Joep, the chef and owner served us a delicious spread of Indonesian food for our family group of 7 whilst we gazed out on the last of the setting sun on Mt Taranaki. The views of ‘our’ majestic mountain are stunning from every table in this barn-like structure.
Decorated with numerous artefacts of a bygone era, including old wood or coal-fired stoves to logging hand-saws and a wooden butter churn, the interior of this restaurant has much of interest. This family who run the restaurant are warm and welcoming, engaging with you from the moment you step in the door. With very reasonable pricing, excellent wines (including Arrogant Frog) and truly delicious food with homely hospitality, all in our party vowed to return to this unpretentious venue. It is off the beaten track and bookings are essential for the evenings, but well worth the drive.
For the record, we spent 2 hours over our meal. We had a starter of chicken broth, clear and tasty with slivers of spring onions. The mains comprised of numerous dishes to share -vegetarian, 2 beef (Rendang & another spicy beef dish), seafood, chicken and pork with numerous sides. There were bowls of white and fried rice, whilst the sides included fried banana, fruit relish, peanut and coconut topping, tomato relish and numerous others (probably around 10). It was rounded off with a pancake served with coconut, ice cream and cream.
Joep intentionally serves all dishes to cater for the mild Kiwi palate but you can add your own level of heat from the sambal supplied. It also means you get to savour the unique flavours of each dish (the pork done with ginger was our group favourite).
The others enjoyed their coffees but I finished with my personal favourite, a hot chocolate with a touch of rum. Yum!
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