If you give me the option to choose between a posh, branded restaurant and a family-run eatery, I’d definitely choose the latter for one reason alone – the food is most probably going to be more authentic in these kinds of establishments between the two. I do love to have a no-fuss experience when it comes to dining, where your money goes to the food served rather than the decor, location or ambiance of the restaurant. Central Indonesian Restaurant in Umm Ghuwailina fits this description to a tee.
With all the glitzy and glamorous restaurants which are getting all the publicity here in Doha, it’s quite hard to discover the small eateries around the city. Thankfully, one of my food blogger idols not only showcases the high-end restaurants in his blog and social media accounts but also the smaller ones which offers authentic cuisine. Gerald Tan who runs the popular Boulangerry blog posted a photo of his dinner at Central Indonesian Restaurant the other day which immediately triggered a craving for an authentic Indonesian cuisine in me. I swear I could taste the peanut sauce in that photo. His instagram account should come with a warning: NOT TO FOLLOW IF TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT.
Now the question was, who else do I know in the city who’s as adventurous as my taste? Nat of Lemon and Mint came to mind and after a quick twitter conversation, a Saturday lunch at Central was arranged.
Tucked between the old buildings of Umm Ghuwailina near Corp Hotel stands Central Indonesian Restaurant. A very small restaurant which may be easy to miss but as I have seen numerous photos of it, I was able to recognize it from afar. It’s a cafeteria-style restaurant with no more than 10 tables in it. At around 1pm, the restaurant was buzzing with mostly Indonesian families – very good sign.
I was quite disappointed though when I found out that they do not have a menu. The only options were what was already served in the food counter. I was craving for a satay which they didn’t have for lunch – they only serve it for dinner I was told. The server tried his best to explain every single dish to us and upon finding out that I’m a Filipino, he gave me comparisons of each Indonesian dish to a Filipino dish. So basically, I had okoy and bulalo in it’s Indonesian version and a tofu dish. Forgive me but I do not remember the Indonesian names of the dishes I ordered.
Most of the dishes served were cold which was disappointing. We probably could’ve requested for them to heat it up for us but we didn’t really think of it at the time. The okoy in particular was soggy, it seems like it’s been cooked hours before and has been on the tray table for a very long time already.
Out of all the dishes served, I did love the rib soup which the Central staff compared to Filipino’s bulalo. Thankfully, it was served piping hot because otherwise, the grease in it would’ve been an unappetizing sight to see. Yes, you read that right! Grease! It’s imperative that this soup must have grease because that’s what makes it really tasty – according to my very unhealthy choices I must say.
Although I wasn’t very happy that the dishes were served cold, I still enjoyed my meal and the company I was with. I’m definitely going back there for dinner to try out some of the dishes straight out of the kitchen. And maybe, I’ll see if I can get them to heat some dishes from the food counter for me next time.
Total cost for all the dishes that we had including two portions of rice, 1 bottle of water and 1 can of pepsi was QAR57.00. Yum! 🙂
This is NOT a sponsored post.