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Great Indonesian Food (long) - any other suggestions?


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Great Indonesian Food (long) - any other suggestions?

olken brothers | Feb 6, 2005 11:44 PM

Just wanted to recommend two Indonesian places in Queens that we just ate at this weekend.

The first place is "Warteg Fortuna." It is a little hole-in-the wall (quite literally -- maybe 6 counter seats total!) on Roosevelt avenue directly underneath the 52nd street stop on the 7 line. It is a great example of a "warung," a traditional side-of-the-road Indonesian food restaurant. Like all such restaurants in Indonesia, they make the most of the food in the morning (though some things, like the sate and fried rice (nasi goreng), could be made to order), and then give you a great plate filled with all kinds of dishes. The speciality is classic Javanese food (the person who cooks and runs the place is from Malang, in East Java), such as sate, nasi pecel (similar to gado-gado), soto ayam (curry-based chicken soup), and opor ayam (chicken in light curry and coconut milk.) The opor ayam was probably the best thing we had - very tender and flavorful - though the sate was also excellent and everything was good. This place definitely seem to be regularly frequented by the Indonesian community in the area -- there are signs in Indonesian for people looking for roommates, etc. This place is *VERY* cheap -- $3.75 for a plate with rice and three dishes, enough for a hearty meal.

The second place is a new restaurant called "Upi Jaya", at the corner of 76th and Woodside. This place is much more of a restaurant (maybe seats 30-40 people), and specializes in the Padang cuisine, a regional Indonesian cuisine from West Sumatra that can be found throughout the archipellago. Padang specializes in spicy curries, such as rendang (a beef dish in a spicy sauce) and gulai (a bright orange curry that goes well with chicken or vegtables, or just over rice). The food is *excellent* - the rendang was the best rendang I have had outside of Indonesia, with a flavorful sauce and meet cooked to the right chewy texture. They also have a full range of Indonesian ice-based dessert drinks - I had the mixed ice (es campur) which was very tasty. Prices are $9-$12 for entrees, but you can also get "Nasi Rames," which is a plate of rice with a meat dish and a side dish, for around $7.50.

Hope this helps.

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