1945, Pyrmont… revisit
I had the pleasure of dining at 1945, Indonesian dutch restaurant with the photographer (who is also known as Uncle) and his lovely wife E. I also had the pleasure of meeting the owners of the 1945 – owned by three lovely ladies who are all friends and Indonesian.
This is not the first time I have been to 1945, my first visit was a while back now. We left all the ordering to L, who is co-owner of 1945. She dined with us, and I got to hear about how they all met and the story behind it. The three owners all have different personalities but have such great dynamics. I wish I could could cook just as good as the head chef and co-owner Natasha Roesli but we all know that I am definitely better at eating than cooking!
Whilst waiting, we started with the emping (butternut crackers) and krupuk (prawn crackers). The emping was good, crispy and a little plain for my liking. I usually eat emping manis, which is a lot sweeter and spicier.
The krupuk were also good, especially if its dipped in kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and chili!
Started with es tjintao ($5) – grass jelly drink with pandan flavoured, fresh milk and palm sugar. I asked for it to be less sweet and it was refreshingly good. It did feel me up though, I made the mistake of drinking half of it prior to the meal.
We started with the sate babi ($3) – grilled pork skewer spiced with cumin and coriander basted with spiced sweet sauce. The pork was tender and succulent and I love the spicy sweet sauce.
The sajoer asem ($6) – refreshing sweet and sour tamarind soup cooked with groundnuts and a selection of vegetable is a childhood favourite of mind. Served in a clay pot on top of a bunsen burner, I probably should have let it stew for a bit longer before having some, as it was a little luke warm. I love the combination of sweet and sour.
Next the babi ketjap ($6) – stewed pork belly in sweet star anise and cinnamon sauce. This is very different to how my Mum makes it. The pork belly was tender, the sauce was sweet, it had a subtle cinnamon flavour and was delicious.
This next dish is one of my favourites, terong belado ($5) – deep fried eggplant tomato-based prawn chili sauce. The eggplant was so tender and moist that it required no chewing at all and the the tomato-based prawn chili sauce was slightly spicy but not enough for me.
Goelai daoen kale teri ($6) – silverbeet and mini whitebaits stewed in creamy and rich lemongrass-infused coconut milk was a favourite amongst the diners. The sauce was rich and creamy, the silverbeet cooked to perfection and I didn’t even realise there were mini whitebaits until I had a closer look at the photo. The coconut milk was subtle and the chili gave it that nice kick. It was wonderful but I don’t think I could eat a whole plate of it.
Ajam goreng kremes ($5) – deep fried tender spice-braised chicken served with crunchy crumbs was Uncle’s favourites. It was extremely tender and I love the crunchy crumbs but thought it was a little exy for a small drumstick.
Rendang daging ($6) – tender beef braised in aromatic spices and rich coconut cream was another favourite amongst the diners. However, it wasn’t as tender as we had hoped. E had a rather hard tendon part which she couldn’t eat. I think she was just unlucky, as Uncle and I had a relatively tender meat – it wasn’t as tender as I have hoped though.
I have never had this before so was looking forward to it. Nasi bakar wangi ($5) – mini whitebait coconut rice grilled in banana leaf. I am not a huge coconut fan, especially in rice, but this was delicious and very aromatic! The coconut was subtle, and the whitebait which you can’t see in the photo really complemented it. It was surprisingly good!
Telor Belado ($3) – lightly fried boiled egg served with lemongrass chili sauce is always a favourite of mine. I love the lemongrass chili sauce, the egg was wonderful but at $3 I thought it was a little pricey.
I grew up eating Sambal goreng kentan boentjis ($5) – french beans and deep fried potatoes cooked in galangal, lemongrass and chili, hence is a favourite of mine. Unfortunately for me, I thought the dish was a little lukewarm, I think it would be better if it was slightly warmer. Regardless, the tender bite size potatoes and french beans were wonderful. I love the combination of the flavours.
We also had the perkedel djagoeng ($3) – crunchy corn fritter spiced with corriander. I love perkedel djagoeng. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of this, but the corn fritter was excellent, crunchy and sweet from the corn and really brought me back to my childhood. I thought for its size (size of my palm) it was a little steep.
I love the sambal trassi ($3) – traditional shrimp paste chili sauce – it really does hit the spot and the flavours are fantastic. I didn’t get a chance to eat their ‘street foods’ – karedok, shredded vegetable salad served with galingale-infused peanut sauce. Will definitely have to try it next time.
We were stuffed, however, there is always a different stomach for dessert
E couldn’t go pass the es tjendol with extra palm sugar. I love tjendol – a worm-like jelly made from rice flour with green food colouring. It was moist and not chewy and went down so well with palm sugar and coconut milk. E, however, prefers her tjendol a little chewy, she finished all the coconut milk and palm sugar!
Uncle, L and I thought we would share the next dessert – Indonesian version of profiteroles which looks like mini pancakes. They were the fluffiest and moistest lemon mini pancakes I have ever had. Drizzled with icing sugar and served with vanilla bean ice cream and cream these mini pancakes were to die for! It was just too easy to pop one in your mouth and continue popping them! I LOVE!
I didn’t realise until later on that they had roti bakar – grilled bread which is served with banana and chocolate – don’t knock it until you try it. It is GOOD! Next time.
I definitely enjoyed my second visit more than the first. We got to try more dishes which I loved. 1945 is not your typical Indonesian restaurant. For one it is not in the ‘Indonesian area’ of Kensington, Kingsford and Randwick. It’s in Pyrmont and dishes are tapas like and to be shared, they are smaller which means you can try more. Some of the prices for the dishes I thought was a little exy but the flavours and taste were delightful and some were quite similar to what I grew up with which I love!
Service was definitely warm and friendly. I love the outfits that one of the co-owners were wearing – it was custom made, so I doubt I would be able to get it anywhere. I will definitely be back, currently they have a special an ‘All ou can eat rijsttafel’ which started on the 21st March – available on Mondays and Tuesdays for a limited time only. From memory it costs about $39, definitely worth it and will definitely check it out.
My wonderful Uncle paid for dinner but I will return the favour next time round.
GA’s rating: 7.5 / 10
1945 Dutch East
Shop 2 / 42 Harris Street
Ph: +61 2 9660 9699