Tempeh Tastes Terrific…for some

My family and I made a pleasant discovery when we stumbled upon the Bay Leaf Restaurant in Sunnyvale. Tucked away in an unassuming strip mall, it appeared to be a local favorite among families and young students alike. Touted as an “Indonesian Thai” restaurant, the menu is divided according to the two south-east Asian countries’ culinary delights.

My mom’s side of the family is Indonesian. And Indonesian food has been a central part in my family’s journey to explore exotic foods. No matter what meal of the day (including breakfast), Indonesian food is always a favorite. Although I don’t eat Indonesian food every day, I try to experiment with different meals each time I get the chance. This time, I tried the “Tempeh,” a deep fried soy bean cake.

The thick, semi-crunchy and semi-soft tempeh is basically a vegetarian burger-type patty. It is deep fried and has an almost nutty like texture. It has become in the West an important source of protein for adventurous vegetarians and continues to be a mainstay in Indonesian family menus.

My parents enjoyed the dish more than I did, but I still liked it. Specifically, I liked the spicy chili sauce placed on top of the tempeh, which added positively to the dishes’ overall flavor. I recommend the dish to vegetarians and anybody who wants an alternative source of protein instead of meat, fish, or tofu. Nonetheless, I would probably not order it again.

To be completely honest, I would much prefer a chicken curry or a beef satay than what I ordered. But I do feel that it is important to be adventurous. Being adventurous is the way to discover your new favorites.

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