A Journey Through Indonesian Favorites at Awang Kitchen in Elmhurst, Queens

BY: New York Times

Evening in Elmhurst, Queens, and the windows of Awang Kitchen were awash in purple light. Inside, a party about 30 strong was winding down at tables pushed together along the wall, with balloons tugging upward from chairs and a woman on guitar leading the crowd in what sounded, in Bahasa Indonesia, like a hymn.

It was a gentler soundtrack than the hiss of cars outside on Queens Boulevard, and a lulling accompaniment to the plates that streamed steadily from the kitchen to my table in the corner.

Awang Kitchen opened in March in a new condominium built on the half-block lot where the Cantonese restaurant Harbor City once stood, flanked by golden lions. The chef, Siliwanga, known as Awang, grew up in Jakarta on the island of Java. (Like a number of Indonesians, he has only one name, confounding Western bureaucracy; in official records, his surname is listed as Nln, short for “no last name.”)

The menu is long and rambling, but the waiters are patient guides. One steered me toward tempeh, cakes of whole soybeans fermented until they stick together, which from past experience I had sworn to shun. Here, the cakes are cut into flat squares, divested of heaviness, dusted in coriander-laced tempura flour and fried briefly, so the inside stays soft. Their flavor lies somewhere between roasted chestnut and scorched earth. The cakes need no more than a dab of kecap manis (sweet soy sauce), dark and viscous, pulling slightly at the spoon.

Krakatoa Indonesian Cuisine Expanding to Downtown Hollywood

BY: SouthFlorida.Com

Krakatoa Indonesian cuisine will soon bring its tasty Asian dishes, such as spicy lamb noodles (pictured), to downtown Hollywood. (Mike Mayo / SouthFlorida.com)

Krakatoa Indonesian cuisine will soon bring its tasty Asian dishes, such as spicy lamb noodles (pictured), to downtown Hollywood. (Mike Mayo / SouthFlorida.com)

Krakatoa Indonesian Cuisine, a popular eatery at the weekend-only Yellow Green Farmers Market in Hollywood, is branching out to brick and mortar. Owners John Anthony and Abe Muis have bought the shuttered Ends Meat restaurant in downtown Hollywood and hope to have the new location open by October.

Anthony and Muis say they will continue to operate the original Krakatoa, a 23-seat corner stall that opened in 2014 and only serves lunch on Saturdays and Sundays. The new restaurant, at 1910 Hollywood Blvd., also will be named Krakatoa and will offer lunch and dinner service throughout the week.

“We have a lot of regular customers, and we’ll be able to use the market location to funnel people downtown,” Anthony says. “We’ll carry the brand as far as we can go.”Krakatoa Indonesian restaurant will soon expand from the Yellow Green Farmers Market to a second location in downtown Hollywood. (Mike Mayo / SouthFlorida.com)

Muis, a chef who grew up on the Indonesian island of Lombok, says he will have monthly specials showcasing different regional styles at the cozy downtown restaurant, which seats 30. Anthony says he hopes to set up an interactive wall screen beaming live Skype images from an Indonesian market so diners can see ingredients and get a sense of the country.

Indonesian cuisine blends Asian herbs, spices and flavors in meat, seafood, vegetable, noodle and rice dishes. The flavors are similar to Malaysian and Thai food, but Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim country composed of many islands, eschews pork in favor of beef and lamb. I’ve eaten at Krakatoa several times over the past year, and particularly like Muis’ spicy lamb noodles.

From Phorritos to Bone Broth — A Local Culinary Star Opens a New Indonesian Restaurant

BY: LA Weekly

Gado-gado , top left, and wheat noodles in bone broth, center, at Bone Kettle

Gado-gado, top left, and wheat noodles in bone broth, center, at Bone Kettle

His name is Erwin Tjahyadi, but you probably know him as the guy who invented the phorrito — that’s the pho burrito — at Komodo, his food truck turned brick-and-mortar in West L.A. The Cordon Bleu–trained chef is returning to his more refined roots with a new Indonesian sit-down concept: Bone Kettle, set to open in Pasadena later this month.

Bone broth, its namesake offering, is what Tjahyadi was raised on. “My mom cooks broth every morning; we grew up eating broth,” he says. At the restaurant, he boils beef tendon, feet, knuckles and marrow for 36 hours. The resulting concoction is milky and infused with garlic, onion and chile. But that is just the signature dish — there are other items on the menu.

