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Tuesday 14 January 2014

Restoran T.A.R. (Sido Mampir)

Restoran T.A.R.
(near Chow Kit Monorail Station)
Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman
50100 Kuala Lumpur
(Coordinates: E101° 41' 53.7" N3° 10' 0.9")

We’ve long been curious about this Indonesian dish called Bakso. Looking it up, Wikipedia states that: “Bakso or baso is Indonesian meatball or meat paste made from beef surimi and is similar in texture to the Chinese beef ball, fish ball, or pork ball.[1] Bakso is commonly made from beef with a small quantity of tapioca flour, however bakso can also be made from other ingredients, such as chicken, fish, or shrimp. Bakso are usually served in a bowl of beef broth, with yellow noodles, bihun (rice vermicelli), salted vegetables, tofu, egg (wrapped within bakso), Chinese green cabbage, bean sprout, siomay or steamed meat dumpling, and crisp wonton, sprinkled with fried shallots and celery. Bakso can be found all across Indonesia; from the traveling cart street vendors to restaurants.

What really piqued our interest was the fact that: “The name Bakso originated from bak-so (肉酥, Pe̍h-ōe-jī: bah-so·), the Hokkien pronunciation for "shredded meat" (Rousong). This suggests that bakso has Indonesian Chinese cuisine origin.” Well now, for all intent and purpose Bakso is an Indonesian version of our all time favourite Beef Noodle Soup!

Coincidentally we had intended to run an errand today at Chow Kit Road, and we heard that Restoran TAR served a mean bowl of Bakso. Looks like we’ll be killing two birds with one stone then, eh?

tall 'thin' building of its own
we're now curious to know what soto babat is as well...
as you enter
where the bakso is prepared
the dishes are aplenty (if you're not here for bakso)
Sido Mampir?

Occupying its own tall and ‘thin’ three (or was it four?) storey building, Restoran TAR is situated right at the staircase leading up to the Chow Kit Monorail Station. This may prove convenient for those who despise driving (and especially enduring the pain of looking for parking) at Chow Kit Road. Restoran TAR serves the Bakso Solo; the name comes from the city it comes from, Solo in Central Java. Interestingly enough this place is also known as Restoran Sido Mampir on foursquare.

Brendan, Cat and I had... 
... the exact same dish...
... bakso solo!
our beverages
thus begins our bakso experience
selamat makan!

The verdict? If we put our biases aside the Bakso Solo is actually a decent dish all on its own, with its own taste and charm. However, if we were to make an apples-to-apples comparison to the usual Beef Noodle shops we’ve been to (like Soong Kee, Beef King Noodles, Shin Kee and the like) then it would fall short. Oh well, at least we’ve satisfied our curiosity. On a positive note Cat was impressed with the fact that the beef meatballs were not rancid (from a previous bad experience with Malay beef meatballs).

And the damage? At RM19.90 inclusive of beverages (the Bakso was RM5.00 a bowl) Restoran TAR resides well within the realms of the everyday food for the everyday person.

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