My first street food I’ve ever tasted in Mataram, Lombok Island, didn’t go really well as expected.
It all started when me and two of my friends feeling extremely hungry after a full day exploring the beach. We’ve been thinking to eat something different but we also short on budget, so instead we go hunt for the local street food. After few minutes of exploring the town riding our rental motorcycle, we finally found the place. It was this small restaurant, nothing fancy though. But a lot of people lining the queue made us think that this place is the one.
There is a note telling us that the Level 20 to 25 food is free if you manage to finish it on the spot. I ordered the Level 10 instead. Each level is equal to spoonful of sambal, also known as chili condiment. So basically a level 10 fried rice is a fried rice mixed with 10 spoonful of that condiment.
One of my friends just ordered a level 2 fried rice. Come on! he just laugh and said we should enjoy the meal, not to challenge ourselves to such a silly game. We were both thinking that this restaurant have a level 25 food, so a level 10 shouldn’t be that bad, right? wrong.
The plate of hot fried rice is right in front of my eyes and I can’t wait any longer. Few seconds after the first bite, it was burning. Feels like you’re eating a cotton candy made with a tear gas. I’m drinking an iced tea hoping it would reduce the feeling but it just make things worse.
We both looked silly as I can see people looking at us smiling before my vision get blurred by my tears. We Indonesian tend to have a stronger tolerance of spicy food but this one is beyond my limit. I never really thought that a medium level of food (compared to the level 25) can be this spicy.
My appetite is totally gone after two mouthful of rice. Just so you know the second attempt is just to make me look strong in front of my friends and people around us. I feel bad joking on my friend earlier, because now the jokes is on us. Now he started to laugh and preaching about how we shouldn’t eat a spicy food and stuff. Even if the food isn’t that enjoyable anymore we still having a great time.
Few glasses of Iced tea later, we decide to put the remaining of the food inside a paper wrap so we can take it back to our home stay. Guess what after we arrive we just threw it all in the trash can. I didn’t eat anything that night.