We asked Tjahyadi for three must-order dishes. First, he suggests gado-gado: a cooked vegetable salad whose name translates to “mix mix” in Indonesian. Tjahyadi’s version features cherry tomato, Chinese green bean, tofu, rice cake and purple cabbage, all drizzled with a mortar-ground peanut sauce that’s tangy with tamarind. The beautiful, Technicolor mess is topped with fried shallot.

Health Ingredients in South East Asia: Sign Up for Fast Growing Opportunities

BY: PR News Wire via Yahoo! Finance

Yahoo! Finance

Yahoo! Finance

JAKARTA, Indonesia, Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In less than 2 months' time, Hi SEA /CPhI is set to open its doors from March 22-24 at Jakarta International Expo, offering a dedicated health and pharma ingredients trading platform for the region.

In a 2015 global survey by Nielsen, half of the respondents around the world declared they were overweight. In the same survey it emerged that 76% of global consumers were willing to spend more for food products that promote health benefitsIn Asia that percentage stood at 81%. No wonder a surge of Asian food and beverage companies leveraging this opportunity. An example being food giant Mayora Indah, based in Indonesia, whose healthy products constituted 18% of their revenue in 2016.

A subsequent, 2016 Nielsen survey additionally suggested that the top 3 food ingredients Asian consumers want to avoid are artificial preservatives, artificial flavours and artificial colours, including MSG, hormones used in animal products and artificial sweeteners.

In fact, Asia has long been a huge draw for food supplements and innovation, remaining one of the most lucrative regions in the world. Due to its staggering population, culture, and trends, the region will continue to grow as a global consumer of supplements, functional foods and beverages, complex nutraceuticals, and nutricosmetics. In particular, Southeast Asia - with its growing middle class - is primed to be a strong market force in the next few years.

40 of Indonesia's Best Dishes


After CNNGo readers voted rendang the most delicious food in the world, we thought it was time to give Indonesia's culinary credentials some time in the limelight.

Here we run through a mouth-watering array of broth-soaked noodles, fiery curries, banana-wrapped fish and vegetable salads with sweet peanut dressing. Most of the recommended restaurants are in Jakarta, a magnet for Indonesians from all over the archipelago, who naturally brought their cuisine with them.

1. Sambal

While technically more of a condiment, the chili-based sauce known as sambal is a staple at all Indonesian tables.

Dishes are not complete unless they have a hearty dollop of the stuff, a combination of chilies, sharp fermented shrimp paste, tangy lime juice, sugar and salt all pounded up with mortar and pestle.

So beloved is sambal, some restaurants have made it their main attraction, with options that include young mango, mushroom and durian.


Ending the Ramadan Fast With an Indonesian Feast


Photo Credit: Katherine Taylor for the New York Times

Photo Credit: Katherine Taylor for the New York Times


BOSTON — Close to Logan International Airport, in a green corner of East Boston, passers-by slow down to catch the drifting smells from Retno Pratiwi’s kitchen. The air is sweet with fresh lemongrass and galangal, with garlic cloves and candlenuts browning slowly in coconut oil.

It is nearly the end of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, during which Muslims around the world fast daily, from sunup to sundown. Ms. Pratiwi, 31, zooms through her kitchen in flip-flops, back and forth between her flat stone mortar and electric stove, putting together an elaborate Indonesian-style feast — the kind her mother used to prepare on special occasions such as Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that signifies the end of Ramadan.

This year, Eid al-Fitr (also called Idul Fitri in Indonesia) begins on Wednesday and can last several days, depending on where it’s celebrated.


Indonesia’s Exotic Flavors


The impact of this republic’s culinary heritage can be best found in the U.S. through its exports of rice, artisanal sugar, coconuts, and other products.

Photo Credit: Specialty Food Association

Photo Credit: Specialty Food Association

This Southeast Asian archipelago of volcano-studded islands has an emerging wealth of high-quality raw materials, from coffee and cacao to coconuts, sugar, and rice. But even with that bounty, the low number of Indonesians in the U.S. and scarcity of Indonesian restaurants and specialty food products—compared with other Southeast Asian countries—means the cuisine is mostly a mystery here.

Now on the verge of discovery, Indonesian food does have American fans, who tend to be vocal converts. A survey conducted by CNN Travel had readers choosing rendang—an Indonesia beef dish often made with banana peppers, lemongrass, and coconut milk—as the most delicious food in the world.

