Eduard Ellis doesn’t usually WhatsApp much but then he surprised his friends yesterday with a delightful text: Dear friends, it said, we are finally opening our Indonesian pop-up on the terrace at Papiamento restaurant. I would like to invite you tonight to have just a glimpse of what we are going to do, look around, have a drink and have a bite, dress casually, it’s a pop up.
And that’s how we all found out that Eduard decided to give his favorite cuisine a remarkable stage. The charming occasionally used portion of the garden to the left of the restaurant entrance will from now on serve Rijstafel, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, under the door sign: Wayang.
Wayang will be open most weekends, but might have some dark nights when the terrace is booked for an event, or when entertaining a private group.
Bottom line: If the Wayang sign is lit, come in and enjoy a veritable feast. If the lights are off, your cravings for Indonesian food must wait, but Papiamento restaurant is sure to please.
Eduard explains he loves to do the cooking himself and that family-friends know his Rijstafel well. Why not expand the concept, he thought, and offer a pop up, open most weekends, no reservations needed, and you may even eat standing, at a cocktail table, if in a rush.
Wayang boasts a Balinese style bar, with a limited wine and beer menu, but according to Eduard, your inner child will be overjoyed to pair his food with Manzana Postobón, from the Bali bar or Orange soda, pineapple punch, perhaps even a Coco Rico, definitely a throwback to everyone’s childhood on the island.
When we went to Colegio, we practically lived on those sugary soft drinks and pastechi, jokes Eduard, and I find they also pair well, he seriously adds, with the fusion of Indonesian species and herbs.
As opening night progressed more and more of Eduard’s friends showed up hungry. His beautiful wife Arlene reports Eduard has been working on his project for a while now, and even created the décor himself.
A short survey among diners confirmed, Rijstafel is among everyone’s most favorite food genre, though not very often enjoyed. Hence Wayang, all you care to eat, $38.50pp, not doggy bags. No take out yet!
You heap some white or Turmeric rice in the center of a large plate, and Wayang’s plates are extra-large, and then you circle your rice with as many choices possible, of the twenty-two delectible dishes offered:
Ikan Pedis: Oven broiled fish with tomato, lemon grass & chilies
Ajam Smoor: Slow cooked chicken, shallots, sweet soy, nutmeg & ginger
Ajam Besengéh: Braised chicken with ginger, lemon grass and coconut milk
Rendang: Stewed beef cubes with garlic, ginger, cardamom & coconut
Bengala Gaging: Braised pork with onions, turmeric, laos and coconut milk
Saté Ajam: Skewered chicken marinated with cumin & molasses
Saté Lilit: Speared ground beef with coriander, tamarind & cream of coco
Sajoer Lodeh: Assorted vegetables poached in a coconut butter broth
Gado: Chilled vegetables tossed with coconut oil
Atjar Tjampoer: Sweet and sour carrot, cabbage & cucumber with turmeric
Seroendeng: Pan fried peanuts and coconut with sugar & sea salt
Pinda Katjang: Toasted peanut sauce
Ketimoen: Cucumbers in lime juice, sweet soy sauce and peppers
Tossed Greens with radish and sprouts
Fresh fruits & coconut
Krupuk: Deep fried prawn crackers
Sambal Brandal: Spicy pepper paste with lemon grass & molasses
Ketjap Benting: Sweet soy sauce with toasted onions & garlic
Saludos and salamat makan to all Rijstafel Lovers