Nancy Lam’s Enak Enak
56 Lavender Hill
Battersea
Wandsworth SW11 5RQ
24/02/2013
Delicious Delicious. Sure the name sounds promising, and judging from the website, not too shabby either. Not that we are given many choices really, being Bali Bali on Shaftesbury Avenue the only contender. Review wise they are not that far away from each other, but Bali Bali looks - scarily - like one of those nasty places you are sent to when you buy a West End theatre + dinner package. I’ve heard horrible stories about people who never got to see the show since they were too busy trying to survive contractions-like stomach cramp. I’m not talking about Bali Bali specifically, but you know, better safe than sorry so…avoid. Nancy Lam’s Enak Enak, on the other hand, sits in a non- particularly touristy part of London – Battersea – has good reviews, and seems to be quite renowned in the area. Enough to become the destination for an easygoing Saturday night dinner. Definitely not a “sophisticated space” as advertised on their website, but decent. A little soulless, but not off-putting. Harmless, I would say. Despite having almost zero Indonesian touches in the décor, I was pleased with the fact that the staff was in fact Asian. And nice and polite too. Edo set the mood with a mocktail of which I forgot name, taste and ingredients, but not the colour: pink. Must have been good since he had two. After a long conversation about what to order we settled on a shared starter of Chicken Satay, followed by Chicken Rendang, (Edo) Sambal Prawns (I) and Nasi Goreng (shared). Boy I loved that Chicken Satay! Was it tasty? Yes. Was it tender? Yes. Did I wish it wasn’t for sharing? Hell, yes! Starting on a high, I unfortunately landed pretty low on my prawns though. Nothing particularly wrong with the dish, just a little too bland and tired and possibly a tad too “brothy” for my palate. A little disappointing after such a great start, but it was my first Sambal and not knowing what to expect I suspect I set my expectations to high. The Rendang was a winner apparently. I only had a microscopic bite of it and the sauce was way tastier than my prawns. Edo confirmed it was very good. Nasi Goreng, the national dish…again, this was my initiation to Nasi Goreng and the experience didn’t change my life. Having nothing to compare this to, I’m now left wondering whether Indonesian food is less vibrant than I though it would be or Enak Enak simply doesn’t do its justice. Not bad, but not exciting either; sort of a “shrugging my shoulders” experiences I must say. The apathetic face staring back at me from my laptop screen makes me think this restaurant won’t make it into my top 10. Not even 50 for what I’m concerned. Shame.

  • Food: 2.5
  • Ambience: 2.5
  • Service: 2.5
  • Value: 2.5
  • Overall: 2.5
Monica
How uninspiring. It was good but with no sparks. I struggle to write anything vaguely interesting about Nancy Lam’s Enak Enak, which is probably unfair as the food was honest and good. I can’t quite explain why.
The ambience was a bit depressing but not really ugly – let’s say at the lower end of acceptable for the mission. Wouldn’t go there otherwise, won’t go there again.
Service was invisible, which is not bad but also not good. I don’t even remember the face of the waitress.
Food was good quality, good taste, but for some reason I did not get excited.
Satai chicken was, well, satai chicken. They have it at our club; they have it at half the big chain restaurants in London as a nibble. They have it in pubs. They have it everywhere. Was this one better? Possibly better than most. Clearly not from a tin. Can satai chicken be really exciting? No.
Sambal Prawns and Chicken Rendang were both good taste, good quality in the ingredients, both much less spicy than I thought they would be (not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing), and both a little bit sad in their little plates of one colour.
Nasi Goreng is basically slightly modified Cantonese rice. It was good, rich, probably the best things we had.
I was healthily satisfied by the end: it wasn’t heavy, wasn’t bad. The weird thing is I almost instantly forgot what I had just eaten – it did not leave any memories, good or bad.
Value was alright, I suppose, neither very good nor bad.
All in all, if one likes Indonesian food this is definitely genuine, and definitely above par for the price. However, it did not touch any chord in me.

Food: 2.5
Ambience: 2
Service: 2.5
Value: 2.5
Overall: 2.375
Edo
INDONESIA