Post Summer Fancy Food Show 2017 Highlights 

BY: Specialty Food Association

Specialty Food Association

The Specialty Food Association marked its 65th year with an outstanding Summer Fancy Food Show. Held June 25 - 27, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, the Show featured more than 2,600 exhibitors, with representation from 57 countries around the world. Turkey was this year's partner country.

The Show, established in 1954, is the largest marketplace in North America devoted exclusively to specialty foods and beverages. More than 180,000 specialty food products were on display, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to meeting consumer demand for innovative products and new ways to explore global flavors.

This year’s Show introduced a more intensive buyer-focused registration process, putting more verified business contacts in the aisles of the Javits Center. Exhibitors display at the Show to make critical connections with buyers, and the quality of attendees this year elicited positive buzz.

With the explosion of multiple channels vying for specialty food sales – going way beyond the “gourmet shop” of the past to include convenience, foodservice, e-commerce, and more – the SFA developed its qualification process to help its members see better business-to-business activity at the Show.

Ubud: Inside Bali's cultural Epicenter

BY: CNN Travel

The jewel of Indonesia, Bali has a reputation for its clifftop hotels and clear surf. But farther inland, the mystical temples and iconic rice paddies of Ubud provide a completely different Bali experience.

Bali's cultural capital since the 1930s, this highland town is a must-stop on any Indonesia itinerary. Ubud's winning combo of food, arts, wellness and traditional Balinese culture continues to draw travelers, from backpackers to sybarites and group tourists. Here's how to experience the town at its best.

For a small town, Ubud boasts an impressive culinary scene and fine dining is spectacular value. Star New York pastry chef Will Goldfarb upped sticks for Bali in 2009, and his Room 4 Dessert sweets and cocktail bar serves up magical, textured confections, both individually and as part of a nine-course dessert degustation menu.

Dinner at Locavore, recognized as Indonesia's best restaurant on the Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list, means a feast of over 20 dishes, creatively and intelligently crafted from local ingredients.

In the magical garden setting of Mozaic, Michelin-trained chef Chris Salans fuses modern European concepts and techniques with indigenous flavors. On a bit of a budget? Head to Hujan Locale, the Ubud outpost of celebrity chef Will Meyrick, for big, bold Indonesian flavors with a pan-Asian spin.

Set in its own rice field, Manisan, headlined by Indonesian culinary star William Wongso, offers largely faithful interpretations of dishes from across the archipelago.

Just outside Penestanan, a leafy district marketed as an artists' village, Moksa draws raw food fans with dishes and juices sourced from its own garden and nearby organic farms. It's one of many raw and/or vegan eateries that makes Ubud such a mecca not only for vegetarians but also those following other alternative diets.

In Old Pasadena, Jonathan Gold finds a third-date place with plenty of bone broth to take home

BY: LA Times

Bone Kettle noodles and broth with beef ribs. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Bone Kettle noodles and broth with beef ribs. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

he first time you try Bone Kettle, Erwin Tjahyadi’s new proto-Indonesian restaurant in Pasadena, you may spend a certain amount of time figuring out what to do with the leftovers, which will be substantial.

Crunchy wisps of meat from fried oxtail tips would probably be nice with fried noodles, or even stirred cold the next morning into Bone Kettle’s gently flavored crab fried rice. The bouncy gnocchi made from purple yams, tossed with duck meat and dried apricot, are a little bland at the restaurant but might improve with a bit of chile sauce and a quick run under a broiler. The quart of organic, grass-fed bone broth left over from a few orders of the main course? It’s meant for congee, obviously, simmered with a handful or two of cooked rice the next morning until it coalesces into porridge.

We are here, I think, to talk about that broth. Well-made bone broth tends to be milky instead of pale, thick instead of limpid, and slightly touched with the sharp, calciferous reek of the abattoir. Bone broths of different sorts are at the base of tonkotsu ramen and Korean seolleongtang, Malaysian bak kut teh and Vietnamese pho. Clarified bone broth forms the backbone of most of the French mother sauces.

Tracing history of Indonesian culinary fare

BY: The Jakarta Post

Jejak Rasa Nusantara: Sejarah Makanan Indonesia (Archipelago Flavor Trail: History of Indonesian Food) by Fadly Rahman (Shutterstock/File)

Jejak Rasa Nusantara: Sejarah Makanan Indonesia (Archipelago Flavor Trail: History of Indonesian Food) by Fadly Rahman (Shutterstock/File)

When Manchester United soccer player Rio Ferdinand tried nasi goreng (fried rice) during a holiday to Singapore last year, he, like many others, shared his impression of the food on social media. He tweeted, “Nasi goreng lunch. Keeping it local in #Singapore.”

