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Folks, if you haven't made it over to Minangasli, the Indonesian restaurant on Whitney Ave, I highly recommend you do so. Just don't do it on a day like yesterday :wub:, because the place is barely heated. They serve food from Padang (Wikipedia - Padang), meaning it's on the spicy side. There are three restaurants in Queens that serve Padang food, and I feel that this one is the best. And not only is it the best Padang restaurant, it's one of my favorite restaurants in NYC right now. If you're looking for a totally different, vibrant taste, I recommend you head here.

Of the things I've tried there, these are my favorites so far:


* Martabak Telor -- ground beef, onion & egg pancake

* Slomay Bandung -- steamed fishcake w/ peanut sauce

* Rendang -- braised beef (similar preparation to the Malaysian dish but different taste)

* Gulai Otak -- beef brain w/ lemongrass, coconut milk

* Any of the fried chickens, but especially the Ayam Goreng Sambal Ijo -- fried chicken w/ green chili

* Udang Petai Balado -- shrimp w/ the so-called stinking bean and chili

* Just about any of the fried fish. They do a great job.


Also, you gotta try what they call avocado juice, which is in fact a sort of avocado shake with chocolate and condensed milk. Really delicious. If you're a fan of Vietnamese sihn to bo (avocado shake), I think you'll like this. Another great dessert is the Bubur Ketan Item, which is black rice, coconut milk & brown sugar.


One thing an Indonesian friend pointed out to me is that although nearly all of these dishes come with Sambal (spicy chili sauce), they're all different and not meant to be mixed together.


Like Thais, Indonesians use a spoon and fork.


Oh yeah, one last note. They say they open til 11pm, but the last order is probably more like 10pm.




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Is this the small restaurant on the east side of whitney with a couple round tables and (i think) bright green walls?


if so -- i ate there once and liked it -- had some kind of fried chicken (liked it; they brought out some amazing sauce as a condiment). but i find myself going to upi jaya in elmhurst, usually for beef rendang, more often than this place. perhaps i should make some return trips; i really like indonesian food, and elmhurst is convenient enough for me.

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Thanks to osenbei for starting this thread. Minangasli is indeed a small place with not much atmosphere (a few tables near the entrance and more downstairs). I started with the Tahu Isi, 3 huge pockets of tofu stuffed with bean sprouts and carrots and deep-fried (possibly batter-dipped?). This had good potential, but it was barely hot and the filling inside was lukewarm--not the optimal temperature for fried food. It was also on the bland side, though the peanut sauce on the side helped a little. On osenbei's suggestion, I got the Nasi Rames Ayam Goreng Sambal Ijo. All the "Nasi Rames" dishes come with a big mound of rice, balado egg (hard-boiled egg in chili sauce), and two small pieces of steamed (?) jackfruit. The chicken part was a large leg, fried until crispy and topped with sauteed green chili. The skin was crispy but the meat was tender, and the chili was spicy but not overly so.


All the entrees are incredibly cheap. The Nasi Rames are all $7, and everything is under $10 except for the whole fish.


If you're coming from Manhattan, be at the front of the train; the exit on that side is just a couple of blocks from the restaurant. On Broadway between Elmhurst Avenue and Whitney Avenue is a mini-strip mall, containing the New York Supermarket (big Asian place), a Chinese restaurant, a Malaysian restaurant, a Thai restaurant, 2 Vietnamese places (with nearly idential names), and, incongruously, a pizza parlor.

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Had dinner here this evening with porkwah and Abby. I liked it, but wasn't blown away. My favorite was the beef rendang, and I liked the brains too. Oh, and the avocado juice (which is basically a milkshake) was delicious, especially the second one I got, which had chocolate syrup drizzled on it.


But the visit to Target beforehand...now *that* was special.

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I liked Minangasli, but like O and A, my head was not ripped out of its socket.


Chao Thai is now on my short list -- the food looked good in there. Also I want to go back to Boon Chu Thai.


On the way out I stopped at a chinese bakery called "Fully Bakery". (I went in because I liked the name.) I'm no expert on chinese bakeries, but this one was a bit different from what I was used to. For instance I left with a red bean cake with dates. It wasn't fresh (it was about 9 pm and they were closing up) but I'll be back there to explore a bit.

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Another of my mavens told me that he heard Indonesian food in Asia is akin to British food in Europe. In other words, you should seek for example French or Spanish food in Europe, but sometimes have to settle for British. In Asia, you should for example seek Thai or Vietnamese, but sometimes have to settle for Indonesian. Indonesia is possibly the "stepchild" of Asia, culinarily speaking?



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An update on the lemongrass wars. According to some chowhound posters, it's the same people -- they were just losing out in the competition so decided to respecialize. Sounds fascinating.


Padang Raya on Whitney Av., Elmhurst has been replaced by Jakarta Mie, the FIRST Javanese noodle warung in NYC. I had Javanese wontons, spicy chicken and iced tea for $11. I liked the food a whole lot and I know indo food. Check it out.



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