I remember fondly my trips in Indonesia where food is relatively cheap but is heavily tasty and satisfying. From the savory Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and the spicy sambal sauce that Indonesians can’t leave without on the table. They can just eat anything with sambal. Back here in the Philippines, there’s a shortage of Indonesian dedicated restaurants. When I heard from fellow foodie, Kara of Travel UP that there’s a relatively new Indonesian restaurant in Maginhawa St called Indonyaki, I just had to try. I brought along my guest foodie friend to finally try out Indonyaki and satisfy my craving for some Indonesian cuisine.
Jen: Indonyaki for me is — to use a cliched term — a secret hidden in plain sight. It’s on the sidewalk smacked in the middle of a long row of eateries that is Maginhawa Street. The signage is simple and unassuming, and the seating capacity of the al fresco dining area holds probably a little more than 10, divided into a few tables. It feels downright casual, and homey — and yes, the food delightfully takes the spotlight.
Ferdz: I really like it that Indonyaki resembles those warungs in Indonesia. Modest and casual street dining which is basically a part of Indonesian’s way of life which I experienced taking part before. Joining a local after work to crowd one of the street side warungs in Yogyakarta for dinner.
Jen: Ferdz and I started off with small bowls of Soto Ayam soup that came with the meal we ordered. And what a prelude to dinner it was! The heartily flavored broth generously hinted of Indonesian spices.
Ferdz: From the Soto Ayam itself, I knew we’re in for a treat. It has that sharp strong flavor from the Indonesian spices and hints of turmeric.
Jen: The Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) topped with kremes (deep fried rice flour), a house specialty, was good. The crispy kremes went well with the tender meat. But I found the sambal sauce a bit too spicy, so I didn’t take more than a spoonful and instead gorged on Indonyaki’s version of peanut sauce.
Ferdz: I’ve been to Sulawesi, Indonesia, commonly known as the province with the highest tolerance for spicy food. They have a wide variety of sambal as well. The sambal that came with the Ayam Goreng was the common one and had the medium heat. It really did go well with the neatly friend spring chicken. I enjoyed nibbling on the kremes too and adding portions of it to my rice for the added texture. What was surprising was also the serving size. The half size was more than enough for two persons but we cleaned the plate down to the last morsel of kremes.
Jen: My favorite dish was the bite-sized Indonyaki Lumpia spring rolls that actually reminded me more of Vietnam than Indonesia. It came with a delightful garlic peanut sauce that made for great dipping.
Ferdz: The Indonyaki Lumpia was a light appetizer. It has vegetable filling and turmeric spices. What really made it great was the garlic peanut sauce.
Jen: And of course, Indonesian dinner is rarely complete without rice. Ferdz and I opted for Nasi goreng, Indonesia’s take on fried rice. Indonyki made theirs with subtle hints of peanut and spices for regular, and adding egg and cabbage strips for special.
Ferdz: We had a couple of Nasi Goreng, the regular one and the Indonyaki version with egg. I do find their Nasi Goreng too clean from the ones served in Indonesian warungs. There’s a good amount of greasiness from the kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and slight oiliness coming from the peanuts. That’s just my preference though. I guess they have to temper it down to suit Filipino taste.
Indonyaki is run by two friends who have spent quite some time in Malaysia and Indonesia hence their familiarity with Indonesian Cuisine. While I wouldn’t say its authentic, it’s as close as one can get to Indonesian dining experience at the streets. The price is quite affordable. The dishes full flavored and satisfying.
Indonyaki: Indonesian Asian Cuisine
- 54 Maginhawa Street, UP Village (contact: 533–4841)
- Bristol Street, Lagro, Quezon City (contact: 522–4887)