Dirt Cheap Eats 2008: Satay Sarinah

You’ll get a crash course in all things Indonesian at this homey spot where sunny photos of the home country hang on the walls and a tourism video of palm trees plays on TV. To sample the cuisine, try such unusual dishes as shrimp chips ($3), thin wafers with a hint of shellfish. The rendang daging, translated as hot and spicy beef stew, is actually hunks of meat and rice slathered with an addictive sauce redolent with lemongrass and turmeric. More-familiar options can also be good choices—a subtle peanut sauce accompanies expertly grilled satay skewers ($10). But some, such as fried noodles ($10), are scant on protein and weak on flavor. A side of tart pickled vegetables, acar kuning ($3), is perfect between bites of lamb curry ($11) and crispy bogor fried chicken ($10). Open daily for lunch and dinner.

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