There's a trend of popular Indonesian eateries from Kingsford and Kensington opening branches around Chinatown. First ATL Maranatha, then Pinangsia Noodle House, and now Indo Rasa opens in Ultimo\Broadway. Joy.
[CLOSED MARCH 2014]
The original Indo Rasa is a popular Indonesian restaurant in Kingsford, we've never made it there yet as the interior isn't daggy enough for us, so we're glad to see a branch open near home. The new shop is in that odd courtyard space on Broadway (technically it's in Ultimo), next door to the popular Malacca Straits Malaysian.
The new space is clean, sparse and no frills. The food is good honest cheap Indonesian street food and homely staples. It hasn't been around long but it has a following already. It's halal and halfway between Sydney Uni and UTS, and insulated from the noise of Parramatta Road. The staff are super nice and the food comes out quick. Things look good for Indo Rasa.
Pepes are a fun little snack - grilled goodies wrapped in banana leaf - choose between tofu, mushroom and whitebait, $5 each. The mushrooms were ok, plain and simple with a little chili & spice, kinda dry. It was the pepes teri that got us excited - grilled whitebait. At first we were disappointed thinking it was like a standard fishcake, but razz it up with a fork an you can see tiny little whitebait fishies mixed in with some goo and spice and maybe a little coconut. The pepes teri is probably our favourite dish here (so far).
- Soto ayam - $8. A classic Indo soup with a light and refreshing yellow turmeric broth, with a little chook and rice vermicelli noodles. The prawn crackers soaked into the soup are delicious, especially with a drizzle of kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce) on top.
- Nasi komplit Indo Rasa - steamed rice with fried chicken, tofu, tempeh and salty dried fish - $12.50. The chicken breast portion is huge, yet somehow they manage to get those lovely tumeric flavours deep into the flesh.
- Ayam bakar - grilled chicken - $6. This is one of Shawn's favourite dishes, it's always a little different, here it's delicious. The chook is juicy and the skin has some garlic and some nice little charcoaled spots.
- Mee goreng - $10. Fried noodle with egg, veggies and some kind of mysterious but delicious little sausage.
- Nasi kuning - $3.50 - steamed rice with tumeric - a nice change to regular steamed rice.
- Beef rendang - $4. Love the slow cooked, fall-apart, stringy texture of the beef. The sauce has a touch of tomato tang to it, very nice. We love how you can order it by the piece. There's a fair bit of meat in a single serve and it's quite rich, it goes a long way.
- Lontong sayur - $9.50. Vegetable (sayur) curry soup with rice cake (lontong), chicken, sambal and egg. The soup was like a sweet, tangy, coconut-y laksa. There's a couple of decent pieces of chook and a few stodgy rice cakes, a seriously tasty stomach filler.
- Ayam Mentega - $12. Chicken stir fried in butter (most likely the traditional Blue Band margarine) and kecap manis, sweet soy sauce. Sweet, delicious and a little naughty.
Terong balado - stir fried eggplant in chili sauce - $10. The eggplant is gently cooked so we get nice sweet natural vege flavours under the sauce which is a beautiful, finely textured simmered goo of tomato and spices. There was no chili heat to the dish, we wonder if they held back for us paleface westerners. We loved it all the same.
[BACK AGAIN JULY 2013]
Buntut bakar - $9. Oxtail grilled with lovely kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) flavours that go right through to the bone. There's not a lot of meat but they flavour is big, the soup is plain but wonderful.
Bakso komplit - $8.50. Bakso (meatball) soup is an Indonesian roadside classic, a simple dish that may not make a lot of sense in Sydney but is wonderful in Indonesia's killer heat. This is a slightly fancy pants version with two types of noodles, fried tofu stuffed with meat (beef?) and fresh greens. One bakso ball had a googie inside. The broth is clean, light and peppery, a nice light-ish lunch.
Bakwan Malang - $8.50. A plain, plain soup with noodles, lovely fish paste wontons and a crisp fried wonton on top.
Mie ayam pangsit - pansit (or baso) $9. The classic Chinese\Indonesian street food dish of chicken flavoured egg noodles topped with chicken and mushrooms, served with a small clear soup the side with your choice of pansit (wonton) or bakso (meatballs).
We have to have another go at our favourite dish here, the pempek teri ($5) - tiny little white bait fishies with cartoon eyes, lightly spiced and grilled in a banana leaf. Yeah baby.
Indo Rasa Broadway Menu - click to enlarge.
Indo Rasa Broadway Menu - click to enlarge.
Indo Rasa is officially at 68 Mountain Street, Ultimo - most folks enter off Broadway/Parramatta Road - it's in a courtyard area between apartment blocks, next to Malacca Straits Malaysian.
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