Jayakarta Restaurant will be a source of great happiness to Bay Area Indonesians and anyone who wants real, hardcore Indonesian food, says Han. They do chicken particularly beautifully. Try lemper, chunks of flavorful chicken fragrant from being grilled in a banana leaf. The bakwan malang is a flavorful chicken soup with chunks of flour cakes, beef balls, and other goodies, though it might be a bit weird for non-natives.

And how about some “chicken gizzards with stinky beans”? Despite the name, It’s delicious, says Maya S, and the beans aren’t a bit stinky. They are, in fact, just favas. Or try the ayam kalasan, says jhinky–moist grilled chicken that’s been marinated in young coconut juice, served with fresh chili sauce.

Part of the joy of Indonesian food is the inscrutable weirdness of some of the dishes, but unless you’re up for that, you should probably avoid the nasi lelapan lengkap, says a very nonplussed chilihead2006. This dish consists of a wedge of raw cabbage, some raw green beans and other actually-just-raw veggies, a chunk of fried chicken, and some sauce and tamarind broth.

If you’re into embracing the surreal, just order at random. You’ll probably be really surprised.

Jayakarta Restaurant [East Bay]
2026 University Ave., Berkeley

Board Links
Jayakarta–short review (Berkeley)
Jayakarta —Indonesian in Berkeley!

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