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When we went to the Mentawais Island chain in Indonesia for Howard’s birthday, we got to spend some time discovering Padang the day before and after our ferry ride to Hidden Bay Resort. Here is our date night, accompanied by our guide, Budi, on our last night in Padang. We had been traveling all day. Seven hours on a rocking ferry after we woke up at the crack of paradise dawn. Even the view upon rising didn’t help the exhaustion. Or the fact that we had to leave.
So, here we are, starving, no shower and grumpy — because by the time we got there, most everything was closed and this restaurant was one of the top five restaurants in Padang that Budi would recommend. But it was the number five one, so that didn’t seem promising. Also, the fact that there was a cat eating a whole fish that had dropped to the ground under the table next to us, also didn’t seem good. There was no way this restaurant would have stayed open if it was subject to U.S. health inspector visits. However, we were starving. Starving. Howard more so than me because I had had a snack during our ferry stop in North Sumatra but still. That had been seven hours before we found this spot. We reluctantly agreed to eat here because I wanted some authentic Padang food and by nine most everything else had been shut down. So. Our options were limited to hotel food — a diluted version of Padang — or this one. So, we went for this one. The staff was super nice — as everyone we had met on our trip had been so far — and I was just looking forward to tasting food prepared in a way I had yet to experience.
The experience starts with the waiter putting out every dish that they have cooked and the eater deciding what they want to eat.
What do you think? Would you eat here? Or where’s the most questionable place you’ve eaten where you were pleasantly surprised?