I have wanted to go to this week’s restaurant for as long as I could remember, but we just kept delaying it… until now. Located in Randwick, Java Restaurant (the name is quite easy to remember, isn’t it?) is quite unassuming and you can easily miss it because of the old decor.
We were quite optimistic about the place because as we went for an early dinner, there were people already dined there. Sometimes good restaurants can simply be seen by the number of patrons eating there at odd hours of the day.
While we were there, we skipped all the regulars that we could find in other Indonesian restaurants around Sydney, with the exception of fried kwetiau. There were still quite a bit to choose from and we tried to order as much as we could eat them!
First off is Nasi Goreng Babat. It was Indonesian specialty fried rice with beef tripe (cow’s tummy). This dish came with traditional Indonesian crackers (melinjo), egg and sliced tomatoes. I have this guilty pleasure of enjoying quite about everything even when they are not the healthy option, because that’s where most of the great taste comes from!
For the second dish, Semur Kepiting Sokak, I do not think the name reflects the description given. Traditionally speaking, semur is a rich, soup-based dish. Whereas this dish is deep fried soft shell crabs with sweet soy sauce and lots of onions and capsicums. It is still a great dish, but I think it should be named Kepiting Soka bumbu kecap (Soft shell crab with sweet soy sauce) instead of semur.
At the end of last month when we went to Ester, I was quite disappointed that they did not serve bone marrow. So I quickly made up my mind at the first sight of the word “bone marrow” in this restaurant. Better yet, it’s salt and pepper bone marrow with chopped chilli! They called the dish Sum sum Goreng.The Indonesian word for bone marrow is supposedly sumsum.
Kwetiau Goreng was our last dish of the day. It is quite a well balanced dish with good amount of chicken, fish cakes and prawns atop the thick rice noodles.
Last, but definitely not least, Indonesians love to have avocado for desserts and/or drinks. Es Alpukat is a shaved ice (the menu said ‘crushed ice’) dessert with fresh avocado, coffe and condensed milk.
The final verdict for Java Restaurant
There are quite a few ‘interesting’ descriptions in the menu at Java Restaurant. However in terms of taste, I must say they were up to my expectations!
Did you know?
A couple of months ago, my Dutch colleague asked me a question that he assumed every Indonesian should know: Where can I get a Rijst Tafel in Sydney?
Very clueless, I replied “What is Rijst Tafel? “. Apparently rijst tafel is a kind of extravagant, old-fashioned Indonesian meal that they have in the Netherlands that people spends countless hours preparing to impress their guests. They cook several Indonesian dishes and prepare them as a banquet-style meal where people share and enjoy the dishes together.
I knew NOTHING about it.
Amazingly, Java restaurant managed to actually have rijst tafel in their menu. So, I am even more impressed with them!
Rating for Java Restaurant:
7.5 / 10
Taste: 7.5 / 10
Price: $10-20 for main dish
Place: 7.0 / 10
151 Avoca Street, Randwick
+61 2 9398 6990