Wednesday, September 26, 2012

bubur ayam agus, breakfast food for dinner

A warming bowl of bubur (porridge or congee), to me, is the ultimate comfort food. I associate porridge with those times when I'm sick, when my palate and my stomach couldn't handle anything more than the soft and comforting slurry of rice going down my aching throat and warming my stomach.

So even now, when I'm not sick, having a bowl of chicken porridge always comforts me, calms me down, makes everything better.

Unlike the other places in Malang that I've been blogging about, I haven't known about Bubur Agus for that long, but it has quickly and firmly joined the ranks of my must-eats in Malang. On my last visit, I realised how much of a small town Malang still is, I found out that the son of Agus, the owner, was a classmate of my younger sister. That is how it is there, everybody knows everybody else, gossip travels fast. Any gossip about Bubur Agus, though, would be nothing but good.

Although porridge is generally eaten in the morning, as in the accompaniment dish in dim sum or in a typical chinese morning breakfast eaten with pickled vegetables, here in Bubur Agus, the different varieties of bubur are offered for both breakfast and dinner.

Bubur ayam jakarta - Rp 9,000
I am fond of all of the different varieties they're offering, but my favourite would be a bowl of their bubur ayam jakarta, porridge made with chicken stock base, topped with fresh spring onions; cooked chicken that has been cooled down to room temperature and shredded; shredded cakwe (chinese deep-fried dough); and hard-boiled egg in savoury sweet sauce.

Lurking underneath all those toppings is a raw whole egg. The egg was at room temperature when it was cracked open onto the bowl of boiling hot porridge, rendering it par-cooked instantly. When you mix all the ingredients together, the crispiness of the shredded chicken and cakwe will be slightly softened by the porridge, the spring onions only barely crunchy, and the egg yolk becomes this silky, creamy eggy goodness and that is my favourite thing about it.

Bitan - Rp 4,000
With the bowl of porridge, a side order of bitan would be the norm. Bitan is a sino-indonesian pronounciation of the mandarin word pídàn, which is none other than the black century egg. I am partial to the combination of a spoonful of the warm porridge with the cool jelly-like egg white (or should I say egg black?) of the bitan. And the bitan's core of grey egg yolk amplifies the porridge's creaminess.

Es liang tea - Rp 4,000
I'd normally down my porridge with a glass of teh panas - black tea served hot in a beer glass - that I would specifically ask not to be added with sugar. After eating the porridge, perspiration might be unavoidable in the mild heat of Malang, but it would be mandatory after drinking the hot black tea. On that particularly muggy day, however, my father ordered us two beer glasses of es liang teh. Liang teh or liang cha is chinese herbal tea, it's sweet and cold, and for the night we were having, it was appropriately cooling and energising.

HABIS = sold out
Bubur Agus is quite easy to find, its shop is located with a cluster of other shops and can be seen from a main road. You don't have to look too hard for it. But, be warned, depending what day and time you go there, you might be disappointed they've sold out. My last visit was my second attempt during my holiday, we had to go elsewhere the first time because it was a public holiday and all the people of Malang (including us) seem to be having bubur on their minds.

Bubur Ayam Agus

Jalan Ruko Simpang Wilis Indah 4
Malang JAWA TIMUR
Open Tuesday 5.15pm-10pm, Wednesday-Saturday 7.15am-10am & 5.15pm-10pm, Sunday 7.15am-12pm
location on google maps

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