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Indonesian bazaars, Masjid al-Hikmah, 2012

Two Indonesian friends tell me that the first of these events, held periodically during the warmer months, will be on Sunday, April 22, at Masjid al-Hikmah, 48-01 31st Ave. (at 48th St.), Astoria, Queens. The best time to arrive, I believe, is between 11:00 and 12:00, when more of the food will be freshly prepared, the crowds will not have piled in, and the blacktop -- the bazaar is held on the parking lot behind the mosque -- will not be broiling hot. Slideshow:

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Dave Cook
www.EatingInTranslation.com

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  1. Great news - much appreciated Dave!

    1. Are there any dishes in particular you'd recommend? I went last year and tried gado-gado, sate and a combination plate (I think it was rendang) and wasn't enthusiastic, though perhaps certain vendors are better than others.

      1 Reply
      1. re: JungMann

        Just my opinion, but I've never had any sate there that I thought was particularly distinguished. In Indonesia, there's a much wider variety of meats available (organs of various kinds, for ex., which are my favorite). The meats they use here are kind of bland.

        The gado-gado at the long table in the back is, on the other hand, very reliable, and quite good; the sauce is prepared fresh for each order. Tell them if you want it spicy (or nothet).

        Many of the vendors move around, so it's not really possible to recommend a particular table, and the dishes also vary from month to month and many of the vendors make the same things, so that it looks like there's a theme for each month. But some things are constant. The "es cendol" (cold drink based on coconut milk sweetened with palm sugar , with green things that look like worms, but they're not, they're made of rice flour) at the table on the left about 3 tables from the back is always popular (and may have a long line). A table or two in back of that, there's usually "bakso," (soup w/meat balls) that's the best in the bazaar. On the right side, I think two, maybe three, tables from the front (next to the door), there's a rather wide variety of stuff that quite good: rujak (fruit salad), anchovies + peanuts, lots of stuff.

        But the physical setup may be different this year - I''ll be meeting with some of the ladies this Wed. evening; will try to find out more information.

      2. Yes,thanks also for this posting!

        I seem to recall previous years postings were 24hr or so after the event - useful only for stomach cramps.

        1. Oh, I spoke to one of the ladies last night, and she just said that they'd be making "the usual." So, no useful information there. Also, the weather report is unfavorable, calling for rain. It does rain in Indonesia, but this bit of authenticity is rather unwelcome.

          1. anyone know if this still goes on if it's supposed to be raining all day?

            6 Replies
            1. re: foodisgood17

              Yes - it's happening. Just loaded up up and headed home to enjoy it.

              1. re: foodisgood17

                Yup ... I'm there now. attendance is a little sparse but the vendors are there.

                1. re: foodisgood17

                  so i went and it does. rode my bike there and back from brooklyn in the rain and it was so worth it. oh man that cendol. i'll be going next month, hopefully not soaking wet.

                  1. re: foodisgood17

                    Yeah, I think some of the vendors stayed away because of the rain. But there was some great stuff today.

                    These photos were taken at home afterwards -- it was far to rainy to snap photos at the bazaar itself: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?se...

                    But that means we didn't get photos of quite a few of the great things we tried (mainly the stuff we polished off before leaving), including:

                    *Coconut-y rice porridge with a sweet suace -- maybe brown sugar-based?

                    *Siomay ("shoo mee") -- boiled egg, steamed tofu, and steamed fish balls wrapped in what looked like wonton wrappers and doused in a thick, sweet-and-savory peanut sauce

                    *Hunks of tofu and bits of cabbage, breaded and deep-fried -- nice but nothing special (good vegetarian option

                    )

                    *Homemade tempeh -- you could still see the whole soy beans...nice!

                    *Kale sauteed in garlic and coconut milk -- this was amazing; still crunchy kale and very flavorful!

                    *Beef jerky doused in a spicy sambol-based (?) red sauce -- I didn't try this but others were raving about it

                    *Sweet glutinous rice probably cooked with brown sugar -- nice; mildly sweet

                    There were also some REALLY good looking SOUPS with meatballs and rice noodles -- unfortunately none were vegetarian, so we didn't get to try them.

                    The SATAY SKEWERS also looked great -- many were served over rice cakes with what looked like a thick, sambol-and-coconut-milk-based sauce.

                    And there were some really delicate baked, egg-washed COOKIES on offer at one stand. (I overheard mentions of pineapple fillings; others were coated with powdered sugar and resembled Italian cookies.)

