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Minangasli closing at end of January

  • c

Sad news. Stopped by for Soto Ayam, (inspired by the Times article of course) and learned from the owner that she's planning on shuttering for the last time at the end of this month. She's looking for another location but nothing in the works right now. Anyone who likes this restaurant should come by this month, dine and show the owner some love. She could use it.

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  1. wow, major bummer! I live nearby and enjoy this place. It's always seemed as though it was getting a decent amount of business, esp. around dinner time. I wonder why she is closing?

    1 Reply
    1. re: squinchy

      She says that it's the economic downturn, alas.

    2. I will have to check it out, pronto.

      1. I have lunch quite often next door at Lao Bei Fang Dumpling House which is always busy. Sadly, Minangasli is never busy at lunch. On Tuesday at 1PM, only one person at Minanagasli versus at least 10 at Lao Bei Fang plus many take outs. I've been to nearby Java Village twice and like it. No table service. Order from steam table. Very inexpensive. It may not be as good as Minangasli but it will soon be the only Indonesian in the immediate area. An entree over rice for $4 keeps this place busy. Incredible honey coated chicken wings at 5 for $2.50. Perfect place for someone on a tight budget who likes to eat out. This place will survive. Always busy. They even serve breakfast.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Mike V

          Isn't Mei Jakarta a few doors down from Minangasli still open?

          1. re: squinchy

            No, Mei Jakarta is no longer open. Soon, the only Indonesian Restaurant in the area will be Java Village.

            1. re: Mike V

              When did it close? It was still open last week.

              1. re: Joe MacBu

                Mie Jakarta was open this past weekend, btw.

          1. NYT just featured her chicken "rapture in a bowl" soup, with a short interview - would that this would be enough to turn her fortunes 180 degrees!


            1. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! She's been telling me she wants to move to Jakarta, but that that plan was years away. I suppose I should have seen it coming, as it has always been quite empty when I've been in there the last year (for some reason, usually when it's pouring rain).

              Dang, my time is tight this week... not sure I can make it there. I don't live anywhere near, so please keep the info comign.

              1. whats the best way to get out to elmhurst? (from manhattan) and by best i mean fastest using public transportation

                3 Replies
                1. re: Lau

                  The R train to Elmhurst or Grand street stations., or alternatively the 7 train to 82nd street and walk over to Broadway and up to Whitney (this is further than the R train) Hoi Lai

                  1. re: Lau

                    Take the E or F to Roosevelt Ave / Jackson Heights, switch to one of the local trains (G, R or V) for one additional local stop. Exit at the eastern end of the platform if you're going to Minangasli.

                    Btw, according to the waitress who was there on Friday night, they have heard of this thread but they're actually not sure if they will close.

                    1. re: ow77

                      It's over...went today for some of that chicken soup the NYT wrote about last weds. and it was closed. Workers were already renovating. I stuck my head in and asked what was up and was told that an new Indonesian restaurant with a new owner would be opening hopefully by month's end. Went to Taste Good and had chicken laksa...real good.

                  2. Haven't confirmed this in person, but two acquaintances who live nearby tell me Minangasli is open again - same name, new owner and chef and lower prices.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: squid kun

                      Last week I saw that it was open. Different layout.
                      I didn't venture in, but went to Mie Jakarta for some noodles.

                      1. re: squid kun

                        Yes - I was next door today getting a bowl of hand-drawn beef noodle soup at Lao Bei Fang, and there's a big sign at Minangasli saying "Grand Opening". Looks like the decor has been upgraded. How's the new menu? Anyone tried the food yet?

                        1. re: l00nar

                          I ate there on Sunday February 15th. They are offering a 10% discount on the entire menu for the month of February. The space has been renovated. You can't see into the kitchen anymore.

                          The new owner is a lot more "businesslike" than the original owner. Previously, as soon as you were seated, they would pour you glasses of hot tea. Now the owner asks you what you would like to drink. I said I would have some hot tea. He asked "ginger tea?" (I had noticed they had ginger tea on the menu for $2.). I said "the last time I came they just had regular hot tea." He looked disappointed but went and brought the regular hot tea which was in a pitcher next to the water pitcher, so I don't know why he was acting confused unless they really are trying to get every dime they can out of the customers and they want you to pay $2 for the ginger tea instead of drinking the "free tea".

                          My favorite dish used to be the kale in coconut milk curry sauce. Unfortunately this time it was served cold. Not even room-temperature. Just cold. A customer at another table ordered the kang kung, and they were out of it. How is that possible? Just send someone down the street to get more.

                          I feel for the owners because I don't want them to fail and lose their investment, but it just was not a good experience. I am sad to say I wouldn't go back and I wouldn't recommend this restaurant anymore. The food quality has declined and the service is not as friendly.

                          I remember on a previous visit, there were about 8 of us who spent the better part of a Saturday afternoon there, ordering more and more dishes, relaxing and enjoying ourselves. The waitress brought us some free desserts. It was so kind. I've been back many times with different friends. I'm sorry I have to take this place off my list of favorites.

                          1. re: l00nar

                            wow, wonder if its new owners? I don't know the old place well enough (only ate there a few times) so, I dunno if its the same lady but the place is def. renovated, and same name, etc.

                            we had a simple lunch and it was very good:

                            + fried king fish over rice
                            + lontong sayur (sp?); rice cubes served in soupy curry with veg, tofu
                            + avocado shake

                            the over rice platter was excellent; a small piece of fish but expertly fried; the texture was quite unique, almost spongy and hard yet, delicious. not tender at all or flaky but . . . I know it sounds bad, but its very good. served with a side of jackfruit and sambal egg and of course, delish sambal all over the fish. and the other dish was like a very liquid curry I guess; I thought it would be dry, but very good.

                            the avocado shake killed it tho! I used to prefer ihawan's but this one is diff: not chipped ice, but just a couple of ice cubes, and just pure avocado, not sweet quite thick, and of course, chocolate syrup on the top. really really really good.

                            I asked our server if they were open for good since I heard they were closing and he said, we're open, we're open so . . . maybe its a new management subterfuge kinda thing where they are pretending it was just a "renovation". the place was packed tho; we ate upstairs but the downstairs had a number of big parties.

                            I doubt anyone could get a straightforward answer regarding whether this is a "renovation" or not but anyway, still like the food and will go back and sample more. service was quite quite slow which . . . can be a good sign in some ways. but when the side of jackfruit on our rice plate arrived roomtemp/cold, well . . . I dunno. still tho, I like it!