Bandung (Madison, Wisconsin)


Our first meal in Madison on our brief trip there in August was centered on ramen. Our next stop also deviated from the stereotypical Wisconsin food itinerary. As you might guess from the name of the restaurant in the title of this post, it featured Indonesian food. I should say here that our restaurant selections in Madison were driven entirely by two factors: 1) Were they in fact open (for lunch) or answering their phones? 2.) Did they have outdoor seating that they were actually using. A few of the restaurants recommended to us were not open for lunch; others had no outdoor seating. Bandung was open for lunch and had outdoor seating and so they were right in our sweet spot. But it’s not as though we weren’t interested in it for its own sake. As far as I know we don’t have an Indonesian restaurant in the Twin Cities metro and so we were very glad to give Bandung a go.

We weren’t actually 100% positive if we’d be able to eat outdoors at Bandung. This because the day began with quite a bit of rain. Accordingly, I’d put in a takeout order online while the kids swam in the hotel pool. But then the rain stopped and we ended up eating outside the restaurant before heading off for various lake-related activities.

The restaurant is larger than it appears from the outside and also incorporates something called The Nutty Bar. At least it does in normal times—it appeared to be on pause for now. They were open for dining-in and a few people were in fact dining in. But the patio by the carpark was attractive too and there’s a good chance we’d have sat there even if there wasn’t a pandemic in progress. We took our takeout to a table there and they were kind enough to set us up with proper cutlery and crockery and also run out water etc.

In the slideshow below I have a picture of their takeout menu. However, I should clarify that this menu does not seem to include everything we ordered from the website menu which also lists lunch specials etc. If you’re in Madison and interested in takeout that’s what you should look at.

What did we get?

For the boys: a couple of chicken and beef satays each as well as an order of the fried chicken wings. I got a couple of the wings and they were done really well. The missus and I shared the following: to start, otak-otak, cylindrical fish “cakes” steamed in banana leaves (very nice with the accompanying sauce); the nasi goreng lunch special (quite good); and the beef rendang (also quite good). These came with a choice of starter and we picked the lumpia (decent) and the pangsit keju—or to use the proper midwestern name, cream cheese wontons.

For a look at the restaurant and the food, launch the slideshow below. Scroll down for thoughts on the meal as a whole and to see what’s coming next.

None of the food blew our minds but it was an enjoyable meal. I don’t know if we’d go back on our next trip to Madison—whenever that might be—but my guess is that if we lived there we’d stop in every once in a while. Certainly worth a try if you’re interested in Indonesian food.

Cost? My credit card statement says it came to a little short of $70. Not cheap but a good amount of tasty food that filled all four of us up well.  And the service I should say was very friendly.

Alright, my next Madison food report will feature food from a continent other than Asia. That’ll be next Sunday. Before that I’ll have a Twin Cities Pakistani meal report on Tuesday, a recipe on Thursday and whisky reviews on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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