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Manhattan Indonesian

Borobudar Café (Indonesian)

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Borobudar Café (Indonesian)

The Rogue | Jan 27, 2002 10:35 AM

Borobudar Café 128 East 4th Street NYC(between 1st and 2nd avenues) Tel: 212-614-9079, fax: 212-614-9082, Hours: Sun-Thurs. 11:30am-10:30pm, Fri.-Sat: 11:30am-1:am, free delivery min. $10.00

This weekend I tried a small Indonesian place on 6th street called Borobudar Café. It was FANTASTIC! It is actually two places side by side. A take out counter with two tables on the left and a small ten table restaurant on the right. I must have walked past this place a ton of times and never noticed, strange when I found out it has been there since 2000. I have been to a lot of the Malaysian /Indonesian places around but not that many pure Indonesian ones. (Bali Nusa Indah which I found boring. Hope to try Warteg Fortuna soon.) We went at around 3pm Friday and the place was empty except for us. Service was great without being obtrusive.
On Friday a friend and I had the appetizers of Rempah Kepiting (3 crab meat coconut fritters, $4) and Lamb Satay, 4 pieces $4.50. The crab fritters were light, crispy and mild tasting with a tasty, thick, molasses tasting sweet soy sauce. The Lamb Satay was the best I have ever had. Smoky, very tender, with a sauce that was complex but not overwhelming. A perfect combination of the peanut and sweet soy with a hint of spice.
We then ordered two entrees, Empal Goreng (Deep Fried Marinated Beef, $8.50) and Ayam Panggang Kecap (Charbroiled Boneless Chicken basted with spiced sweet soy sauce, $8.50) The Empal Goreng was fantastic! Slices of marinated beef, slightly dry on the outside and juicy tender inside. They had a great beefy flavor married with the herb marinade that you wanted to savor as you literally groaned with pleasure. It was served with great rice and veggies on the side (Raw Thai eggplant halves, marinated carrot slices, aromatic basil, and some strange type of cucumber that looked normal but had a strong sweet melon taste to it) The Ayam Panggang Kecap was very good, tender, juicy chicken breast slices in a thick sweet, mildly spicy soy sauce also served with various veggies. They also offered us their house hot sauce, a home made blend of bean pastes and fruit / veggies with Indonesian shrimp paste that the owner brings over himself when he visits there. This hot sauce was so great… full of bright flavors that we asked for a small container to take home which they prepared free of charge. I ate it over steamed rice for dinner late that night. Yum!
I enjoyed the meal so much that on Saturday I took another friend, my chowish budd Joe, for lunch around noon. There were people at two other tables, a guy reading a book and obviously enjoying his first visit, and a couple with a baby and two toddlers who were regulars and chowing down mightily.
I ordered the Satay app. again and Asinan Jakarta (app. Of Mixed shredded veggies in sweet hot sour sauce, $5.00) The satay was great once again and the Asinan Jakarta was tasty… sort of like an Indonesian coleslaw of about 6-8 types of mixed veggies, nuts, peppers, etc. in a thin, deep pool of tangy, spicy sauce hinting of tamarind, lemongrass, fish sauce and more. Very crisp bright herbal flavors.
For entrees we had Rendang Padang (Tender beef long and slow simmered in Coconut Chili sauce, $8.95) and Kare Seafood (Seafood Curry, $12.95) The Kare seafood was a very nice light curry broth with several veggies / herbs and squid, two types of shrimp, mussels, fish, crab surimi, and other seafood. Medium spiced without being overwhelming and very tasty. The broth was so good I slurped up the whole bowl after digging out the seafood. The Rendang Padang was as great as the prior days beef but was very long slow cooked until it was able to be cut with a spoon. The coconut chili sauce had cooked down until thick and the flavors fully married. It had this deep beefy taste with a medium spice level. It was served with several herbs and veggies on the side. Both entrees were again served with their great rice and we asked for the house hot sauce. All in all every dish we tried had a different type of flavor and all were top of the line. The portions seemed small until you realized the depth of flavor and left feeling full but not uncomfortably stuffed. The perfect size meal for two big n hungry dudes building a base for brews at D.B.A. around the corner.
They offer 15 appetizers ($4-5.00), 7 types of soup $5.50), 11 noodle dishes (majority at $5.50 with 4 at $7-7.50), 6 rice dishes ($7.50), 13 Meat / Chicken dishes served with rice / veggies ($8.95), 14 seafood dishes served with rice ($12.95), 10 Vegetarian offerings $5-6.00), deserts, and Indonesian drink specials including Avocado juice and Durian juice (have to try that next time).
Has anyone else tried this amazing place?
I highly recommend it.
Jonathan

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