Satay, Yay!

Down in the trenches of DSP (Deep South Philly), there’s some great food waiting to be discovered. The only tools required are a sense of direction and some balls. Though pretty fugly, Snyder Avenue west of Broad is shaping up to be a place for serious eats. In the immediate vicinity: South Philadelphia Tap Room, Café con Chocolate, Nick’s Roast Beef, Hardena, and Indonesia, recently relocated from Chinatown to a Snyder space with burgundy awnings and a beveled glass door. With few restaurants open on New Year’s Day, we checked it out for dinner. Pine paneling on the walls and Kenny G on the sound system said funeral parlor (or elevator), but the AAA Diamond Awards, framed reviews, and mass of local Indonesian immigrants packing the restaurants spoke to a deep-rooted authenticity. Admittedly, we’re no experts in Indonesian gastronomy, but the waitress seemed pleased with our order. When we selected the Ayam Bumbu Rujak and Kalasan Bakar Kecap, two types of Indonesian barbequed chicken, she warned us it would be served on the bone. We told her it was cool, and she smiled briefly and nodded in approval. Both chickens were dark, wild, and moist. The rujak was tossed in chili and red bell pepper sauce; the kecap in imbued with a sweet coconut marinade. Also tried the Soto Ayam, a hellbroth soup of turmeric, coconut, and a whole boiled egg, quenched by a Soda Gembira, an elixir of sparkling mineral water, condensed milk, and raspberry syrup that kind of tasted like Strawberry Quick, which is just fine by us. The satay is can’t miss, and Indonesia does chicken, pork, lamb, or a mixture. We tried the trio, each of long skewer of meat juicy and flavorful, especially dunked in the silkiest peanut sauce ever. Perhaps the best part of the meal: the bill, $33. Indonesia is so cheap we almost left with pangs of guilt. Almost. Head downtown to DSP. We promise you won’t get shot.

Photo: blogalicious

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