Shortly after, his tweet raised the eyebrows of Indonesian Twitter users. Using the hashtag #NasiGorengIndonesia, they told him that nasi goreng originated from Indonesia.

In a similar vein to the nasi goreng tweet incident, a group of Indonesians staged a rally in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Jakarta in 2015, protesting against Malaysia’s claim over lumpia (spring rolls). The protesters believed that the snack was part of the culinary heritage of Semarang, Central Java.

From the two cases, it seems that Indonesian people react emotionally when it comes to claims over the origins of food. In his new book Jejak Rasa Nusantara: Sejarah Makanan Indonesia (Archipelago Flavor Trail: History of Indonesian Food), writer Fadly Rahman tries to shed some light on the issue from a historical perspective.

When asked about nasi goreng, the Padjajaran University lecturer explained that nasi goreng was actually inspired by a Middle Eastern dish called pilaf (rice cooked in seasoned broth).

“There is no historical evidence that proves that this [nasi goreng] is a native cuisine to Indonesia,” he said. Like nasi goreng, risotto in Italy and paella in Spain are also modified forms of pilaf. It is believed that the dish was introduced by Arabic traders in the past.

2 pop-ups from James Beard winners and more New Orleans food events


Suesterdam Indonesian pop-up -- Sue Zemanick, a James Beard award-winner and formerly the chef at Gautreau's, moves her periodic, a la carte Indonesian pop-up to the Joint (701 Mazant St.). 5-9 p.m.

FDA Changes for Nutrition Facts Labeling

BY: U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA)

Photo Credit: Specialty Food Association

Photo Credit: Specialty Food Association

On May 20, 2016, the FDA announced the new Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect new scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The new label will make it easier for consumers to make better informed food choices. FDA published the final rules in the Federal Register on May 27, 2016.

Highlights of the Final Nutrition Facts Label:

Features a Refreshed Design

  • The “iconic” look of the label remains, but we are making important updates to ensure consumers have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about the foods they eat. These changes include increasing the type size for “Calories,” “servings per container,” and the “Serving size” declaration, and bolding the number of calories and the “Serving size” declaration to highlight this information.
  • Manufacturers must declare the actual amount, in addition to percent Daily Value of vitamin D, calcium, iron and potassium. They can voluntarily declare the gram amount for other vitamins and minerals.
  • The footnote is changing to better explain what percent Daily Value means. It will read: “*The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.”

Reflects Updated Information about Nutrition Science

  • “Added sugars,” in grams and as percent Daily Value, will be included on the label. Scientific data shows that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if you consume more than 10 percent of your total daily calories from added sugar, and this is consistent with the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • The list of nutrients that are required or permitted to be declared is being updated. Vitamin D and potassium will be required on the label. Calcium and iron will continue to be required. Vitamins A and C will no longer be required but can be included on a voluntary basis.
  • While continuing to require “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “Trans Fat” on the label, “Calories from Fat” is being removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount.
  • Daily values for nutrients like sodium, dietary fiber and vitamin D are being updated based on newer scientific evidence from the Institute of Medicine and other reports such as the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee Report, which was used in developing the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Daily values are reference amounts of nutrients to consume or not to exceed and are used to calculate the percent Daily Value (% DV) that manufacturers include on the label. The %DV helps consumers understand the nutrition information in the context of a total daily diet.



Cocoa Processing Advances in Indonesia as Cargill Expands


Photo Credit: www.harnas.co

Photo Credit: www.harnas.co

Cocoa processors in Indonesia will probably boost output by 25 percent to a record next year to meet Asia’s growing demand for confectionery and chocolate drinks, spurring higher imports by the third-largest grower.

Grindings, an indication of demand, will climb to 500,000 metric tons, said Piter Jasman, chairman of the Indonesia Cocoa Industry Association, which represents 14 processors. That compares with 400,000 tons this year and 310,000 tons in 2012, according to group data.

Processing increased after Indonesia taxed bean exports in 2010 and as rising incomes across Asia boost demand for chocolate. Higher grindings may support bean futures in New York and help extend a global deficit. Chocolate confectionery sales in the Asia-Pacific region will grow this year at more than twice the global pace, according to London-based consumer researcher Euromonitor International Ltd.