All you Asian food lovers - this is an event you should not miss.
This event is organized by a group of Indonesians/Dutch. My experience is based on what I saw when I attended it the last time they had it. It was the largest event that has Indonesian food vendors that I have seen. It is not posted on any website however. I guess they rely on word of mouth which is apparently enough to draw good crowds. Since it is not a restaurant, I don't think it's practical to make it into a chowhound event. We will probably be scattered all over the hall trying to find a place to sit down. However, I will be there at 9 am with my black chowhound t-shirt. I will try to find a table to the left side (your left as you come in) near the entrance. I will wait for 10-15 minutes and then will proceed with the chow. I am hoping I can beat the crowds since it is early. I will try to save a few spots for my chowhounds frineds if I can. Last time I got there around lunch time and the place was packed and could not find a place to sit down. Luckily I found a family who was willing to squeeze me in so I can enjoy my SOTO Betawi. It was sooo good.
What made these food vendors appealing was the fact that many of them were just home cooks but they can turn out dishes better than any Indonesian/Malaysian restaurants around here. Some of the pleasant surprises were those hard to find appetizers and desserts that were authentic in taste like at home. They were plenty of those offered at many of the stalls. Make sure you glance at every corner of the vendor's table to spot them. At the time, I spotted "kue mangkok" which is a colorful rice flour cake commonly eaten with coconut gratings. I also found "pastel" which is a mix of veg and minced meats wrapped in a pastry dough. All were done very well. I don't think some of these things can be found at the restaurants in Bay Area.
Here is the info again:
Name of event: PASAR MALAM
Sunday, June 9, 2002
Place: Napredak Hall
770 Montegue Expressway
San Jose, CA