Hard-boiled eggs, deep-fried and covered with the Indonesian hot sauce called sambal, are worth the trip to Rice Bowl II on Bellaire at Highway 6, the subject of this week's Café review. Don't be deceived by the restaurant's exterior. Sure, it looks like a mediocre Chinese restaurant and offers sweet and sour chicken, moo goo gai pan and all the rest of the usual suspects. But in fact, this Chinese restaurant is owned by a Chinese-Indonesian.
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Just ask for the Indonesian menu when you sit down, and the secret doors to a more exciting culinary experience will magically open. Many thanks to Ecky Prabanto from Tuscany Coffee for turning us on to Rice Bowl II and giving us a guided tour of the menu. Ecky grew up in Bogor, outside of Jakarta, the same town that Rice Bowl's owner comes from. She taught us how to doctor our Indonesian noodles with hot sauce and ketchup -- oops, I mean kecap.