Sarong Grill & Chill

When street food gets an upgrade, it can either go right, or very, very wrong. In the mood for satay, we pulled up to Millenia Walk and tiptoed around a couple of illegally parked Lamborghinis to get to our destination. Now, Bintang isn’t the greatest beer in the world, but Indonesian food calls for Indonesian beer. There was none to be had. Fortunately, they had an otherwise well stocked bar. We were pleased by the excellent variety of Sarong’s satay menu. The basic meats were far chunkier than street satay; the chicken was succulent and smoky, while the beef was melt-in-your-mouth tender. On the more adventurous front, the chicken liver and heart were an explosion of textures; the chewy heart an ideal match for the grainy liver. We also tried out some veggies, although the mushrooms, onion and capsicum, and ladies fingers were too lightly grilled for our tastes. The peanut sauce was pleasantly authentic, with its high nut count and rich taste. We supplemented our satay with a simple and delicious rendang burger; shredded beef rendang on a bed of rocket and cucumber, topped with sliced onions. For dessert, we of course went for cendol, which was delightful before it was overshadowed by the gula melaka panna cotta. Although the food and its presentation is classically Indonesian (and the waitresses wear pseudo-sarongs), everything else about Sarong is electic; the clean-cut vibe, an Italian “spices in jars” décor, and satay that is closer to Middle Eastern kebabs or Japanese yakitori. If that’s what contemporary Indonesian cuisine is all about, we say bring it on.