Thursday, 4 October 2012

Review - Nusa Dua

I know I've talked about both beef rendang and Rasa Sayeng Express on this blog. I'm in the process of writing a feature about the tube diversions I have taken in order to go to a restaurant for the London Student (I'm food editor, it's a means of making friends and maybe eating for free). I have been most guilty of this with Rasa Sayeng express. It's on the Tottenham Court Road side of Oxford Street abs instead of stepping off the tube at Marble Arch, I frequently got off there to grab some deliciously cheap Malag food. With a heavy heart, I tell you that Rasa Sayeng Express has rebranded itself. It's now Noodle Oodles and doesn't do £4.95 rendang. After the tiny portions of lunch number one, we decided it would be appropriate to split a rendang for second lunch. Rendang has played a significant part in our food-relationship history since he's almost as fond of it as I am. It was one of the first things I cooked all the way back when I was still pretending nothing was happening. Then it was what we had when he took me to Makan La for my birthday. And then for second birthday aka the Presentation of the Pearl Earrings. Both times, he said it's not as good as mine. (He doesn't realise that's just because I made caramelised onions as a side dish to mine.) What a good egg! Anyway, all I'm trying to illustrate is that taking him to Rasa Sayeng Express was a Big Deal which is why I was so disappointed to see it gone. A little of our desolation disappeared when we saw that a little Indonesian in Soho with rendang on the menu. The two courses for £7.95 set menu in fact so we got some breadcrumbed prawns for our first course for good measure. They were average. Prawns in slightly over seasoned breadcrumbs. Nothing special. Between that and the rendang came a clear cabbage soup. I think there was miso in it and it was surprisingly delicious. The main event was tasty but lacked the fiery kick which I associate with rendang. It has the cream and the umami and the right level of seasoning. It was very prettily presented too, significantly classier than Rasa Sayeng. With the adoption of class accompanied a slight loss of of flavour. Nusa Dua lacked Rasa Sayeng's street foody coarse strength. Still, it's hard to go wrong with rendang and they almost had it exactly right.

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