                    My personal favorites were the GADO GADO (incredibly fresh veggies; addictive dark/spicy peanut sauce) and the CENDOL (pandan water + brown sugar water + coconut milk dessert).

                    We'll definitely be back next month for further explorations -- hopefully without the pouring rain.

                    1. re: CitySpoonful

                      Hey City, I told you that Gado Gado was awesome. I'm glad they were there yesterday for you. The last time I was at the bazaar the women making the gado gado weren't there. If the weather is better for the next one, I'll definitely be there, specifically for the gado gado.

                      1. re: el jefe

                        El Jefe, you totally called it. That gado gado was 100 times better than what I had at Upi Jaya (maybe I caught them on a bad day?). So fresh! And the peanut sauce was totally addictive -- spicy, salty, funky. I had one there and took one home with me. :)

                        If you're going next time, let me know. We could meet there. You know Indonesian food much better than I do -- would be curious to get your take on the offerings.

                2. Please, whoever has the contact, PLEASE could you post which Sunday in May they will do it.

                  Once you know... or if you could find out....

                  They never seem to follow a regular schedule and it's too easy to miss them.
                  And this time I'm coming all the way from Israel -- will be in NYC May 6-21 -- so very very much hoping to catch one of those Sundays.

                  Thanks

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: sd1936

                    I wrote to one of the people who runs it; he says that it's scheduled for May 13, depending on the weather. I'm not 100% sure what that means (do they intend to adjust the schedule if the weather report is bad?), but it looks like you can pencil that in, at least.

                    1. re: geckoFeet

                      Thanks! Definitely will pencil in that date. :)
                      How can I confirm when the date nears?

                      1. re: gargupie

                        I dunno - watch this space, maybe? If whoever's in charge of the weather could keep the rain away, that would help.

                      2. re: sd1936

                        Word has just arrived that Sunday, May 20, will be the occasion of the next bazaar.

                        Dave Cook
                        www.EatingInTranslation.com

                        1. re: DaveCook

                          True - there was something else scheduled at the mosque for the previous Sunday. I neglected to post here; sorry. Glad Dave is keeping up with this more reliably.

                          1. re: geckoFeet

                            I just wanted to check that the bazaar is definitely still happening this Sunday. Don't want to trek out to Astoria for nothing!

                            1. re: macman01

                              As of last Friday, one of the ladies that cooks there + one of the guys that runs the thing said it was on for Sunday. June hasn't been scheduled yet.

                              1. re: geckoFeet

                                I'm soooo happy I checked Chow this week. This event was so much fun last year. Maybe some of you will see me chasing after my kids there. Anyone want to babysite?:)

                                1. re: SpiceJunkies

                                  Pin the kids down with hot chilies; that will keep them occupied. Or an es cendol (described above) if you're not feeling malevolant.

                                  If anybody sees me there, please say "hi." I'll be there late morning and in a bad mood due to lack of sleep; I'm short (5'6"; maybe not so short for Indonesians, but I'm not Indonesian) and will be wearing a black baseball cap that says KUSUMA LARAS NYC, the name of the local Javanese music group.

                                  1. re: geckoFeet

                                    I won't know if I can make it until the last minute but I have glasses, ponytail and a hat with either a squid or a beaver on it... if I remember to bring it

                                    1. re: rschwim

                                      I'm going to try to make it too. Travelling from Manhattan. Btw, what's the price range for the foods?

                                      1. re: gargupie

                                        sorry if I missed it but where is it tomorrow and what time?

                                        1. re: AubWah

                                          actually it seems it's starting at 10 in the morning. I asked several times about this in disbelief. I think dave put the address of the top of this thread. sorry I can't be more responsive now, but I'm off site and dictating this into my stupid smart phone.

                                          1. re: geckoFeet

                                            Getting a late start today...around what time does the bazaar close down? And is it even worth heading over there this late into the afternoon?

                                          2. re: AubWah

                                            Masjid al Hikmah. You can search. Prices are low, a dollar or so for sweets up to around $10. This ain't Googa Mooga.

                        2. Hey guys, last minute question. As we are going to a mosque, my girlfriend is nervous about potential dressing issues. Would her wearing a dress be inappropriate? I get the feeling that the bazaar is informal, just want to make sure.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: macman01

                            Well, she shouldn't wear a bathing suit, but a dress is fine, if perhaps a little formal. The Indonesian women who don't do the cooking (who are just customers, I mean), wear dresses or skirts or pants. The ladies who cook do get dressed up in full "Moslem clothing," they call it, but no one else is expected to.

