People often say that when moving in to a new country, the first two weeks are always the hardest. True. I started my first week in NYC using AirBnb, until I realized I had to move somewhere else for another 2 weeks before my new apartment lease starts. Long story short, I got introduced to a new circle of Indonesian friends living in Elmhurst, Queens, who turned out to be total foodies! People who love to eat are always the best people, they say. Again, it's true. :)
1. BAKMI KEPITING/CRAB MEAT NOODLE - SKY CAFE
There are so many Indonesian restaurants & groceries in Queens, especially in Elmhurst. I didn't have the chance to try all of them, but from what I had so far, the almighty Pontianak-style Crab Meat Noodle here at Sky Cafe IS DA BOMB. Really, I'm telling you. Even right now I can still remember how it tastes. By looking at the photos below it might seem ordinary, but an $8 bowl packs so much flavor of tender crab meat, fish balls, tasty wontons and combined with perfectly springy noodle and heartwarming soup. In fact I ate them more than once during my stay, because yes, it's that good!
Sky Cafe - Indonesian Restaurant
8620 Whitney Ave, Elmhurst, NY 11373
They just opened few months ago so not many people know about this place yet.
2. JAVA VILLAGE
This might be one of the popular ones among the rest of Indo Restaurant at Queens. Their location is pretty strategic, very close to Grand Av subway station (M, R). I only went here once and tried their Chicken Noodle with Soup (Mie Ayam Komplit) for $7. The portion was generous, and you can see all of the toppings from sweet soy chicken & mushroom, fried wontons, and meatballs. But I still prefer Sky's cafe Crab Meat Noodle because in here they use a wider type of noodle instead.
They have a more extensive menu compared to Sky Cafe. Mostly every popular Indonesian dishes are available here, from Pempek, Rujak Cingur, Ketoprak, Soto, Bakso, Gudeg, Lontong Sayur, Sambal Tempe, etc and the price is pretty decent either. They also have Lunch Box packages for around $6.25 +tax.
FYI: I believe that the owner of this restaurant also owns Indonesian grocery store called "Indo Java" (85-12 Queens Blvd, NY 11373 ~ Phone (718)-779-2241).
Java Village - Indonesian Restaurant
86-10 Justice Ave, Elmhurst, NY 11373
(718)-205-2166. Opens everyday 10.30AM - 11PM
OTHER POPULAR INDONESIAN RESTAURANTS IN QUEENS:
76-04 Woodside Ave, Elmhurst, NY 11373
Asian Taste 86
8610 Whitney Ave, Elmhurst, NY 11373
Can't wait to try them all once I have the chance. :)
3. JOJU VIETNAMESE
Sometimes when I get bored of eating the same thing every day, Vietnamese cuisine is the best quick fix for me. I will eat an entire Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) all by myself and immediately feel good about myself. Now, Joju combines both Vietnamese AND Korean to its menu, so before I even went here I already know that this is a great place to satisfy my banh-mi craving.
Joju has quite an extensive menu selection, I remember I was so tempted to try another batch of meal but I realized I was alone at that time. Next time I'm visiting Queens, it's a tough battle between choosing whether I should have Indonesian meal or this one. I love love love love Joju!
4. SUSHI ISLAND
Meet my new friend Mei Mei (at the pic below). She's one of that rare breeds who's super easy going & so open and kind to people, even strangers like me! Haha. This is where she work, at the time being, and we had a great chat over dinner on my last day at Elmhurst. I love their spicy grilled mussel, fried calamari, sashimi(s) and pad thai. The place is always crowded mostly because they give big portion with cheap and decent price for a Japanese restaurant (which is impossible to do in Manhattan...). If you're around the area and craving for some sushi, this is the place to go!
Sushi Island http://www.sushiislandnyc.com/
87-18 Queens Boulevard (Between 55th Avenue & 55th Road) Elmhurst, NY 11373
5. WAFELS & DINGES
Last but not least, if you're around Elmhurst stop by this food truck that is usually parked right in front of Target (Queens Blvd). Wafels & Dinges are probably one of the most happening food trucks in NYC so make sure you don't miss it! Stalk their Twitter account @waffletruck and check out their website to see their full menu.
They basically have two kinds of Wafel: Brussels and Liege. Brussels wafel is light and crispy, while Liege is softer and more chewy. Dinges (toppings) are a lot to choose from. Spekuloos spread, dulche de leche, belgian chocolate syrup, walnuts, real maple syrup etc. They also have Savory Wafels too if you're feeling more like it.
Wafels and Dinges
Cheers! I'll update more once I visit Elmhurst again. :)