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Indonesian Lunch at Borobudur [San Francisco]

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Five hounds gathered for lunch today at Borobudur. I was looking forward to my first full Indonesian meal in years after a lunch special at Jayakarta a few months ago whetted my appetite for a more complete experience of this undeservedly neglected cuisine.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/3251...

We had:

1. Roti Prata (Pan fried layered bread served with curry dipping sauce)
2. Veggie Sampler Platter (Fried corn fritter, soy bean cake, & tofu
)7. Otak Otak Panggang (BBQ fish cake in banana leaf)
13. Kerapuk Palembang Sauce (Fish cracker with hot garlic peanut sauce and palm sugar)
16. Gado-Gado (Salad of steamed veggies, tofu, potato, egg & shrimp cracker with peanut dressing)
17. Sate Ayam (Chicken Satay)
30. Rendang (Sumatra beef stew cooked with spices & coconut milk)
31. Empal Goreng (Fried marinated honey beef)
33. Babat Goreng (Fried marinated beef tripe)
48. Mie Tek Tek Goreng (Spicy Java noodle stir fry with egg, vegetables and chicken)
Uduk (Steamed rice cooked with coconut milk and spices)
Pisang Bakar (Grilled plantain with cheese, condensed milk and rice chocolate)
Roti Prata Manis (Pan fried layer bread with condensed milk, cheese, ground peanut & rice chocolate)

The appetizers were excellent. Various types of spicy peanut sauce were everywhere, and all were very good. All the sauces tasted freshly made. All three items in the veggie sampler were winners—my favorite was the corn fritter. Our very pleasant waitress warned us that many customers didn’t like the fish cracker or the very spicy sauce that comes with it but we all enjoyed it. The other peanut sauces were only slightly spicy. The satay meat was thicker than optimal. If it had been tenderer and juicier the thickness might have been a plus.

The gado-gado had the typical mix of textures. As always I enjoyed the contrasts of textures and flavors but it was not the best I have had.

The rendang was tender and good but not as flavorful as the stringier version at Jayakarta. I liked it but preferred the empal goreng which was sweet and delicious. The babat goreng had nice texture and flavor.

Although she had seen us happily munching the spicy sauce with the fish crackers, our waitress warned us away from the “very spicy” version of the me tek tek goreng and we settled for regular spicy, which was the spiciest dish we had all day and plenty spicy for me, with very good flavors and textures.

Both our desserts contained cheese, condensed milk, and rice chocolate (little bits of chocolate about the size of rice). I would have preferred a regular fried banana to the the pisang bakar which I found cloying, but the roti and peanuts in the roti prata manis moderated the other ingredients nicely.

Except for the appetizers and sauces, I wasn’t quite as impressed with this meal as I usually am with Indonesian cuisine, but I was a bit tired and sluggish today which may have diminished my enthusiasm. It was still very good and I will return again. The ample natural light, attractive décor, and gracious and attentive service contributed to a very pleasant overall experience.

Thanks to pilinut for getting us together for another good meal with good company!

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Jayakarta Restaurant
2026 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

Borobudur Restaurant
700 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109

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  1. Foraging through an unfamiliar cuisine with chowhounds proves to be a delightful adventure. Interesting: Roti Prata Manis, Babat Goreng, I would order again: Roti Prata, Veggie Sampler Platter, Mie Tek Tek Goreng. Next time: Tumis Buncis Pedas dang Kering; I'll return on Friday with Mom for a pre-Mother's Day lunch.

    1. Where is this place?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Mick Ruthven

        It's at 700 Post Street at the corner of Jones... near's Pearl's Burgers

        the link in the OP has vanished, it comes and goes in the thread

        -----
        Borobudur Restaurant
        700 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109

      2. I have eaten there several times, the sambal is really good, and the soup is very similar to the bakso I had in Bali though that soup only cost 50 cents

        1. Roti Prata Manis? Hmm.. maybe that's Martabak Manis or Terang Bulan or Roti Bandung. Looks delicious those foods.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mul

            The Roti Prata Manis for dessert is strangely addictive; cut into wedges of flaky roti with layers of grated cheddar, chopped nuts, and chocolate jimmies with sweetened condensed milk. The plaintain in the Pisang Bakar was warm and creamy. We liked both desserts but the nuts in the Roti Prata Manis gave it the edge.

          2. This was a relatively new experience for me....my second (maybe third) time having Indonesian food...I really really liked the taste and textural differences of the various dishes...The apps and the Roti were standouts for me and the place and staff were welcoming enough to draw me back again...a very pleasant surprise...thanks to Pilinut for pulling us together...a great lunch!

            1. Link:

              -----
              Borobudur Restaurant
              700 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109

              1. Do they serve Rijsstaffel?

                2 Replies
                1. re: tstrum

                  They do. Everytime i go there, I always see at least one table with a rijsttaffel order. What I like at Borobudur is its Soto Ayam, which i think is a better rendition of the simple and clean soto ayam than most Indonesian restaurants in the bay.

                  1. re: tstrum

                    $27.50 per person for Rijsttafel

                  2. I had a pretty good dinner here, but there were a few dishes that weren't very good. We didn't specify spice level, and would probably ask them to crank up the heat next time.

                    Veggie Sampler Platter (Fried corn fritter, soy bean cake, & tofu) : fried corn fritter was fresh and great. The other two items were basic deep-fried tofu products--- not at all interesting other than as vehicles for the dipping sauce. I'd recommend getting an order of corn fritters by itself.

                    Gado-Gado : A winner. I liked this better than Jayakarta's version--- the vegetables were crisp and the variation of shrimp chip size added to the texture of the dish.

                    Mie Tek Tek Goreng : tasted like an unexciting cross between chow mein and a Thai noodle dish. Not as much sauce as the version at Jayakarta.

                    Cumi Pedas Selera (sauteed squid cooked with traditional spicy sauce) : This wasn't what was pictured on the menu. The sauce tasted mostly of sweet chile sauce, so it wasn't very complex. The scored squid had a light batter and was very tender, but the crust got mushy as the meal progressed.

                    Ayam Goreng Kalasan (fried honey chicken) : a delicious bone-in chicken dish

                    Ikan Bakar Samudra / Trout Fish (grilled fish with tropical spices served with indonesian salsa) : Excellent. I was also happy to find that most of the pin bones were pulled out.

                    Tumis Bayam Terasi Pedas (
                    sauteed spinach with tofu, tomato, & spicy shrimp paste) : The season isn't in full swing yet, so there wasn't any kankung (ong choy, water spinach). This regular spinach dish was good for those that like shrimp paste.

                    Teh Jahe Manis (hot ginger tea) : the spiciness, tanginess, and sweetness of this tea well complemented the meal