                            The bazaar isn't in the mosque itself, it's in the parking lot behind the mosque. If you go into the mosque for any reason, such as to use the bathroom, I think (I'm not sure) that women are asked to cover their heads (they'll have scarves available for this), and everybody is asked to remove their shoes. People are friendly and will help you with the proper etiquette if necessary., but there's nothing special required for the bazaar. (Cultural sensitivity: hand over money, and eat, with your right hand. They're used to Westerners, though.)

                            1. re: geckoFeet

                              Just got back. I'm a female and didn't need to cover my head to go inside (and used the bathroom), but definitely must remove your shoes. It was a great turn out. Lots of local people and Westerners as well. They were running out of food 1ish already, but still got some snacks and satays going on. Friendly bunch :)

                              1. re: gargupie

                                This was my 5th or 6th time there.
                                It was pretty hot this afternoon from 1:30 - 2:30. The place was packed, long lines for several vendors, and there was no chance to get a seat. Not much shade anywhere, even sitting on the sidewalk outside.
                                But the food was great, as usual.
                                The Gado-Gado ladies in the back were so busy that there were 3 of them making it fresh all afternoon. Still the best gado-gado in NY. You can order it mild, or as spicy as you'd like. They'll ask how many peppers you want, from none to five.
                                Had a phenomenal jackfruit curry from the last vendor on the left. I also had the beef rendang from the same booth. that would have been fantastic if it was hot, but it wasn't (it was actually cold, as if it had been refrigerated or kept on ice). It was still very good.

                                1. re: el jefe

                                  Yea,the gado gado had the longest line indeed. Was the beef rendang really authentic? I got the chicken skewer (not into lamb) and the pandan cake. While the foods are cheaper, they do add up, lol
                                  http://thoughtfulplate.wordpress.com/...

                                  1. re: gargupie

                                    I've had 10 versions of Beef Rendang in NY and another twenty or so in Indonesia and Malaysia. No two are the same so who's to say what's authentic?

                                    I spent $12 and walked away stuffed. And I'm a big eater. At Smorgasburg I spent three times as much and could have eaten more. This is a bargain. I'd ask people to stop talking about this and promoting it but the secret is out and the crowds will only get bigger. But I don't care since I can't make the next two.

                          2. I hit this up today--it was great. Had the dendang (beef jerky), kale, a fried tofu/shrimp dumpling, and the pink mixed-fruit juice thing. When's the next one?

                            1. Next Food Bazaar, I'm told by one of the cooks, will be June 17th.I won't be there; am going to Java for 6 weeks of music study, but they have lots of Indonesian food there, so I'll probably be ok with missing it.

                              As far as I know, July hasn't been scheduled. The fasting month starts on July 20: they'd briefly discussed running a food bazaar then, for takeout only, but they decided it wouldn't work well here.

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: geckoFeet

                                Music study in Java? Very cool! What do you play?

                                1. re: rschwim

                                  Traditional Javanese "gamelan" (three syllables) music. (There's a Balinese gamelan, also, probably more familiar in the west, with some historical similarities, but the musics are totally different.) Here's our website:
                                  http://kusumalaras.org
                                  We meet usually twice a week (prob. dialing back to once in the summer, though). The Javanese women in the group cook dinner for us; 3 of them are also cooks at the bazaar. One of the Javanese gentlemen who occasionally comes to rehearsal is on the board of directors of the mosque. Anyway, that's my connection with the food bazaar. I also used to bring food for the dinners, and the ladies were very good about helping me improve some things, but unfortunately I don't have the time to do that any more.

                                  1. re: geckoFeet

                                    At CalArts I studied Balinese gamelan music and dance (with I Nyoman Wenten for gamelan, Nanik Wenten for dance) and was surrounded by Javanese gamelan music (the gamelan was led by KRT Wasitodininigrat) as well. I loved the sounds so much and the music always brings back happy, amazing memories. I would love to come hear you perform or even listen to a rehearsal. Indonesian food is so delicious, we are lucky to have this expertly made food in the summers in Astoria.

                                    1. re: megc

                                      Hee. Ki Wasitodiningrat (aka "Pak Cokro") dates you a little bit. He was the teacher of the American director of our group.

                                      We don't have any performances scheduled.There's a link on our website if you want to be put on our (e-)mailing list; there are also links for info about rehearsals. But since some of these go to me, I'll just write you privately; no sense in cluttering up this thread.

                                2. re: geckoFeet

                                  Thanks for the info - do you still think it will June be 17th Does anyone else have firm date yet?? I would love love love to go. I went last year and loved it and am sad to hear i missed two already :( Aku tingal di Bandung lima tahun yang lalu y rindu makan indonesia!

