Directory

AYAM GORENG 99

Cuisine: Indonesian

With Kingsford now the hub of pan-Asian cuisine in the eastern suburbs, it’s hard to choose from the myriad places all crammed shoulder to shoulder along Anzac Parade. A good indicator is a crowd waiting patiently on the street ... and you’ll often find one outside Ayam Goreng 99. Casually walk in, pencil your name down and wait your turn. You’ll be rewarded with skewers of satay chicken $8 covered in creamy peanut sauce and topped with fried garlic — a great start. The grilled marinated chicken $6 (ayam bakar) is sweetly spiced and moist while a side of stirfried ong choy $9 with chilli, onion and garlic will make any carnivore enthusiastic over greens. Service is fast and decor is basic: no muss, no fuss.

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JAVA

Cuisine: Indonesian,Indonesian

This homely, canteen-like place boasts more than 89 dishes. Since the 1980s, Java has attracted a mix of diners: hordes of budget-conscious students from nearby UNSW, families and those eager to branch out and explore Indo cuisine. Start with a classic combo of nasi rames, rice with gado gado, aromatic spicy beef rendang, chilli, egg and prawn cracker $10.90. Or perhaps begin with the famous otak otak, grilled fishcake wrapped in banana leaf with flavoursome coconut, chilli and peanut sauce $8.90. If you can’t decide, the rijsttafel for two $55 allows a taste of two entrees and two main courses such as Indonesian chicken soup, spring rolls, prawn crackers, chicken and beef satays, chilli fried prawns, mixed pickled vegetables and eggplant with butter soy sauce ending with fruit and coffee. A long-time Randwick gem.

 

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JIMBARAN

Cuisine: Indonesian,Indonesian,Indonesian

Offering something a little more elegant than your average Indonesian hole-in-the-wall, the decor is homely but contemporary, with wall-hung Indonesian artworks, twinkling tealights and a covered Balinese-style courtyard out back. The service is genuinely friendly and the food both accessible and authentic. The menu draws from all over Indonesia and includes perennials such as smoky chicken and lamb satays $12.90–$14.90 as well as more complex dishes such as sup buntut $17.90 (rich, slow-cooked oxtail soup), tender beef rendang $16.90 and udang goreng telur asin $20.90 (stirfried prawns with salty egg and chilli). The slow-cooked milk fish $17.90 is a textural marvel. And, if it’s on, try the crispy duck $22.90, marinated, deep-fried and served with chilli on the side.

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RATU SARI

Cuisine: Indonesian,Indonesian,Indonesian,Indonesian

A longstanding favourite in a part of Sydney where Indo food fanatics are spoiled for choice, Ratu Sari’s smart-looking space attracts a mix of families and budget-conscious students. Chef Rohana Halim grew up in Sumatra, so it’s little wonder that her take on the classic Sumatran curry, beef rendang $16.90, is one of the best around, made from beef shin cooked long and slow for glutinous tenderness. Fried chicken lovers will adore ayam remaja $15.90 with spicy sambal and capsicum, while kangkung with shrimp and sambal belacan $14.90 arrives steamingly pungent on a hot cast-iron plate. Durian fantastique $8.50 makes for a unique end to the meal, with coconut cream-drizzled durian icecream sitting atop a slab of warm, slightly salty sticky rice.

 

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RAYA THAI

Cuisine: Indonesian,Indonesian,Indonesian,Indonesian,Thai,Indonesian

The bamboo frontage and interior add authenticity or a touristy feel to this Thai/Indonesian restaurant, depending on how you see it; either way, it’s all in good fun and that shines through in the staff’s enthusiasm. A focus on presentation extends to the dishes, too. Chefs Irwan and Nali plate a mean namsod, Thai-style san choy bow $8. The menu changes regularly with a smattering of house creations. Nut sauce chicken is an original stirfry, made using concentrations of peanuts and chilli $15. Lamb gulai, an Indonesian coconut-milk curry flavoured with cardamom $15, rivals the spicy beef rendang $15. There are two banquet options $25/$30, both with some generously seasoned, lip-smacking barbecued chicken $14. Worth travelling across town for.

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UBUD

Cuisine: Indonesian,Indonesian,Indonesian,Indonesian,Thai,Indonesian,Indonesian

Named after the artistic Balinese town, and a former Bent Fork award winner, Ubud is an elegantly presented Indo restaurant made all the more atmospheric with carved wooden doors, dark teak furniture and floor-to-ceiling stone bas reliefs on one wall. It’s just the right amount of exotic and puts you in the mood for trying new things. First is martabaktelor, a crispy fried pastry-like crepe with beef, shallots and egg filling $8.50. The vegetarian standout for main is lodeh, a mild coconut-milk-based curry with tofu and vegetables $12.90. For simple ordering, choose a banquet $40–$50 or the Ubud rijsttafel $25, which includes spring rolls, traditional Indonesian chicken soup sotoayam and a choice of simple mains with rice such as satay beef or fried tempeh and peanuts. Dessert might be a strawberry lassi $7.50 or a luscious black sticky rice with coconut milk $6.

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