Braised beef is popular in most parts of the world, as slow-cooking allows tough cuts to become rich with flavor—French beef bourignon and Russian Solyanka pop immediately to mind.
In the Minangkabau culture of Indonesia, the most popular form is Rendang, which finds big chunks of beef slow-cooked in coconut milk with herbs and spices. The dish has symbolic significance and is served during ceremonial occasions.
It’s also the signature dish at the area’s first Indonesian restaurant, SpicyOne in Overland Park (6551 W. 119th St., Overland Park), where several large chunks of tender beef in a curry sauce are served with green beans and a scoop of rice. It’s a nice entry point to an expansive menu featuring dishes from a large and diverse country—and while the dishes might be unfamiliar, they’re very inviting.
Indonesia is the fourth-most populated country in the world but a blogger who did the math found fewer than a hundred Indonesian restaurants in the U.S., most in California. Spicy One is notable enough that it actually received an official visit from the Indonesian consulate at the end of April. We’d also recommend trying the egg wrap, or Martabak Telur, a stuffed pancake that’s a popular street food.