                                  1. re: lanabana

                                    Yup, definitely the 17th, and I can't go, but oh well.

                                    Kalau aku, belum pernah ke Bandung tapi barangkali perjalanan yang ini.... Food is supposed to be very good there.

                                    1. re: geckoFeet

                                      Yep, just spoke to the Mosque a moment ago. June 17th, it is!

                                3. July 15 is slated for the final 2012 bazaar before Ramadan, a vendor said today.

                                  Dave Cook
                                  www.EatingInTranslation.com

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: DaveCook

                                    Hey everybody! Please try my mom's famous bakso! Ibu Ida Zainal's stand! :) You'll love it! Thanks!

                                    1. re: misshii

                                      Two related questions for you, misshii. Does your mom make the only bakso at the bazaar, or is there more than one stand that serves these meatballs? And has she (and other vendors) considered making a small sign to identify her stall by name?

                                      When writing to first-time visitors, it's easy to point them to sate (which everyone recognizes) or to the gado-gado stand "all the way in the back." The rest of the bazaar, however, can be bewildering unless you've been there before. Signs would enable chowhounds like us to write, this is what you should try at Stand A, and at Stand B, you should ask for a little X on the side.

                                      Dave Cook
                                      www.EatingInTranslation.com

                                      1. re: DaveCook

                                        Oh boy: bakso wars! There are usually two stands with bakso, one on the right, about two or three stands back from the entrance, right next to the entrance to the mosque, but I forget whether on the right or on the left of it. The other is on the left, almost but not quite all the way in the back.

                                        I much prefer the bakso at Bu Sri's stand, but I won't say which one that is.

                                        Regards from Indonesia (where there are a lot of bakso stands)...

                                        1. re: geckoFeet

                                          July 15th's food bazaar was wonderful, as always - glad they managed to get one in this month, before Ramadan. Has anyone heard when the next one might be? Mid- to late August, perhaps?

                                        2. re: DaveCook

                                          My mom's stand is near the door to masjid on the left side. There are signs put up. Her name is Ibu Ida Zainal. She is the one that makes regular bakso and bakso urat, two sizes big and small bowls. She sells lemper, risolus, aram2, kripik singkong, krupuk etc. My brother helps her, he's tall, long hair, glasses. I havent been helping her in bazaars this year nor last year because I always have to work sundays.

                                    2. Bazaar not this but the next weekend, perhaps? Eid is nigh...!

                                      22 Replies
                                      1. re: didactic katydid

                                        I called the Mosque a few minutes ago, and got a recorded message - it is not very clear and most of it is in Indonesian, but they had some kind of event on Sunday, August 19th - prayers at 9a, followed by . . . . whatever. I don't know if this was the August food bazaar. Could someone who understands Indonesian please call the Mosque at 718-721-8881 and let us know? I can't get through to a live person. Many thanks!

                                        1. re: cgreco

                                          I'm guessing it was an Idul Fitri celebration, for the end of Ramadan, which happened this past Sunday.

                                          1. re: Peter Cuce

                                            Thanks. I'll try to gert through to a live person and see if there's an August bazaar upcoming. Hopefully, now that Ramadan is over, they will squeeze one last one in before the summer is over.

                                            1. re: cgreco

                                              Do post on this board if you do find out whether they will be having another bazaar this Sunday. Thanks.

                                              1. re: aliciacyy

                                                I've tried for 4 days straight now, and I keep getting the answering machine with the same message on it about morning prayers at 9 on 8/19. I tried leaving a VM, but I'm not sure if the Mosque's answering machine/VM is actually taking messages.

                                                1. re: cgreco

                                                  Ayaya chill out. Its summer, not a lot of people go to masjid. People are there fridays though. School will start soon so most likely someone will pick up. Note that the adults aren't tech savvy. The person taking care of masjid probably doesnt know about the answering machine. They usually rely on kids/teens/young adults to do computer work because most adults don't know how technology works today. I say this because my mom doesnt know how to use computer or set up the answering machine at home. There is no certain date for bazaar right now so please be patient.

                                                  1. re: misshii

                                                    Just confiming what mbak Misshii said - I asked a couple of booth-ladies tonight, and they said there might be one in September, but there's definitely nothing scheduled yet, and definitely nothing this weekend. My two best contacts are both in Java now, and they're not likely to know any more, so there's no point in e-mailing them. I just got back from there myself: it's like a whole country's worth of an Indonesian Food Bazaar!

