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Indonesian food in Houston

w
worldlyman Sep 14, 2000 03:53 PM

Mata Hari on Dairy Ashford just a couple miles north of Westheimer.

The Indonesian General Consulate of Houston also supposedly has an open cafeteria on the weekends.

And Tai Pei restaurant on Holcombe just a few blocks westbound of Kirby also has an almost full Indonesian menu on the weekends. At nights at this place, you can get a few Indonesian items. Tai Pei is a Chinese restaurant run and owned by Indonesians.

The owner tells me that his girlfriend goes to school at night, and is only able to cook on weekends. But Tai Pei is run by Indonesians who don't believe in eating meat.

So for meat go to Mata Hari.

Try the rendang, it is a beef cut with a spicy coconut marinade. It's excellent but I've been veggie-oriented lately.

The nasi goreng is a shrimp-style Indonesian variation of fried rice.

And maybe try the rijstaffel. It is like a big sampler of the different Indonesian dishes that they drop on your table.

  1. b
    Beatrice Dante Sep 19, 2000 11:40 PM

    Thanks for the tip. I didn't know. What other ethnic Houston restaurants would you recommend? I'm familiar with most of the Tex-Mex, Vietnamese and Thai places. But I would love to find out about other types, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Beatrice Dante
      w
      worldlyman Sep 20, 2000 11:41 AM

      For excellent Ethiopian, there is the Blue Nile on Richmond Ave just a bit west of Fondren. They serve their staple carb, injera (rice for East Asians, tortillas for Mexicans, etc.) which is like a very thin pancake of some type of wheat. You take the injera and roll it around the various spicy meats, ground or stewed, and eat it. It is not expensive and you will be filled for about a month.

      There was once an Ethiopian buffet in Montrose (that is now an Italian bistro) that was super. Another Ethiopian eateries is Queen of Sheba on Bellaire going eastbound just before Chimney Rock. There is Maru's which is more of a grocery store but it offers a food special of the day.

      Pakistani is also excellent. For the best buffet of any genre of food, there is Shahenshah on Bissonnet going eastbound just before the SW Fwy. It's on the right as just before (or after?) the Burger King. Try the nan bread to wrap around the various dishes. Since the buffet is something you can see.........you can decide what you might want to try. The food is quite spicy but very, very good. There is Silver Spoon at Wilcrest (just at the corner of Bissonnet). My favorite is the kabab masala, especially at Ali Baba's (corner of Kirkwood and Bissonnet). It's like a spicy loaf that you eat with nan bread.

      Filipino food is quite tasty for those who don't like spicy food. It's really a mix of Malay, Chinese and Spanish influences. The beef caldereta and asado are similiar to El Salvadoran dishes, that Latino sort of preparation. The pancit and lumpia, respectively, are the Filipino answer to Chinese noodles and eggrolls. The texture of other Filipino dishes like kare kare (pronounced ka-REH ka-REH with trilled r) is beef or pork meaty bones cooked in peanunt sauce........reflects that Malay oddity.

      Filipino cafes are Oriental Cooking (corner of Bissonnet/Kirkwood where Kroger is), GoDo (on Fannin to the left as you go a mile north of Holcombe) and the pretty good Gold Ribbon on Holcombe (a few yards east of Kirby). Gold Ribbon also had Mongolian style barbecue which is not quite as good as the bygone Ghengis Khan of olde (ah, why did they close?). The Filipino cafes of Houston are all buffet, so far. There are a few others in Houston but I can't remember them at this time.

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