WHAT happens if the steak is processed with local flavor? Karambia Steak from the Cikang restaurant, tries to marry Western dishes with the culinary wisdom of the archipelago.

Karambia is the Minang (or Padang, West Sumatera) language of coconut. As the name implies, many parts of coconut are utilized in this menu. The charcoal consists of coconut shells which give a different aroma.

“We are looking for ways to combine Western food with local flavor. Steak is usually roasted using charcoal, or with BBQ. But coconut shells that become fuel provide a unique added flavor,” said Ivan Rizal Sini, Cikang restaurant owner.

Not just a fuel, coconut is also an important ingredient in making Karambia sauce poured over pieces of beef.

Coconut oil is part of an authentic sauce consisting of parsley leaves, coriander leaves, chopped red chili, pepper, salt, minced garlic and palm vinegar. It tastes sour, but fresh. Although there is red chili, there is no obvious spicy taste.

The aroma and freshness of this sauce can reduce the fishy fishy odor, so it is more suitable to be combined with less cooked meat. Moreover, meat that is not overcooked is still juicy and soft when chewed, in contrast to the well done steak which is tougher because the “juice” in the meat is gone.

This sauce complements the imported Australian beef steak which has been thinly chopped for easy eating. Visitors can choose two types of meat and weight, between tenderloin and sirloin weighing 120 and 150 grams.

The softness of the beef with a slightly acidic Karambia sauce is complemented by Salada uci (uci, meaning grandmother in Padang), which has a sweet touch.

Salada uci consists of lettuce, Japanese cucumbers and finely chopped boiled eggs plus palm vinegar and liquid sugar and salt and pepper. The taste is dominantly sweet, even though there is a trace of acid.

There are additional potato chips that add to the rich texture in a plate of steak. Pink crackers imported directly from Padang are a complement that confirms the impression of traditional food.

Karambia Steak can be enjoyed at a price between IDR120,000 to IDR160,000 depending on the weight and type of meat chosen. [antaranews]