Sunday, February 26, 2017

Saung Gawir Restaurant - View of the Hills and Plantations @ Ciwidey, Southern Bandung [Indonesia]

The fallen trees at the famed Kawah Putih attraction have yet to be cleared and we couldn't proceed with our journey as planned; therefore, the decision was made to go for an early lunch and prayed that the attraction would be re-open after our meal.

Original plan was to have lunch at Sindang Reret but as it was further away, we looked towards our friendly driver, Mr Askan, for advice and he suggested Saung Gawir! 

In addition to its close proximity to Kawah Putih, this Sundanese restaurant overlooked the hills and plantations; guaranteeing diners a view that sought to soothe the eyes and relax the mind.

Stepping into the bamboo-built restaurant; bamboo seemed to be a basic construction material in Indonesia and many so called traditional houses / buildings were built using bamboo, which is economical, sustainable and known as one of the "fastest-growing plants in the world".

We were given a private bamboo space! Now, the need for traditional setting aside, there's a musky smell lingering in the air and i am assuming it could either be the bamboo or worn cushions / mat on the floor. 

Nevertheless, we quickly settled down, went through the menu and waited for our food. The mountain breeze was strong and it's exhilarating to have the wind blowing against my face! Mom found it a bit too cold for her liking though and couldn't wait for her hot bandrek drink to arrive.

A photo while waiting! 

Bandrek - a mixture of ginger, cinnamon, palm sugar with coconut flesh, it was a Sundanese beverage that perked me up! It was on the sweet side and mom had to request for additional hot water to dilute the sweetness.

Teh Botol - similar to our local teh o but served in glass bottles, this a national drink in my opinion and you can find it in all parts of Indonesia! 

A tray of otah was placed on our table even though we didn't order. Similar to restaurants in Malaysia and even some eateries in Singapore, you can choose not to take any and nothing would be charged.

Out of curiosity, mom unwrapped one to try out and instead of finding red / orangy meat within, it's white in colour and tasted almost like fish cake with just a little bit (hardly noticeable) spice. 

Nasi Kampung (fried rice) and Toge Tahu (beansprouts with beancurd) - normal.

Sop Ayam (Chicken Soup) and Mie Goreng (fried noodles) - former didn't appeal to me whereas the mie goreng was a memorable recollection of truly authentic indonesian-style fried noodles that i love so much! It wasn't the tastiest yet it would do for the mediocre one i had two days earlier.

Tahu (beancurd) - can you imagine that for a meat eater, the key takeaway when it comes to food in Bandung was that their beancurd (specifically the deep fried tau kwa kind) was freakish addictive?! To think that before then, the only beancurd like stuff i couldn't resist was just stinky tofu.

Gurame (carp) - fish was perfectly grilled with smoothly soft meat underneath just a thin layer of crispy skin! Of course, it did help to smear it with sweet sauce.  

Ayam Bakar (grilled chicken) - i came to realise that grilled chicken for Sundanese cuisine wasn't meaty and while healthy, the meat would usually be too tough and the marinated skin wasn't the juicy kind i like! 

I am done with the meal and as a non-time-waster, i bade goodbye to my family as they continued with their lunch. My purpose was clear - to check out the surrounding of Saung Gawir.

The restaurant wasn't just a dining establishment; there's an operational strawberry and scallion plantation that belonged to it, together with bungalows on the side that can be rented out! 

You can even partake in strawberry picking at just 5,000 rupiah! p.s. i am not too sure if the price would include the strawberries as the basket did seem like it can hold a few kilograms of strawberries! 

Closer look at the scallions; are scallions and spring onions the same? I am still confused as some websites continue to claim they are different although i thought it's just a matter of terms used in different countries / regions. 

Strawberry picking would not bear any substantial return as there were so little to pick from and many were still unripe! Compared to Cameron Highlands, the species here appeared to be on the tiny side. 

Bungalows of Saung Gawir - if you would like to stay a night there, you can check out the rates via Agoda.com. Click here for more information. 

Panoramic view from the other end of the bungalows - didn't bump into anyone even though this was a weekend. Maybe everyone was still waiting to check in since official check-in would be at 2pm. 

Walking back to restaurant! 

And found a hungry cat outside our hut- supposedly a veteran, it knows when to standby for scraps; when humans were about to be done with their food. 

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Location
Jl. Raya Ciwidey, Rancabali KM. 05,
Alam Endah, Ciwidey, Bandung, Indonesia

Pricing
Bandrek - 7,000 Rupiah
Teh Botol - 5,000 Rupiah
Nasi Kampung - 20,000 Rupiah
Toge Tahu - 12,500 Rupiah
Sop Ayam - 20,000 Rupiah
Tahu - 4,000 Rupiah
Gurame - 90,000 Rupiah
Ayam Bakar - 20,000 Rupiah
Otah - 5,000 Rupiah
(Subject to 10% Tax)

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