There was a time when Bandung was drawn into steak battles between warungs and small restaurants. To be exact, in the mid 1990s, a small warung called Myukebra started the trend and then came so many who decided to enter the business as well. Although not many left to be seen now, but Road Cafe de Fame is one of the few survivors. Also, it has long been considered as a pioneer in self-styled, non-wagyu steak dishes and started it all modestly as a hawker. So, how do you do now, Road Cafe?
Nowadays we see a generation of wagyu-cravers and medium-rare believers – although many and including me have not yet fully fathom the utmost depth of grilling department. Then again, there was a time when we were crazed about anything to do with beef steak with BBQ sauce and fries regardless the process behind. Whether it’s wrong or not, Road Cafe de Fame appeared around late 1990s with its weirdly-named menu on Cilaki hawkers area.
Initially, it’s always a full-house whenever you wish to eat there and the success drove Road Cafe to open several other outlets although now only one survives. This other branch aside from the Cilaki HQ is now intriguingly positioned inside a colonial building on the opposite of Gedung Merdeka which famously known as the landmark of Bandung.
Despite the building’s historical values, Road Cafe has always been negligent when it comes to decor. None of their restaurants is comfy enough for a long stay, except when they opened one branch around Dago back in late 90s and the latest around lower Cilaki area because of the alfresco concept, although the decor was also another disappointment.
But the cool thing about Road Cafe is that the dishes are consistent in taste from time to time, although they were never that brilliant. The dishes’ names may be confusing to some and the staffs can only explain with their limited knowledge, but I urge you to try any of these without hesitation. After all, the most expensive menu will only cost you around IDR 20,000!
I have always been an avid fan of Stecchini Carlos – a beef steak filled with cheese and then covered with fried eggs. It used to be the most expensive menu back in 90s which cost around IDR 8,000 and now it stands still as my favorite menu. You can then choose the sidekick between spaghetti bolognese or fries. The sauce for the meat tastes a bit sour and savory like BBQ. To make it a bit richer, they also grated some cheddar cheese on the top of the meat. It’s kitschy but it tastes just right, much to my amazement.
Alternatively you can always choose beef/chicken cordon bleu, which you may find ‘safe’ as a first timer at Road Cafe. Other than that, speculate between Hungarian esterhazy or gulyas or other dishes for instance, although I’m not sure whether they’re of the right version or not. Well, I have to be honest that their self-styled steaks proved to be resilient against many competitors and they manage to keep it affordable, although it won’t appease my gourmand stomach. Luckily, I have never had any health issue after eating at Road Cafe for years although you might find the pricing ridiculously cheap for steaks.
Care to give it a try? Life is an adventure once in a while after all, right? 😀
ROAD CAFE de FAME
Some menu suitable for vegetarians
Jalan Cilaki (hawkers area), Bandung – Indonesia
Jalan Asia – Afrika (in an old building on the opposite of Gedung Merdeka), Bandung – Indonesia
Opening hours: Everyday, late lunch & dinner
Spend: IDR 25,000 – IDR 30,000 / person
Jalan Cilaki HQ
Jalan Asia-Afrika Branch