                                                    1. re: geckoFeet

                                                      Thanks for the info, gecko and misshi. I wasn't stressed abbout trying to find out - I just couldn't find anything out to report back. Looking forward to the next one they may or may not have in September (!)

                                                        1. re: pslpsl

                                                          I've been trying the Mosque all week. They have a new recorded message saying to leave your name and phone number, but they haven't got back to me. I still can't get a live person to ask about the next food bazaar. Can anyone here with a connection to the Mosque ask their moms or dads or sistahs or aunties who might be cooking if thre will be another bazaar in September and, if so, when? I figure a lot of those cooks might be back from vacation in Indonesia by now (!)

                                                          1. re: cgreco

                                                            I asked a (Javanese) friend of some of the food ladies and she thinks that there might not be any more because people get busy, kids are in school, etc. But this is not authoritative. Will try to find out more.

                                                            1. re: geckoFeet

                                                              Thanks. Completely understandable if they don't have another bazaar in September, but we'd all just like to know - the food is SOOOOOOO good!

                                                              1. re: cgreco

                                                                I would bet money its not happening. The gado gado I had at the last one was legendary

                                                                1. re: AubWah

                                                                  I stopped by Masjid al-Hikmah riding my bike home to Astoria from the excellent Jackson Heights Farmers Market yesterday. I rode around to the back lot and spoke to people exiting the Mosque. A kind woman at first thought there might be a September bazaar. She started to recommend that I call the Mosque office number, but a man who came up mentioned that I may not find anyone answering that line. He said the next would more probably be an October bazaar. He then offered to swap cell phone numbers, to contact me when it was scheduled. It's possible he might not remember if it does happen in October, but I was moved by the generosity of these people who had no idea who I was, except that I was a person who loved the food at the Indonesian Food Bazaars.

                                                                  1. re: round2

                                                                    They are all lovely, warm, gentle, kind people, and I love them as much as I love their food. The satay lady I always visit greets me effusively with, "good morning, sistah!" every time, and she and my husband (who usually eats 2 orders standing there and takes home another 3 or 4) are becoming best buddies. I have to study the gado gado lady a bit more - I've got her peanut sauce down, but I keep tasting something else, dressing-wise, in the gado gado - tamarind? Fish paste? Vinegar and brown sugar? All of these?

                                                                    Thank you, round2, for boldly going where no one else went before and finding out!

                                                                    1. re: cgreco

                                                                      fish paste in the gado2? hope not! what else do you think she uses in the bumbu kacang (peanut sauce)?

                                                                      1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                        I believe gado gado can sometimes include shrimp paste in the peanut sauce.

                                                                        1. re: Peter Cuce

                                                                          Never had it with belacan in Jakarta/HK/wherever, but there's always a first. Not that I have an issue with shrimp paste, but hopefully it's not "commonly" added to one of my favorites, ketuprak, either.

                                                                          1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                                            Every single recipe I have seen from cookbooks published in SE Asia for Gado Gado has belacan/trassi. (dried shrimp paste). One shouldn't taste it per se, but it adds depth of flavor and complexity.

                                                                            1. re: swannee

                                                                              I'm pretty sure the ladies used shrimp paste. It has to be roasted before you use it - you can wrap it in aluminum foil on put it directly on a burner or in a dry frying pan until the neighbors complain, or you can buy it already roasted (the packages say "trasi bakar" or "belancan bakar"). They also used coriander (seed, not leaf) which at least some cooks also roast before grinding (push it around a dry frying pan for a few minutes; this not only improves the flavor but also makes it much easier to grind). They also used kaffir lime leaf (aka "makrut" - that's the Thai name; the Indonesian name is "daun jeruk purut"), which they get frozen from SE Asian stores. Sometimes they grind it when they grind the other things, sometimes they grind it ahead of time. They also use palm sugar, the dark-brown kind sometime sold here as "Gula Jawa" ("Javanese sugar").

                                                                              As of 2 days ago, nobody knew anything about another bazaar, unfortunately. This includes one of the board members of the mosque (who, however, had just gotten back from Indonesia something like 3 days previously and was still jet-lagged). This weather really is cold for them - in Java, they put on jackets when the temp. drops below about 80F (no exaggeration).

                                        2. Next Food Bazaar: Oct. 7, according to one of the gado-gado ladies. I guess our pessimsm disturbed the powers of the universe. Yay!

                                          24 Replies
                                          1. re: geckoFeet

                                            That's great to hear! I've been following chow for awhile just in the hopes of seeing an announcement of the bazaar in time! Thanks for the heads up.

