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Indonesia recommendations? Esp. nr Hell's Kitchen

Need to take some friends from Bali out and was wondering if anyone knew of a great Indonesian restaurant, near Hell's Kitchen would be a plus, but am interested in other neighborhoods. I am clueless to the cuisine!

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  1. Do NOT go to Bali Nusa. Bland and boring...!

    1. Agree with both gaijingirl and Peter.

      If they are from Bali, wouldn't they want something they can't get in Bali?

      1 Reply
      1. re: devil

        they've been traveling in the states for a couple of months and would like a taste of home so i thought it would be nice if they had food that was authentic and delicious.

      2. I have to politely disagree with the recommendation to stay away from Bali Nusa Indah- I love that restaurant. Whether you get the combo meals (vegetarian includes tamarind soup, corn fritters, jackfruit curry, tofu satay, veg slaw and a banana fritter with palm syrup and vanilla icecream) or a la cart (my favs being the broiled tofu and rice cubes- cheap also!) it's really good variety and very good...definitely not bland to my palate (and I frequent ethnic restaurants if you think my palate is too "Americanized"). Also a la carte- try the layer cake- it's rich but you get a small piece and it's quite unique.
        This place is especially a good bet as the only other Indonesian restaurants I know of are downtown.

        1 Reply
        1. re: NicoleFriedman

          Please name the Indonesian restaurants downtown that you know of. I can think of only one, and it's Malaysian-Indonesian. (Is that its current name? Doyers St., corner of Pell.) For the record, I gave up on Bali Nusa Indah (which by the way, last I hear, was run by people from Java) a number of years ago and I'm not impressed with the restaurant on Doyers, either.

          Frenchfry, would you consider going to Queens? Some hounds have been speaking well of some of the Indonesian places in that borough. I can't vouch for any of them, having not tried them.

        2. yeah, sadly borobudur is closed, i've heard - it wasn't half bad and provided comfort to those below midtown. bali nusa indah was ok but not quite as spectacular. i think the one on doyers is called sanur, although i've never been.

          has anyone tried the rijstaffel place in brooklyn?

          1. I get what you're saying, but honestly good Indonesian food is hard to find in NYC. The best options are in Queens (Minangasli). I'm Indonesian myself, and I personally detest bad Indonesian food. Borobudur on East 4th St started out strong and then went downhill after its first year. Bali Nusa Indah's food is not fresh and I find it to be very greasy. Supposedly there is a place in SoHo called Eastanah, but I have not tried it myself.

            Malaysian food is much stronger here, like Nyonya on Mulberry & Grand and there will be dishes that are familiar like beef rendang. New Indonesia Malaysia on Pell or Doyers is more Malaysian than Indonesian and is not a bad place to check things out.

            Honestly, with huge diversity in New York - ask your Balinese friends what they would like to try. Many of my Indonesian friends have enjoyed places like Momofuku, Ssam Bar, Gyu-Kaku, etc.

            4 Replies
            1. re: BaronessCore

              I can say that I've been to Mingalasi (and the other place in Queens). Both decent - and Mingalai is REALLY good. That is, if you're willing to travel that far out...!

              1. re: gaijingirl

                That street where Mingalasi is, is suppose to be the Indonesian neighborhood...although not very large. The other place is

                Upi Jaya
                76-04 Woodside Avenue, Elmhurst
                718.458.1807
                Which is authentic.

                There is also
                Warteg Fortuna - 51-24 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens (Indonesian) 718-898-2554
                Which I heard was better for lunch but I'm not sure if its still there.

                The brooklyn place is:
                Java Indonesian Rijsttafel
                455 7th Ave
                Brooklyn, NY 11215
                (718) 832-4583