Thursday, 6 May 2010

1945 , Pyrmont

I've been driving past this restaurant every day on the way home and did have a thought what kind of restaurant this would be ?
1945....sounds Indonesian-ish (1945 is Indonesia's independence year from the Dutch occupation).
So as usual, I did my Googling.
To my surprise, my suspicion was right ! It is an Indonesian restaurant :)
According to the brief intro on their website, "1945 is an Indonesian restaurant that specializes in Dutch East Indies cuisine".
They serve the Dutch colonial feast, Rijsttafel (rice table).
We turned up without making a reservation for dinner, luckily we got the last available table *phew*.
While chatting with the waitress at the end of the night, she mentioned that at dinner time it's usually packed. Not bad for a restaurant that has only been in operation for 3 weeks isn't it ?
As you stepped into the main dining area, you are greeted by a big picture of Ibu Kartini (she is a pioneer in Indonesian women's right in the early 1900's. Her birthdate of 21st April has been declared as a national holiday in Indonesia).

Portrait of Ibu Kartini ; Antique Dutch Indies Chandelier

Sometime, having the wrong settings on camera can be good ^_^

After we were seated for a while, we were handed......WOODEN PHOTO FRAMES ?!?!

Wooden menu frame and a bried intro into 1945's concept

Open the window....and voila ! The menus is the presentation of the menu :)
The menu is written in the old Indonesian spelling, so they may look or sound different to the usual menu you see.
The waitress, Leni, explained to us how it works. You can order the set Rijsttafel menus (it's pretty much a degustation , you get to try a bit of everything), or you can order from the A La Carte menu.
She also mentioned that the serving size is small to allow diners to try out many different dishes , I'm calling it Indonesian Tapas, because that's what it is really.
Since I was left to choose from the menu, it is not a big of a surprise that once I again I've ordered more that we can consume >__<  ( Eyes bigger than my tummy issue )

Teh Potji ; Es Lidah Boeaya

When I ordered the Teh Potji (strong brewed Jasmine tea served with rock sugar) I was expecting a porcelain teapot and cups.
You have no idea how excited I got when I saw this engraved wooden tea set was set down on the table ! Too cute !!
Nice to see rock sugar used instead of cubed or normal sugar :)
The Es Lidah Boeaya (aloe vera drink with a hint of lime) is very refreshing and the lime is a great idea.
The food came out quite quick (despite the waitress telling us in advance that some dishes 
may come out a little late because of the cooking process :) )

Two type of rice & two types of sambals (condiments)
At this point...I think I have decided I want their wooden menu frame, wooden tea pot, and now...the rice baskets and the mini Cobek (mortar & pestle made from volcanic rock).
Especialy the mini cute is that thing ?!?!
We got 2 different rice, Nasi Pandan (pandan infused jasmine rice) and Nasi Oedoek (fragrant coconut rice flavoured lightly with lemongrass & candlenut).
The nasi oedoek is delicious and the nasi pandan just have a slight hint of the pandan (usually the smell can be quite overpowering).
The Sambal Hidjao (green chili with mini whitebaits) were good and can't go wrong with Sambal Ketjap (chili sauce with shallots and sweet soy sauce).

Tahoe Gedrjot (sweet spicy & sour garlic chili sauce pounded to deep fried tofu)
Siomaj Daging & Oedang (steamed dumpling of pork, prawns and shiitake served with sweet peanut sauce)

Rijsttafel plates being set down

While eating...I couldn't help noticing the huge plates (more like trays) of Rijsttafel being set down on tables next to ours.
It looked like the dishes are set on the one plate on top of a banana leaf...must try next time !

Ayam Goreng Koening (deep fried tender tumeric & spices braised chicken - 1 drumstick per serve)
Pepes Tahoe (spiced mashed tofu with basil & mini whitebaits, steamed in banana leaf - 1 per serve)

The ayam goreng koening tasted like the one we usually have back in Indo and I love the pepes tahoe.
Drizzle some Sambal Ketjap and it's extra yumminess !

Ikan Bakar (grilled whole snapper brushed with sweet soy sauce, served with sambal tomat)
Tjah Kangkoeng (stir fried morning glory with prawns)

These 2 dishes are from their special blackboard menu.
The fish is very soft and flavourful, cooked just perfectly, the accompanying sambal is hot but good.
It's a pity that the morning glory stir fry is too salty :(
And as if we are not full yet....we still ordered some dessert .... as I always says to my dining companions, dessert goes to a different stomach...*nod..nod*
Kolak Pisang (banana & some other jelly like stuff, cooked in coconut milk & palm sugar)
Es Pelangi (aka Rainbow Ice, a mix of various jellies, longan, basil seed, rose syrup and fresh lime)

After all the spicy meal, I'm glad I ordered the Es Pelangi. It's very refreshing and not too sweet at all to my surprise.
So, is it an authentic Indonesian restaurant ? To me , it is :)
Dining at 1945 does cost more than dining at other Indonesian eateries in Sydney.
However, the ambience, decor and the way the dishes were presented worth the extra costs.
Not to mention the food tasted delicious and the service is lovely.
I'll be back to try the Rijsttafel set menu next !

1945 Dutch East Indies Cuisine on Urbanspoon


  1. oooh! am so going there again tomorrow... shared my experience with my workmates...and we're doing a farewell dinner there!

  2. oh cool, I've been there twice as well !
    hope you guys enjoyed it again ^_^

  3. should try the grass jelly drink. it's fabulous! :):)