Bali Nusa Indah
On a what was a hellish night, at the height of superstorm Sandy, I found myself in search of a restaurant on what is normally a bustling Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen. Only this time it was a virtual ghost town. 5 Napkin Burger... closed. Esca... closed. Marsailles... closed. But, then I spotted a glimmer of a light eminating from a storefront. It was Bali. Immediately the name evoked images of beach scenes and calm, something in great demand this evening.
The place itself is rather non-descript with rows of tables with blue checkerboard tableclothes more fitting for a picnic than an Indonesian restaurant. The only giveaway were intricate wood carvings perched high above the tables. Here you can order al a carte or a meal chosen by the house. I opted for the latter and was glad I did.
The meal began with Soto Madura, a soup made with chicken and glass noodles in a rich gingery broth. It's homey and comforting, and perfect for a chilly night. Then came the main course, a pupu platter of sorts, with several dishes surrounding a mound of rice. There was barbecued chicken satay fresh off the grill coated with an addictive peanut sauce. As a grabbed a spoon of rice, I stumbled upon some Rendang, fork-tender chunks of beef smothered in a coconut-chili sauce. The heat from the chili offset by a batch of pickled carrots stationed nearby. That brings us to the Perkedel Jagung, a deep fried fritter, that is crisp around the edges. It is stuffed with baby shrimps and corn. I could easily have eaten two. Next up, string beans in a pink curry sauce, and deep-fried baby fish in a peanut and chili sauce which turned out to be my least favorite. But who's compllaining. The entire meal cost just over 23 bucks, beer included (Singha of course).
Review By: Thomas Rafael
Neighborhood: West 40s
Bali Nusa Indah
651 Ninth Ave (bet. 45th & 46th Sts)
New York, NY
Payment: Accepts Credit Cards