Belying the plain exterior of the 1980s retail strip, the owners have turned the interior into a charming Asian courtyard oasis, with hanging ferns and pot plants, water feature, ornate ceremonial parasols, carved wooden benches and batik-covered tables.
And when it comes to the food, it’s budget priced, the real deal, and, next to Sendok Garpu Jnr, it’s about the best you’ll find in Brisbane. The menu is extensive, derived from various regions of Indonesia and comprises entrees, soups, Wok Station and Grilled specials, an exhaustive array of mains, and desserts.
There’s also a Lunch special deal which runs every day for $12* and which offers dishes like Nasi Kapau, Gado Gado, Laksa Batawi and Nasi, Mie or Bihun Gorang with iced tea. These can come with add-ons from the entrée of desert menu for an extra cost.
But back to the dinner menu. Entree choices include the recommended Bakwan Sayur or Jagung (vegetable or corn fritters) with peanut sauce, lamb or chicken satay or Pastel Goreng ( chicken, veges and glass noodles wrapped in homestyle crispy puff pastry).
Amongst the soups are Sop Buntut Goreng (slow-cooked ox tail pieces with vege soup) and Soto Ayam (shredded chicken, glass noodled, beans, egg garnished with shallots and fried onion) while from the Wok Station comes the classic Mie, Bihun and Nasi Goreng dishes.
From the grill, there’s Javanese style slow-cooked marinated chicken (Ayam Bakar) with Sendok Garpu’s renowned Sambal Terasi (shrimp paste chilli sauce), Rendang Sapi (beef curry based on the the family’s own special recipe), or the seasonal Terong Sambal Ijo Tabur Teri (fried eggplants in Sendok Garpu’s green chilli sauce).
To finish are a small selection of traditional desserts, amongst them Es Puter – Indonesian home style ice-cream, Sago Puding – Pandan flavoured pearl sago pudding with coconut and palm sugar syrup; or the luscious deep fried banana and jack fruit spring roll topped with shredded cheese, chocolate sprinkles and condensed milk.
Need to know: Lunch runs from 12.30-5 daily, followed immediately by dinner, which commences at 5pm
*The Lunch Special was on trial at the time of writing in June 2014 and may be subject to change.
20 Lambert Rd
Wed-Sun 11.30 – 9