                                            Out of curiosity, does it typically close at a particular time? (aka, is dinner alright or should I be planning to get there for lunch?)

                                            EDIT: Ah, sorry, just noticed the times in Dave's post. Whoops!

                                            1. re: Wildman496

                                              I try to get there as early as possible, which isn't all that early. Supposedly they open at 10. I'm there usually around 11 or 12. After that, certainly around 1, it tends to be very crowded. They start shutting down later in the afternoon, but the booth can start running out of food as early as 2, certainly by 3. There's a lot of stuff to take out; a lot of people go there just for that. I know one Indonesian gentleman who drives down from Connecticut and goes back with something like 5 shopping-bags full.

                                              1. re: geckoFeet

                                                Wow! Wasn't aware it got that crowded. I'll be sure to get there early then! Thanks for the heads up. Been dying to try some of this gado gado I keep hearing about!

                                            2. re: geckoFeet

                                              The website STILL isn't updated. Is this absolutely happening? I want to make plans to meet people there, but I don't want to tell them it's going on and cancel other plans and then have it not happen.
                                              http://www.masjidalhikmahnewyork.org/

                                              1. re: didactic katydid

                                                A Javanese friend (not one of the booth ladies, but a friend of some of them) forwarded me this this morning:

                                                >>
                                                Assalamu'alaikum Warrahmatullahi Wabarrakatuh,

                                                Insya Allah Masjid Al-Hikmah akan mengadakan Bazaar Amal pada:

                                                Hari: Minggu, 7 Oktober 2012
                                                Pukul: 10.00 pagi - 4 :00 sore
                                                Tempat: Masjid Al-Hikmah
                                                48-01 31st Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11103
                                                Phone: (718) 721-8881

                                                Mohon pemberitahuan ini untuk disebarluaskan kepada teman-teman dan komunitas yang lain.

                                                Atas perhatian dan partisipasinya, kami ucapkan banyak terima kasih.
                                                <<

                                                Roughly:

                                                >>
                                                Hey, everybody!

                                                God willing, the Mosque Al-Hikmah will hold its fund-raising bazaar on

                                                Sunday, 7 October 2012
                                                10.00 a.m. - 4 :00 p.m.
                                                Place: Masjid Al-Hikmah
                                                48-01 31st Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11103
                                                Phone: (718) 721-8881

                                                Please let your friends and the community know.

                                                Thanks to everybody for their attention and participation.

                                                <<

                                                This is from the mosque mailing list, so it's probably as authoritative as we can expect. Don't take the times too literally: there's an expression in Indonesian that means "rubber time....'

                                                  1. re: geckoFeet

                                                    thank you. See you all there on Sunday.

                                                    1. re: geckoFeet

                                                      geckoFeet, thank you! One more chance to convene at Masjid Al-Hikmah before we lose the warm months entirely for a while. Lovely!

                                                      1. re: round2

                                                        Not so lovely, unfortunately: as luck would have it, the weather report calls for chilly and rainy. I'm thinking in terms of getting stuff to take home. I'm also having unkind thoughts about God, but I'll keep them to myself.

                                                        1. re: geckoFeet

                                                          I hope the bazaar is on rain or shine?

                                                          1. re: AubWah

                                                            It is - I asked what I should do about the rain, and first they said "Pray" [laughter], and then they said "Hang up your underwear" [much laughter]. I didn't get the joke, so later I asked about it, and the person I asked explained that, traditionally, the Javanese don't wear undewear (and still don't when they wear traditional Javanese dress - sarongs around the waist). I still don't get the joke, actually. But they're having a bazaar, no matter the weather.

                                                            1. re: geckoFeet

                                                              Haha, good luck on figuring out the humor, I guess. I imagine it happens a lot!

                                                              Good to hear it's rain or shine. See you all on Sunday!

                                                              1. re: geckoFeet

                                                                I think it's just a funny image.

                                                        2. re: geckoFeet

                                                          Aku harap mereka melayani ketoprak atau yang dari Manado...but the Minahasa are mostly Christian, so maybe one of the Indonesian churches in Queens can help with that aspect.

                                                          1. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                            It's a little rainy, but great under the tents here today. My favorite new discovery is the ginger coffee.

                                                            1. re: round2

                                                              The cendol is op point today as well

                                                            2. re: BuildingMyBento

                                                              Quite rainy but it was nice. Make sure you're assertive when ordering! I was standing at the satay stand for awhile alongside another white male before another Indonesian customer told us how to order in Indonesian, which got us a dish quickly.

