It was Saturday night and I met a dear friend for a meal at this Indonesian Restaurant of which we had heard good reports. We ordered Chicken Kapitan and Beef Rendang with Indonesian fried rice and were simply bowled over by the bold and rich flavours. We enjoyed our meal so much we even ordered banana fritters for dessert.
When we had finished dessert we were the only diners in the restaurant and the owners were itching to lock up and leave for the night. We had only drank once glass each from the bottle of white wine and asked the owners for two plastic glasses to take away so we could continue our discussion. They kindly obliged, happy by that time to see us leave. We walked only a few hundred metres to Hyde Park, on the corner of William and College Streets, Darlinghurst and sat on the steps diagonally opposite from the Australian Museum.
As my friend lived in Leichhardt and I lived in Waverley we were going in opposite directions so we planned to continue our evening and catch the last trains home.
We poured ourselves a "glass" of wine and settled in for a good chat on a warm summer's night. About 15 minutes later two policemen approached us on horses and told us we had to move on as it wasn't safe to be out at night in Hyde Park. We were shocked as we had always felt safe in the city and used to meet to party from time to time ... anyway, they insisted that we had to leave and the horseback policemen subtly followed us to the corner of George and William streets to see that we were indeed going to Town Hall train station.
This was such a memorable night for two reasons; my discovery of Indonesian food and the thrill of being asked to move on by two thoughtful and caring policemen.
I still love Beef Rendang and have tweeked this recipe many times over the years and now I cook it suitably in the pressure cooker to save time but still retain that unique flavour of slow cooked beef.
My latest favourite version comes from Not Quite Nigella whose mother is also a superb cook and this is a wonderful recipe for authentic Beef Rendang.