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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Cuisine: 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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Cuisine: Indonesian,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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