The chicken made Karen Carpenter look fat

Trip Start Sep 10, 2010
Trip End Feb 19, 2011

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Flag of Indonesia  , Java,
Sunday, October 31, 2010

For those who missed the Facebook update, we managed to find a driver who could take us to Borodupur, despite the apparent closure of the region due to the Merapi erupting, and so we thought we’d take the risk and try to get there. As it turned out, the wind today was blowing in a different direction so about half an hour out of the city the ash cleared and the access was fine.

They had worked overnight with hoses and huge volumes of water and so we were, in the end, able to access all but one level of the temple, and its truly magnificent. Rather than ramble on about the symbolism and its incredibly accurate orientation, just have a look at the photos. Its overwhelming at times, and definitely on the list of things to do if you are ever anywhere near Yogyakarta.

This was our last full day in Yogya and tonight we tried, in vain, to find a decent restaurant. Yogya is a great city, its lay out and older architecture is a bit reminiscent of older areas of Japan, minus the neatness. There are food stalls all over the city, serving up decent enough food, but if you fancy something a little more sophisticated this is a real challenge. You can walk the streets for hours and not find anything other than food stalls, though what we ended up in tonight was pretty vile.

One great thing on the menu here is called “water grass”. It’s unlike anything we have had before, maybe a cross between spinach and watercress, served fried or steamed with hot red chillies and a thickish soy/oyster type sauce. It’s very good and was the best thing we had. Accompanying this was a mix of sate - the chicken was more like tendons than meat, the lamb was ok, and the beef was like an old flip flop. Worse still was a local chicken dish - it came in a bamboo pot served up with what appeared to be raw(ish) chicken livers, a red fleshy wobbly thing which looked as if they had forgotten to clean and cook it, and then some mish mash of flesh and chillies. I then found what I thought was a steamed sheep’s eye - not wanting to seem too afraid of local food I eventually cut it open and ate half with some chillies. It turned out to be a chicken egg, but it tasted like I imagine a sheep’s eye tastes. The half chicken was 45% skin (with 1 or 2 feathers still attached around the bottom), 40% bone, and 15% meat. We had no idea until this point that chickens could have anorexia, but this poor little soul certainly had an eating order, and it almost induced one in us too.

We head off to Bandung by train tomorrow after a quick trip out to Prambanan Hindu temple - the train journey is about 6 hours and is an executive class only, so we are hoping for some luxury travel tomorrow. Fingers crossed they don’t serve the same chicken dishes in Bandung.

We really enjoy Indonesia, it’s a great place to travel in, loads to do and see, and the most lovely people but as for food, well, its not great. We certainly wont be searching out an Indonesian restaurant once we leave the country J
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Mark on

I've had chicken like that. I remember eating it in Madagascar and it was as you describe, a bit of skin and tendon attached to bone. They're probably only get scraps and what they can dig up from the ground to eat...

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