. They are quite gross, I think. Yuck.

So, if overall health and cleanliness is counted from A to D, I would give them a C. For the food, the side dish is good but for fried rice, I still think that they should be freshly fried –not warmed in the rice cooker. After all, if I wanted a bowl of rice from rice cooker, I would not go for fried rice but for the plain steamed rice instead, would not I? If taste is rated from 1 to 5, I would generously give them a 2.5 rating.

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