                                                              Big fan of the rendang from the back stall with three young gentlemen behind the counter, $7, and the chicken satay. Bakso soup was good but a bit boring to me as I was looking for some more exotic things and it was more like chicken meatballs in a chicken broth.

                                                              We got a few fried goodies: tempeh, veggie fritter, some sort of fish thing, and I'd just avoid those. Not very interesting. Maybe they were out of the fryer for too long?

                                                              Cenol was ok, bit sweet for my tastes. If you like Indian mithai, you'd probably like this, too. Worms are kinda fun, like bubble tea. Regret not getting a ginger coffee but it slipped my mind.

                                                              Anybody see the gado gado? I couldn't figure out which stall was selling it!

                                                              Good stuff, though. Can't wait till next year's, will be on the lookout for gado gado until then.

                                                              1. re: Wildman496

                                                                I buy the fried things just to bring home and heat up. In Indonesia, they do eat them at room temperature (for breakfast or snack), which is warmer than room temperature here, but a lot of places will heat them up if you ask.

                                                                GInger coffee is easy to make at home: boil the root for 5 or 10 minutes, and then use that broth to make coffee. Usual way to make coffee is just to put the grounds into water. Tthe Javanese drink it very sweet (of course). I sometimes make it when I mess up the roast on a batch of coffee, or just for the novelty. I don't know if it's supposed to be healthy.

                                                                I thought the standing-only tent with the table was a clever way to accomodate people who wanted to get out of the rain - people standing take up less room than people sitting.

                                                                I didn't see the gado-gado ladies, either, but I got there late. They're usually in the back. Maybe the rain washed them out?

                                                                1. re: geckoFeet

                                                                  We brought the fried goods home, weren't big fans. Quite doughy, I thought. Maybe I went to a bad table?

                                                                  Ah, thanks for the recipe! I'll have to try making it at home. Who cares about health! ;) (I kid - watch your heart, everybody!)

                                                                  I liked the standing tent, too, though in the end the three people I was with split into three teams and went to a tent then ran to the car and ate in the back.

                                                                  I was there around 11.30 and the only people in the back were some ladies selling the celon and a few women behind a couple of boxes. Wasn't sure what they were selling but didn't seem to be food as there was no line or anything.

                                                                    1. re: AubWah

                                                                      We got there before 11 so we had a table under the tent the whole time (though the tents began to leak around 12:30!). Sad to miss the gado-gado ladies (the iced-coffee lady said she thought they would come later, but they weren't there by 1pm), but we tried a lot of new interesting stuff. The ginger coffee was also a favorite discovery this time around, though my brother found it overwhelming.

                                                                      http://didactickatydid.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                      1. re: didactic katydid

                                                                        Pretty pictures!

                                                                        And happy birthday....

                                                                        (false berries on the windowpane?)

                                                                  1. re: Wildman496

                                                                    The gentlemen in the back left stall did indeed turn out a great rendang and a stellar soto betawi.

                                                                    Excitingly, as I learned on Sunday, as of a few weeks ago, these same gents have taken over Java restaurant in Park Slope (16th St & 7th Ave). Hopefully they can bring their cooking mojo to the indoor space. I had lunch there yesterday and the results were inconclusive, so I'll eat there a couple of more times before writing about it. The place was completely empty, most likely due to people thinking it had closed down and the many years of mediocre food coming out of that spot. Let's support and encourage these folks.

                                                          2. I'm sorry I missed this event today. I hope not to have a conflict or rain next time. Thanks for the reports, everyone!

                                                            18 Replies
                                                            1. re: Pan

                                                              Tuti, the lovely satay lady on the first stall on the right as you come in, told me that even though this was the last food bazaar until at least April next year, she is at the mosque 12-2 every Friday, even in the winter, selling satay. Naturally, my entire family was wildly excited about the possibility of weekly satay, so we intend to send the one person with the flexible work schedule on periodic satay runs, if true (!!)

                                                              1. re: cgreco

                                                                Thanks very much for mentioning this! Does she have sate kambing (goat satay)? What kinds does she have? Also, does she sell ketupak (pressed rice) with the sate? That used to be traditional everywhere in Malaysia (and I think Indonesia), but on my last trip to Malaysia, they seemed to have abandoned it in favor of providing only onions and cucumber as sides, along with spicy peanut sauce.

                                                                1. re: Pan

                                                                  I don't know about that particular sate lady, but the Indonesians here usually use the term "kambing" to refer to lamb rather than goat. They don't have lambs in Indonesia, at least not many; "kambing" means goat over there.

