Milkfish! Oh how we have gone too familiar with this beautiful creature and yet never get tired of its goodness. Even so, it’s quite rare to find those who can cook it well and during my land travel across Java recently, I found an eatery specializes in cooking milkfish brought special from the nearby town of Juwana, known well as the town of bandeng presto!
High pressure cooking method (presto) on milkfish has been known for quite a long time in Indonesia especially in Java. A particular shop in Semarang sells this lovely fish, already presto-ed, and fit for long term storing really suits well to be eaten with family back home or as a gift. Rindang 84 on the leafy side of the town of Pati however, decided to just make these bandeng into their main dishes. Not only that they fry or grill it, but they also make it into meatballs!
A really generous relative of mine treated us here for lunch and we arrived luckily, a bit later after lunch hours so that there’s plenty of room to sit and move. A tiring long journey made us famished and for a brave starter, lukewarm pepes waleran is available on each dining table in abundant! Pepes is basically a steamed food such as tahu, mushroom, chicken or anything wrapped in banana leaves but waleran uniquely uses the innards of milkfish! Well, it tasted quite strong, quite rich, but definitely of strange taste and texture. Well, I gave it a shot so how about you?
The main dishes came at last and it was really a treat! The bakso bandeng (milkfish meatballs) was just nice. The soup was of simple goodness and didn’t overpower the fish balls which on the other hand were also very decent! What you really need to try is indeed the bandeng crispy (deboned milkfish fried with bread crumbs) and grilled bandeng, all paired with moderately spicy red sambal. For the grilled bandeng, it’s also served with spinach soup with a hint of ginger.
Guess what? Me and my wife treated ourselves four portions of bandeng! – Especially the bandeng crispy which was indeed the signature dish of the restaurant. It looks simple but it’s simply the best treat we had during the long travel. Just imagine yourself arriving at Pati, which is exactly in the middle of Central Java, and still a long way to go to Surabaya. It’s lunch time already and you had an awful breakfast that morning. So what you gonna do once you found a milkfish this good? TIMBER!!
Must eat: Bandeng crispy, bakso bandeng
Price: IDR 8,500 (bandeng crispy, bandeng bakar)
Address: Jl. A. Yani No.30 – Pati, Central Java – Indonesia
Phone : +62.888.644.040 (delivery available)
Opening hours: TBA