A few nights ago Chris and I were tooling around on his motorcycle in the evening, something we enjoy doing because it's nice and cool zipping around in the open air and people can't see us as well in the dark so they don't stare at us and yell out to us as much.
We were headed down one of the main streets, and Chris pulled off at a little restaurant called Cafe Elizabeth and announced we were going to have a sweet dessert treat. I was excited because I LOVE dessert, as many of you are aware! Here's the little cafe, it's lit with all sorts of Christmas lights and hanging lanterns, very cute!
We sat down and the waitress brought us menus. As with many places in Tarakan the menu was like a book-although the funny thing about that is that restaurants often have lots of things on their menu, but what they don't tell you is that many of those things aren't available. This becomes a bit of a bummer at times, especially when I have finally asked Chris enough questions to decipher the menu and have decided on something, (which takes forever because when I order in a restaurant it's like I am deciding on my last meal, ask Chris, he will tell you it is true), and then the waitress/waiter tells me that the item I have so carefully chosen isn't available and I have to start from scratch, this time with the pressure of the wait person standing there staring at me.
Anyway, so we were looking at our menus at the Cafe, and I saw a dessert with the appealing name of 'The Snowball'. I decided to order it, although I knew very little about it except it involved ice cream. Chris also ordered an ice cream treat, 'The Tarakan Special' I think. Ten to fifteen minutes after we ordered, my ice cream came, looking quite yummy...
Excited for the taste of cool, delicious ice cream, which I have not had since leaving the States I took a bite...
I quickly found out that the lovely light yellow "Snowball" of ice cream on the top was durian flavored. For those of you that don't know what durian is, which I didn't until I started learning about Indonesia, it is a spiky fruit with a gooey, fleshy inside that smells like a cross between sweaty socks that have been sitting at the bottom of the hamper for a week without drying out (you know the smell I'm talking about, especially if you have a boyfriend, husband or child that exercises or plays sports) and a rotten melon. For more extensive information on the mighty durian, often called the "King of Fruit", you can click here.
There was strawberry ice cream underneath the durian ice cream, which I tried to eat, but sadly the flavor of the durian overtook the whole dish and I had to give up. It was truly awful, and so sad because I didn't get the much-anticipated yummy dessert. I have to say this has not been my first bad experience with dessert in Indonesia. I am beginning to suspect I have entered dun-dun-dun...a dessert-less culture. Usually the "desserts" here involve fruit, which I am not a huge fan of in desserts in the States, and often some sort of jello-like or jelly-like component, something I definitely DO NOT care for. Sometimes they even just serve fruit and call it dessert. To quote my Grandpa Dunkerley when my Grandma tried to serve him fruit as his sweet after meal treat, "Fruit is NOT dessert". It is another one of my life mores.
Chris' dessert came, well after I was already finished with mine-their timing with bringing out food at restaurants is somewhat archaic. It looked very impressive...
Chris actually enjoyed the first few bites, but then he got a nasty fruit flavor, he didn't think it was durian, but it was something yucky, and he stopped eating it soon after. We left the restaurant disappointed, but with another funny story to tell. When we got home I ate some of the chocolate bar I have stashed in the refrigerator, but the durian just kept on giving all evening and into the night with the dirty-sock-rotten-melon taste in my mouth...finally in the morning it was gone.
Moral of the story: If you see a yellow snowball, don't eat it!!!