Indomania is one of those restaurants that I visited and then wondered why I had never set foot in it before. I suppose the better late than never adage applies here, and I have Eleanor Hoh (teacher of the Wok Star class I took a few years ago) to thank for hosting the dinner that got us to the restaurant.
The restaurant’s owners, Dutch husband and wife, Pieter and Ineke Both, have created a cute, welcoming neighborhood restaurant in a nondescript section of Collins Avenue. It is also easy to miss if you’re just driving by and not looking for it.
When we arrived, we had a few drinks at the bar with the rest of the group and then took our assigned seats at the table. It was my first time tasting Indonesian food so I was curious to try the many dishes that would form part of our rijstaffel. Rijstaffel means rice table and, as I understand it, is an Indonesian-inspired Dutch meal where many side dishes are served with rice prepared in different ways.
From the moment the first dish — a type of potato croquette filled with ground beef served with a spicy sauce — hit our table, the rest of the meal seemed like a whirlwind, with plates of food landing on our table in rapid succession. I was too busy enjoying my meal to take pictures (my MO of late) but the menu went something like this.
Sateh Ayam – Grilled chicken skewers with peanut sauce
Telor Besegnek – Eggs in curry sauce
Beef Rendang – Braised beef in thick coconut/chili sauce
Cabbage wrapped meatballs
Squid in coconut curry sauce
Banana leaf wrapped corvina with kaffir lime leaves
Sayur Lodeh – Mixed vegetables in coconut broth
Atjar Ketimoen – Pickled vegetables
Nasi Putih – Steamed white rice
Nasi Kuning – Yellow rice
Serundeng – Fried coconut and peanuts
Rudjak Manis – Fruit salad
Spekkoek (spiced layer cake) with coconut ice cream
Standouts were the richly flavored and tender beef rendang, the vegetables in their delicate coconut broth and the squid in coconut curry sauce. The banana leaf-wrapped fish had a surprising heat that I also enjoyed. Truly, the whole meal was enjoyable. And it wasn’t just because of the food. The evening felt like being in a friend’s home with the pleasant commotion of friends passing around plates, talking and drinking at the dinner table. And who doesn’t like that? Pieter and Ineke are closing Indomania for a little vacation on August 29 but will reopen on September 30.
131 26th Street, Miami Beach