Unassuming and appealing Indonesian restaurant in Abu Dhabi's Tourist Club area

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My dining companion (the Redhead) and I strolled inside Bandung Restaurant after finding the place by chance, our curiosity piqued by the sizable lunchtime crowd, their tables piled high with dishes. It seemed as though they were onto something we weren’t; there had to be a good explanation for an anonymous eatery in a shabby building being packed on a Friday afternoon – the trademarks of a diamond in the rough. To begin, we ordered the fried tofu. With my fork, I cut through the thin golden skin on a square of fresh bean curd, revealing an almost creamy center. Though delicious, they were even better dipped in the chunky peanut sauce from our chicken satay, skewers of grilled meat stacked like Lincoln Logs and smothered in thick gravy.

We were still making our way through the starters when I was presented with an enormous serving of Indonesia’s national dish, nasi goreng. Fried rice with prawns, chicken, and a fluffy omelet on the side, it suffered only due to the use of cheap frozen shrimp, creating an anonymous ocean flavor. I seasoned it with scoops of homemade chili paste; clearly the chef didn’t want to see his creations tainted by a cheap version spooned from a jar. It was one of several indications that Bandung takes their work seriously, never mind the stackable chairs and beaded curtain in the foyer. The Redhead worked his way through mie ayam, turmeric seasoned chicken and vegetables served over a bed of steamed noodles.

Shards of bones remained in the chicken, forcing him to approach eat bite with caution and extract the offending bits. Nevertheless, it was delicious and hearty, the spiced broth capturing the Thai and Indian influences that define Indonesian cuisine. Luckily I had saved room for the es cendol – ice shavings flavored with coconut milk and brown sugar. It reminded me of something that would be served in a paper cone at a carnival, but hiding under the frosty top layer were cubes of grass jelly and green pearls of glutinous rice, which tasted like bits of gummy candy. The sugary flavors were an ideal accompaniment to the salty and spicy mains, and the perfect coda to our meal.

The bill (for two)
Chicken satay 10 Dhs
Mie ayam 15 Dhs
Nasi goreng 20 Dhs
Es cendol 12 Dhs
Total 67 Dhs

By Jon Wilks
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: Al Zahiyah, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 645 2008
  • Travel: Navy Gate

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Bandung On The Map

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  • Users voted this restaurant most suitable for: Family friendly

User reviews:

Posted by: bembi on 03 Dec ' 09 at 20:55
  • Best for: Family friendly
  • Would you go back to this restaurant? Yes

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