Last Friday, we went to Bali Nusa Indah, an Indonesian restaurant in Hell's Kitchen. It had been recommended by a Singaporean guy that one of my friends had met. The above appetizer is Cumi-Cumi Isi, stuffed squid with minced shrimp and java soya sauce. While very pretty, both brownie and I thought it was rubbery and chewy. Not only the squid was chewy but also the filling inside. It was the only criticism, though, in an otherwise great meal.
We much preferred our other appetizer/side dish, the Pepes Tahu, innocuously described on the menu as broiled bean curd with banana leaf. The soft tofu was the texture of slow-cooked scrambled eggs, seasoned with lemongrass, ginger and a little kick. I'm not even sure what else was in this - dried shrimp perhaps?
My second favorite dish of the meal was Ikan Pepes, broiled red snapper fillet with lemon grass sauce wrapped in banana leaf. You may think by the names and description that the 2 dishes above would be similar in taste, but they weren't. The tomatoey sauce for the fish was wonderful and the fillet was tender and flaky.
We also had Rendang Padang, beef simmered in coconut-chili sance and Tumis Cumi, stir-fried squid with black bean sauce.
Afterwards, we head down the black to Kyotofu for dessert and this pretty kumquat caipirinha.
Bali Nusa Indah
51 9TH Ave, NYC