The polyphony of it all fills my senses and stomach to the brim. I wallow in the contrast between a deep-fried egg's plush yolk and an intensely red, piercingly hot-sweet sambal infused with chiles, onions, and Kaffir lime leaves, then reset my taste buds with an austere soup of oxtail, potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes. A waiter shows me how to drench a plate of puffed buffalo-skin cracklings with curry gravy. They snap and pop like cereal on steroids, the combination of crunch and slurp totally irresistible. Worlds away from the versions I've eaten outside Indonesia, these dishes bring vividly home to me the true genius of Minang-kabau cuisine: There is a finesse, a balance to the way it integrates flavors that satisfies past the sensory level and down to the soul. Ah, I find myself saying, and ah, as this spice aligns with that one, like tumblers in a lock.