Friday, April 4, 2008

Unassuming Indo-Padi Restaurant brings the tastes of Indonesia

Run by a sweet, solicitous family from Semarang, in central Java, Indo-Padi Restaurant in the University District is a casual little cafe with small, clean tables and entrees that start at $6.25.

Open for a year, it attracts students, Indonesian immigrants and Americans who've lived in Indonesia.

Popular dishes include oxtail soup, grilled chicken with house special sauce, iced durian fruit and nasi campur, which is rice served with egg, dried fish, peanuts, eggplant, beef stew, potatoes and chile flavoring.

I had the nasi goreng ($6.25), Indonesian fried rice with chicken, egg and sausage.

Servers will ask how spicy you like a dish, but there's always extra chile sauce (similar to the bottled Sambal Oelek) on the side to spice to taste. The sausage turned out to be chopped hot dogs, but the fried rice, flavored with garlic, onions and spices, had a lot of pop and character. The plates were prettified with a small side of pickled vegetables and some shrimp chips.

ADDRESS: 5004 University Way N.E., Seattle

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