Yesterday's STELLAR Indonesian Food Bazaar...and one at a Woodside Church on 7/24
First and foremost, many thanks to the 'hounds who first posted info about this fantastic event. I always feel gulity about not giving feedback and though I don't have much time to post in a well-hought out fashion, I'll do my best.
We braved the scorching heat yesterday and brought our cousins and six year old to this event. Such a great move. The lovely vendors could not have been warmer or more inviting and were so proud to show off their specialties. We spent about $70 between the five us and basicaly tasted everything. AndI mean EVERYTHING. We sat under the tents with Indonesians who told us about the subtle differences between each vendor's offerings and translated many things for us.
The chicken satay at the second stall to the immediate right was off the charts. The blocks of satay paste that they sold ended up being in my Top Five Culinary pucrhases of the year. Just boil them up with water, chill, and VOILA a perfect satay sauce emerges. Yum. Sorry I only bought two.
The first stall to the left had fantastic fried tofu stuffed with sprouts and carrots ( better than the seemingly identical ones sold on the other side) and rectagular dumpling-skins stuffed with beef and scallions. and pan fried. Reminded me of samsa. The noodle and fish ball soup was delish as was the Chedol. We bought a refreshing spicy fruit salad from the second vendor on the right ( my fave vendor...three adorable women) that was a surprise treat. And some sort of green rice paste covered banana from the back in a coconut sauce. The sweets all looked so interesting. Most were rice based. There was one that appeared to be a congee almost with little rice balls within upon which was topped yet more thick rice paste, this time mustardy in color and resembling fruit chunkst. No clue but people were buying littte contaiers of it like it was going out of style. Also a black rice version.
The chili chicken and the kale cooked in coconut milk were delish as was a big plate of room temperature watercress doused with peanut sauce that my husband had bought.
The whole experience was delightful. I was sad that this was the last one of the year. When I voiced this to the woman form the second stall she told me that the Indonesian Christians would be having one next Saturday the 24th at a church in Woodside. She said it would be much smaller, but that the food would be "the best."
Hard to imagine any better than this!
The bazaar will be Saturday, noon-5:00, in the basement of 87-07 Justice Ave., across the street and up the block from Java Village, which will serve some food and beverages. Other Indonesian refreshments will be prepared at home by members of the congregation. A congregant at the restaurant and a flier in the window suggest that this bazaar will be more flea market than food market, at least compared with the bazaars at Masjid Al-Hikmah, but let's be thankful for what we have.
I was pointed to Justice Ave. and Java Village, BTW, by the folks at Tropika, that curious new Indonesian-owned grill and cafe (82-18 Roosevelt Ave.) that serves not only satay and shave ice but also chicken teriyaki and Japanese beef curry, tostones and maduros, and breakfast pancakes served with corn and peanut, jelly and peanut butter, or coconut cream.
In addition to a flea with baby apparel, accessories, toys, and batik for men and
86-10 Justice Ave, Queens, NY 11373
48-01 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11103
Thanks, Dave. Is this the basement of a church? Curious b/c when I called the mosque to speak with Yusef, he was in a meeting and the gent who answered the phone told me that he thought TWO festivals might be going on this coming Saturday. He said he'd call back with the details, but I still have not heard from him. One was definitley in a church according to him with " excellent cookers" ;)
I gathered that a congregation meets in the building, but if you saw it, your first thought wouldn't be "church." For that matter, unlike the storefront operations in Harlem, Bed-Stuy, and elsewhere in the city, there's no church signage, either.
My first thought for the location of Saturday's event, which you'd originally pegged in Woodside, was St. Paul's Episcopal, about a block north of the 61st St. 7 station; both Filipino and Indonesian services are held here, according to banners hung on the surrounding metal fence. But an email to the Indonesian contact address, and calls to their contact number and the number of St. Paul's itself, turned up zip.
I'd be happy to learn of a second Indonesian event this Saturday, but even one bazaar with "excellent cookers" is good news!
Adapted from my website:
Likely a once-a-summer affair, this bazaar was held primarily in the church basement, where room to maneuver and breadth of menu were limited compared with the periodic bazaars at Masjid Al-Hikmah. Even so, I found two dishes that offered me a little something new.
My slight favorite — credit an affection for Asian fruit salad — was rujak cingur ($7). Like the same vendor's version of rujak manis buah, it was a toss-in of cucumber, mango, pineapple, and tempeh, with a thick, sweet dressing, tweaked with hot sauce, on the side. This variation, a favorite in the Javanese city of Surabaya, featured one distinguishing ingredient, described by the vendor as beef tendon. I'm not sure whether she was being cautious with my sensibilities or had to substitute for rujak cingur's standard cartilaginous component.
Also: nasi kuning ($6) "yellow rice" accompanied by jackfruit, egg, beef, and a veggie combo laced with spicy coconut. For crunch, one could add shrimp crackers or, as I did, kremesan, curious "crumbs" prepared from rice flour and chicken stock. Back on street level, the beverage table offered es blewah ($2.50), a ringer for the cantaloupe drink served at the Santacruzan Festival in Jersey City.
For photos and further explanation, see my post:
48-01 31st Ave, Queens, NY 11103
Thanks for the fab post!
Do you have any idea where that Indonesian church in Woodside is that is mentioned in your post? I was only able to find the following one that has an addess in Elmhurst:
First Indonesian Baptist Church
87-37 Whitney Avenue
Elmhurst NY 11373
Do you think this is the church mentioned by the woman in the second stall? If not, how about other Outer Boroughs Chowhounds out there. Any idea where this event by be held next Saturday?
Please chime in with info if you have any.
Glendale is hungry...
i was on such a high after the bazaar. This, my Facebook status, said it best:
Lisa Antinore had one of those absolutely glorious NYC days that renews her faith in humanity and in the unity that can exist amongst all people. She and the family broke bread with the Islamic Indonesian community at their Food Bazaar in LIC. Blacks, Whites, Asians, Christians and Jews all enjoying delectable street food and conversation under tents in the courtyard