October 11, 2009

Attraction at Padang Food Restaurant

It’s been awhile since I've posted to this blog. The post-Ramadhan celebrations and work are the main reasons why I haven't written. In the mean time, Indonesia has been a hot topic internationally due to the devastating earthquakes in Padang.

Padang is the capital city of West Sumatra province. The ethnic tribe of the area is called Minangkabau. I've never gone there, although I often eat Padang food. Padang food is well-known throughout Indonesia (even in Singapore and Malaysia). The foods are often spicy using lots of coconut milk (in Indonesian: "santan"). Its best-known dish is probably "rendang".

In a "proper" Padang food restaurant, the dishes are all served and laid out on the table. This means if the restaurant has 20 types of dishes, all those types will be brought to your table. But of course you don't have to eat all of them. Customers are charged only for what they eat. The untouched dishes will then be served to the next customers so don't play with the food, just take what you want :)

Serving 20 dishes will take awhile of course if you take only two at a time. Now this is what I admire about waiters in Padang food restaurants, they can carry many many plates on one hand. So those 20 dishes may all be brought at once. This of course needs lots of training to master.

Not all Padang food restaurants do this nowadays. However, there have been special plate carrying competitions held called "Manatiang Piriang" which hopefully will keep this tradition alive.

"Manatiang Piriang" competitions

The dirty plates are carried in the same way

Photo source from top to bottom :

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