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spaghetttti

Upi Jaya

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Although I was not feeling very well during my recent visit, I really enjoyed being in one of my favorite cities -- NYC. The weather was quite pleasant on a few days and we ventured out several times, nostalgically visited old haunts and tried some new restaurants. So many places, so little time.

After some volunteer work at a mosque in Queens packing up boxes of food and clothes for tsunami victims in Banda Aceh, we dropped in for lunch at Upi Jaya in Elmhurst, a nice little, cozy place with food that reminded us of home.

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The chicken sate (satays) were huge chunks of marinated breast meat in a very good peanut and kecap manis sauce.

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An order of gado-gado, steamed vegetables in a peanut sauce was topped with emping (melinjo nut chips)

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Perkedel (potato fritters) were first dipped into beaten egg whites then deep fried to lacy crispiness.

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Slices of empal, marinated and twice cooked spiced beef.

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Crispy pisang goreng for dessert.


Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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Yetty, thanks for the report and for posting those great pictures! Have any other members checked this place out? I want to have some of that tasty food! How close is this place to the subway (R line, I guess)?


Michael aka "Pan

 

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It's my pleasure, Jenny & Michael. In all fairness, though, I should state that I thought on the whole, the meal was only pretty good. I especially liked the chicken sate, nice and juicy cubes of white meat in a a flavorful peanut sauce. The gado-gado was tasty as well. However, the perkedel disappointed me, it looked better than it tasted, the spices didn't blend well and had a bit of stale taste. The empal was a tad dry but the spice was about right. My mother dug into the beef rendang before I could snap a photo of it, but I did get a bite of it, soooo spicy, too spicy for me to enjoy. But rendang in Sumatra is very hot, so it was authentic.

Usually a simple dessert, the presentation of the fresh, piping hot banana fritters was fancy, and it's pretty much the way pisang goreng is now being served in a lot of places in Indonesia.

I've recently discovered an Indonesian restaurant here in Alexandria, VA which I hope to try soon. Perhaps I'll post on the DC board.


Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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I was there this past Sunday with a group of five. I generally avoid sate/satays, but we tried the chicken and beef versions. The peanut sauce was more nutty than sweet, which I enjoyed. I would have preferred thigh meat to the breast for the chicken, but that's a quibble. We also had something described as potato pancake, which looked a lot like the perkedel pictured above. They were more like Japanese potato croquettes without the panko coating, if that makes any sense. Never having had gado-gado, I'm not sure what I expected, but I found the flavors to be muddled. An overly generous coating of another nutty sauce masked the characteristics of the assortment of vegetables. The varied textures were a treat though.

For main dishes, we tried the beef rendang, grilled chicken, lamb curry and jackfruit curry. The paste accompanying the rendang was nearly black and loaded with ginger and other fragrant spices. I would have been very happy just slathering the paste on rice. The beef itself was curiously hard. Not tough, but physically hard. The chicken (half white, half dark) was marinated in a lighter sauce prior to being grilled/baked. The chicken was juicy, not hard. Both curries contained coconut milk and a fair amount of heat. The jackfruit did not taste of particularly anything and had the toothfeel somewhat like that of young bamboo shoots. The lamb was served in hacked pieces with bone.

The restaurant is half way between the 74th/Roosevelt (R/V/G/E/F/7) and Elmhurst (R/V/G) stops, less than a 10 minute walk from either.

Upi Jaya

76-04 Woodside Ave.

Elmhurst, Queens

718-458-1807

Happy eating,

Mumon

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The paste accompanying the rendang was nearly black and loaded with ginger and other fragrant spices.  I would have been very happy just slathering the paste on rice.  The beef itself was curiously hard.  Not tough, but physically hard. Mumon

MumonA, I enjoyed reading your review, thank you for including Upi Jaya's address and answering Michael's subway stop question.

I understand that there are various versions of rendang and the deep dark inky black rendang with hard chewy chunks of meat is the typical rendang of Padang, West Sumatra, the region of Executive Chef/Owner, Upi.

The rendang paste is usually drier and a bit crumbly rather than moist, I think it's just delicious on hot rice.


Edited by spaghetttti (log)

Yetty CintaS

I am spaghetttti

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It's my pleasure, Jenny & Michael.  In all fairness, though, I should state that I thought on the whole, the meal was only pretty good.[...]

Thanks for the clarification. That sounds like my viewpoint on the best Malaysian food New York seems to have to offer: Boleh tahan saja (just so-so).


Michael aka "Pan

 

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