With all the taxis parked out front, it’d be easy to mistake this Avoca Street location for a cab rank. However when you enter this thirty-year-old Indonesian restaurant you’ll quickly find the back dining room is wall-to-wall with Indonesian taxi drivers.
They’re here for an inexpensive Indonesia lunch, the highlight of which is the yellow fried chicken, or ayam goreng kuning. The chicken is rubbed with a spice marinade that includes turmeric (for its signature yellow colour), galangal, candlenut and lemongrass before being boiled, then fried.
Try it with a bright yellow mound of turmeric, lemongrass and coconut rice, beef floss, empal goreng (a spicy/sweet beef curry), and cucumber slices topped with sambal terasi (a chilli, shrimp paste mix) in a dish called Nasi Kuning ($12.90). The addition of spicy anchovies and peanuts (teri kacang) helps to make what is actually a small amount of meat feel very satisfying on this well-priced mixed plate.
The coconut-rich beef rendang is another Java highlight. Enjoy it as Nasi Rames ($12.90) teamed with the aforementioned chicken, a halved egg with chilli, and gado-gado – a popular Indonesian salad of vegetables, fried tofu and tempeh smothered with sweet and savoury peanut sauce. Arriving with rice, and garnished with a large prawn cracker, this is another varied and satisfying meal for one.
Let either a hot day, or the sambal’s fiery heat, entice you into an Avocado Juice ($5.50). With fresh avocado, shaved ice, homemade sweet syrup and condensed coffee milk, this drink-meets-dessert is palate cooling and surprisingly compelling. If you remain unconvinced, a Whole Coconut ($5) is nature’s way of doing pretty much the same thing.
As you pay at the counter, pick up a container of Kue Nastar ($6). Shaped like golf balls, these house-made soft crumbly cookies encase a golden orb of pineapple jam – and are quite delicious for afternoon tea.
151 Avoca Street, Randwick
Ph: (02) 9398 6990