Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Swinging Bowl Satay, Adelaide (SA) by Big Fil

It’s quite common to find that when a style of food from a particular region has been transported somewhere else it gets adapted to local tastes.  Fortunately there are exceptions, and while limited in range I found the food at Swinging Bowl Satay pretty similar to that which I had loved when visiting friends in Malaysia.

It doesn’t look that much different to your everyday city cafe, at least in terms of fit out.  Wooden tables, hot dishes behind the glass counter, drinks cabinet, pleasant enough but a bit humdrum.  What did make a good impression right from the start was the delightful women serving us, who managed to combine being polite and friendly but a little shy all while suffering from an occasional burst of the giggles.

The food is Malaysian and both Hungry Pete and I headed for the nasi lemak.  This is a rice based dish where the use of coconut in the cooking gives the rice a richness in taste, texture and aroma.  It’s one of  my favourite comfort foods and at Swinging Bowl Satay for a few dollars you can also select from one or more of the sambal or curried meats available.  Hungry Pete’s choice was the tamarind chicken, something I had also been thinking about and which looked good.

I ended up deciding to go with the beef rending though.  The peanuts and ikan bilis were crisp and crunchy, the sambal sweet with just a hint of a spicy kick and the beef rending the drier version which I much prefer.  While I wouldn’t classify it as particularly cheap the serving size was generous and represented an excellent value for money lunch.

While there I was also determined to try the roti chanai.  Bingo – crispy/flaky on the outside, fluffy in the middle and served with a rich and full of flavour curry dipping sauce.  Combine that with a cup of tea tarik (stretched tea) and you have what for me is almost the perfect mid-afternoon or late night snack.

What can I say, my kind of food served by nice people in ok surroundings.  Everyone needs a food security blanket, somewhere not fancy but where you can go when you need to get away from it all.  I suspect Swinging Bowl Satay could be that place for me in Adelaide.

Food – 8
Ambience – 7
Service – 7.5
Price – 7

18 Stephens Place
Adelaide SA 5000
Tel: 0402 342 684

Swinging Bowl Satay on Urbanspoon

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