Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations in Indonesia Part I

Last night was definitely one of the most exciting night in my life. All because of a TV show called Anthony Bourdain: No Reservation in Discovery Travel & Living. In a slightly different way, it was even more exciting than the final of American Idol (seriously!), because the particular episode was shot in Indonesia. An abundant sense of happiness and pride came rushing through my vein up to my brain. You're probably wondering why that happened to me (and FYI, to the rest of my family also). It's no ordinary TV show! It's Anthony Bourdain's!!!

Who the Hell is This Anthony Guy?
OK, first and foremost, keep in mind that this guy is damn good and absolutely entitled of anything he has got to say about everything he's saying. He's a chef. Not just your ordinary type of celebrity chef, he's a 28 years veteran in professional kitchen. You don't mess with this kind of chef. So, to sum it up, he knows a lot about food. The good, the bad, even the awful. So, it's like when we hear Simon Cowell slaughtered some American Idol contestant and we know that everything he's saying is true (we think the same way, but we just don't have the heart to say it out loud). While Anthony, advantaged by the-inarticulateness-of-non English speaking-people of the world, has the freedom of saying anything he wants, while at the same time keeps a smiling face, so the person he's talking to doesn't have a clue that the thinks badly of the food.

Second, he's a New Yorker and, like most New Yorker, is used to speed, rushing, and all those mentalities of a big city person. He has a mix of synicism, a bit of hostility (nothing rude though), and endless (sometimes strange) sense of humor. He started his journey around the globe in 2000 and never stopped traveling since then. He's been around South East Asia, but never actually stepped on Indonesia, until last night episode (of course it was taken months until couple of years ago, but you know what I mean). He went to Thailand, Singapore, even Vietnam, but never took the time to "taste" Indonesia. So it's an agony to see him visiting and eating in every other South East Asian countries, but not Indonesia! It was absurd (as Simon Cowell would simply describe it).

Seeing Anthony walking down the port of Sunda Kelapa in North Jakarta just brought me goosebumps. He was actually in Jakarta! Next he was taken to see a silat practice. It's a form of traditional martial art, originated from Indonesia. Anyhow, he had lunch in a Restoran Padang. After being mesmerized by the amount of plates that the waiter brought to table with only one hand, Tony (as he's called) then ate everything from rendang to gulai otak (cow brain). A few moments later, there was a loud sound of "bang"! Then the camera gave a close-up shot to Tony's terrified face. Honest to God, I thought there was some kind of earthquake or a stupid car crashed into the restaurant. But, thank God, I was wrong. Nobody was hurt, because it was the sound of plates (with all the food in them) crashing down from the restaurant's display because one of the cameramen had accidentally hit the display with his shotgun mic. Hahahahahahahaha.. I laughed my ass off after seeing the cameraman's face.

The next place that Tony went was Ancol. Ancol is famous among Indonesians for the biggest amusement park in Indonesia, called Dunia Fantasy (Fantasy Land). Though it's one of the biggest domestic tourist attractions in Jakarta, but it's not actually located in the most decent part of the city. On the contrary, Ancol is located in, somewhat, a slum, compared to other parts of Jakarta. Anyways, when Tony said he was going to Ancol, I thought he was talking about the amusement park. But I was wrong, he went to one of the "kampung" (village) in Ancol. You're probably wondering why there's a village inside of a city. Well, I can't exactly give you a sufficient explanation about that, so we'll just let that subject pass. Anyways, Tony did something that I categorized as real bravery. He ate Nasi Uduk (he pronounced it Na-Si-Ah-Dak. We pronounce it Na-Si-Oo-Dook) next to a really blackish (and I can assure you, smelly) river. After finishing his Nasi Uduk, he drank the water from which, even we
the Jakartans (people living in Jakarta and/or the surroundings), don't know where it came from. And to state my REAL BRAVERY point, above anything else,he did this thing because he wanted to, and not because he had to do it for the sake of the rating of his show.

This is the aftermath of the tragedy in the Padang Restaurant.
The waiters were absolutely not happy with this. A night of hard work to prepare all these food was destroyed in one hit. Hahaha..
The Anthony Bourdain: No Reservation crew felt so responsibled and paid for everything. ;)
No rendang or gulai otak was injured in this incident.


Popular Posts