Indomania in South Beach?
I saw a column about this relatively new Indonesian restaurant in the Herald a few months ago ( http://www.miamiherald.com/286/story/... ). I'm planning on going there this Friday with some Dutch friends to check it out. I was wondering if anyone had been there yet and had anything to report. I'll be sure to post on it this weekend either way.
We tried this place for the first time tonight and I loved it. I don't claim to be an expert on Indonesian food. I know of the famous dishes - rijsttafel and nasi goreng - but I can't tell you I'd know a fantastic or authentic Indonesian place from the next. I can tell you, though, that this was a pleasant, fun meal.
It's a tiny little shoebox of a place, about a dozen tables in a little spot on 26th St. just off Collins Ave. They've done a nice job of decorating it, with dark wood floors, grey walls, soft lighting, a banquette built into one wall, and exotically patterned cloth on the tables. The menu lists about 10 apps and about an equal number of mains, plus a few different options for rijsttafels ("rice table", a Dutch adaptation of an Indonesian dinner, rice served with a big selection of various meat and vegetable dishes to accompany).
To get a chance to try as much as possible, we went with the "biggest ticket" rijsttafel, the $26 pp "rijsttafel sumatra" for 2. If you go to the website (referred to above) you can see the whole list of what comes with. I can recall: chicken satay; beef chunks in a sweet-and-sour ketjap sauce; another beef stew; a spicy stewed chicken item; cabbage and some other veg in a coconut sauce; hard boiled eggs in a curry sauce; shrimp in a coconut sauce; a stewed eggplant redolent with clove and cardomom; slightly pickled cucumbers; white rice and lightly spiced yellow rice. There had to have been a dozen little dishes piled around our table, including on top of a little hot plate set up in the middle.
Some things were better than others, but nothing was bad and several were great. My points of reference were bouncing all over the map. The chicken satay and pickled cucumber were familiar from Thai menus; the stewed meat items reminded me somewhat of Ethiopian; the vegetables in coconut milk made me think of Haitian dishes. What was so refreshing was that the dishes each had distinct and unique flavors. Most were notably but not overwhelmingly spiced - a dish of sambal is provided if you need more heat, along with some toasted coconut and peanuts.
"Lesser" rifjsttafels are priced from $18 - 22, and entrees were generally under $20 and apps under $10. Didn't pay much attention to the wine list as I was drinking beer.
Place had customers but was not packed fairly early on a Saturday night. Very friendly service and they also got us in and out in an hour, with time to get to Lincoln Road for a show at New World. I'm already trying to figure out when I can get back.
L2M - not sketchy at all. You did make a mistake passing it up.
Holding out on us, eh?
Before going I had only looked the menupages.com menu, which is out of date. Pretty much all the proteins that come with the rijfstafel can also be had as entrees, plus there were several other appetizers (including but not limited to a variety of satays) and salad items.
After putting up the initial post about Indomania a few days ago, I finally went last night. Like yomyb who posted earlier, we had a very good meal. I suppose it didn't hurt that the couple who own and operate the restaurant are Dutch and so were half of our six-person group. I suspect they would have been just as friendly otherwise however.
The dining room is small and very cozy. It was accomodating for the six of us, but would have been an equally nice date spot.
Everything was consistently fresh and delicious, but the highlights for me were the grilled lamb (sateh kambing) and the chicken stewed in coconut milk (ayam opor). The sweetness of the latter was very subtle, and offset by what I believe was either lemongrass or galangal. I can see why the previous poster thought that the saucing was a bit heavy, since many of the dishes are stewed. I didn't really mind that, since each sauce was very different from the next. The condiments, especially the sambals, were also great--fiery and very complex at the same time. Rather than each getting a rijstafel plate, we wound up passing dishes of each of the components, along with lumpia and the tofu/tempeh sateh as well as the lamb. Really, there were no complaints about anything we tried. We will definitely be going back.
We just ate at Indomania and would like to report a very nice experience. Nice informal service and ambiance, very nice owner, good food (maybe a little heavy on the sauces but that is not always a bad thing ;-)). We all had the rijstafel and my fiance just loved the beef. The location is a bit obscure, so we are concerned with how long it will be around, but we are hopeful that enough people agree with us that it is worth to have places like this in SoBe.