                                                                  You can buy these amazing ketupat in small plastic bags, now - the bags have little holes in them, and they're pre-loaded with rice. You put the whole bag into boiling water for an hour, and the rice automagically compresses itself. They work really well. I've seen them at Asia Market on Mulberry St. in Manhattan and at Top Line on B'way in Elmhurst.

                                                                  1. re: geckoFeet

                                                                    I specifically asked about goat sate because I love it. Thanks to you and Peter for the info!

                                                                  2. re: Pan

                                                                    She has lamb, beef and chicken. The other sate stall further along on the same side has tongue. They both serve it with lontong (pressed rice cubes).

                                                                    1. re: Peter Cuce

                                                                      Tongue sate? I've never had that before.

                                                                      1. re: Pan

                                                                        Tuti sells chicken, beef and what she says is lamb satay - I believe it is, since I've eaten enough goat to know that this isn't. She serves it with longtong, which she cheerfully calls "rice cube" while I was describing it to my 12 year-old niece as a "sticky rice cube", and explaining how it should be eaten. I took out six orders of satay, and my brother took out five, so we had a merry old time for quite a while at 10:00am - lots of chat, lots of laughing. I helped her stir the kecap manis/tomato/chili dressing and stack the longtong cubes while we waited.

                                                                        1. re: cgreco

                                                                          Friendly reminder cgreco, it's "lontong."

                                                                          Standard kaki lima (literally "five legs"- two for the vendor, three the cart - pushcarts) in Jakarta offer either steamed rice or lontong in banana leaves. Either way, I wish they added the fried shallots (bawang goreng) atop the sate... not a fan of the turmeric-shaded sate sauce either.

                                                                      2. re: Peter Cuce

                                                                        Oh, damn, I missed the tongue. Was that the stall that advertised "Sate Padang"? I got some sate Padang once (from a different stall) - it's supposed to be organ meat, but wasn't, and it had this gloppy yellow sauce on it that I didn't care for.

                                                                        My favorite sate, which I haven't seen here but maybe we can create a demand, is sate buntel, which is chopped goat with onions and things, wrapped in caul fat.

                                                                        1. re: geckoFeet

                                                                          It's the same stall you're referring to, the Sate Padang stall, with the yellow sauce, but for whatever reason, this time around it was much better then the last time I tried it.

                                                                    2. re: cgreco

                                                                      I was told by the woman selling the fresh-made blocks of tempeh that she's there on Saturdays selling it - unfortunately I didn't get more specifics, like exact hours.

                                                                      1. re: round2

                                                                        The Satay (Sate) Penang has a curry-based sauce - very mild, but if you don't like curry (most likely, the turmeric) then the sauce just won't fly for you. My hubby loathes turmeric, so I have to bypass a lot of curries that have it.

                                                                        1. re: cgreco

                                                                          Turmeric is probably my favorite spice, but I also do not care for the yellow sate sauce. I think the problem is that I thought it would be like a curry sauce, but (while it does have turmeric, coriander, and a few other common curry spices), it really has its own flavor--perhaps due to offal-broth or something. Maybe I need to develop a taste for it.

                                                                          1. re: misshii

                                                                            is 25-37 85th street a restaurant?

                                                                            1. re: AubWah

                                                                              It is our house address. Just call and order what you like!

                                                                    3. Any word on 2013? It's April - I might have missed the first one of the season, but I hope not!

                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                      1. re: cgreco

                                                                        Unfortunately it was yesterday! But I'm sure there will be another one next month. I recommend subscribing to Chowhound Outerboroughs RSS feed so that you don't miss stuff like that. Here's the thread that announced it.
                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/898213

                                                                        1. re: Peter Cuce

                                                                          Actually, I went to yesterday's - caught the 2013 board just in time on Friday. Thanks, though!

                                                                            1. re: Peter Cuce

                                                                              The satay always rules - I usually go with my husband, brother and sister-in-law, but this time had to take a massive "takeout" order home. The lovely sister Tuti and crew were more than up to the challenge, though (!) And while I was waiting, I ate as much as I could of everything else that wasn't satay - rosoles, matabak, sombay, tahu isi, etc. - all the "finger foods" I never usually get to try. The family is so addicted that Tuti very kindly gave me her phone # last fall in case we wanted to phone in a pick-up order on one of the Fridays she grillss at the Mosque. Next time, I'm bringing home more rendangs and various gorengs and gado gado - wasn't able to carry all of it with the arm-stretching satay order (!) (The beef and lamb are my favorites).