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Borobudur cafe


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Borobudur cafe

CMH | Oct 16, 2003 01:06 PM

Last night a friend and I ordered takeout from the small Indonesian restaurant Borobudur (4th street between First and Second Aves, closer to First) for the first time and were more than pleasantly surprised.
As I’ve never had Indonesian before, I can’t compare it to a standard but can affirm that this was very good, inexpensive food. While some of the menu’s flavors are redolent of Thai and Vietnamese (chilies, lemon grass, coconut) and Indian (curries), the dishes we had were satisfyingly distinct from those cuisines, too.
We had:
Maratabak Borobudur ($5): generous appetizer-portion of philodough squares stuffed with egg, beef, and flavored with onion and curry. It tasted something like a perfect scallion pancake with extra flavor and without all the grease.
Tahu Balado ($6): Lightly fried tofu in a richly flavorful tomato chili sauce (with white rice that did not dry out in the fridge over night!).
And last but not least, a whole grilled red snapper that was big enough for two ($16): Delicately marinated (couldn’t discern in exactly what), lightly spiced, super tender and full of flavor that came as much from the quality of the fish as the flavoring. The chili sauce they provided on the side for the fish was piquant and mouth-bogglingly flavorful (and different from that in which the tofu was cooked) though the fish didn’t need it. It mixed well with the rice, anyway.

We used an old menu to order, but the man who took our order over the phone amiably helped us improvise something between what we tried to order from the old menu and what they had, which is how we ended up with the snapper as it was.

Also of note on the menu: several soups, chicken, beef & lamb dishes, noodle & fried rice dishes, and a decent selection of tropical desserts.

Finally, we found our meal packed in separately hand-marked containers identifying in detail the contents of each--thoughtful touch.

I’m concerned that the restaurant was empty when we picked up our food at @ 8:30 pm on a Wednesday. I think it’s been there for about two years and am hoping it’s doing alright. Its small interior was modest but warm and pleasant (brick walls, candlelight).

I will certainly return for a sit-down meal....

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