As the temperatures rose to a record high in Pangkal Pinang, I was dying for a cold refreshment to alleviate my thirst and cool things down a bit. As I wiped the sweat that has been profusely dripping down my brow, I asked my driver to bring me around to an Es Campur (shaved ice with fruits) seller. “I can’t really recall any around here, but let’s try Es Ayong,” he says.
Five minutes later, we pulled over by a small warung on Jalan Jeletung nearby Pasar Lama. Two containers filled with coconuts and a large yellow banner displaying “Es Ayong” greeted me as I stepped out of the car. There was a crowd waiting inside, and after speaking to one of the waiters, he escorted me to an empty seat just beside the counter.
“We have Es Kacang Merah (shaved ice with red bean) and Es Kelapa (iced coconut juice),” he utters after I asked the waiter about the choices on offer. In what was simply a beautiful coincidence, Es Kacang Merah is actually my favourite childhood drink and would prove to be a worthy substitute for Es Campur. I ordered a bowl, and turned my gaze towards the menu that is pasted on the wall. It turns out that Es Ayong also serves Pempek Telur (egg fishcake) and Mie Kuah Ikan (fish noodles in soup), but as I was spitting feathers, I really couldn’t care less about eating.
And then it finally came. It only took a couple of minutes for me to make short work of the concoction. In an instant the sweltering heat that terrorised my body was washed away with the mixture of shaved ice and red beans and a hint of nostalgia. Relieved, soothed, and gratified, I made my way to continue my culinary quest feeling like a new man.
Open daily from 10am-6pm
Rp.15,000/US$1.15 per portion