The Mein Man: Indo Café and Its Inoffensive Noodles

indo-cafe-noodles-640-7908Dish: Bakmi Goreng Jawa
Place: Indo Café, Northgate
Price: $7.95

On the plate: From the menu: “Javanese style sweet stir-fry egg noodles with choice of chicken, beef, pork, tofu, or shrimp (+2.00).” In addition to meat (I chose shrimp), the noodles come with carrot, cabbage, bean sprouts, green onions, and scrambled egg.

Supporting cast/What to do: Just dig in and eat.

Noodling around: This is one of those noodle dishes that quickly falls from the memory shortly after eating it. Nothing bad, but nothing special.

Bakmi Goreng Jawa is typically made with spaghetti-like egg noodles (dried) that are typically boiled before being stir-fried. My tablemates wanted prawns, but I’d probably recommend a different meat to better integrate into the noodles. The vegetables add welcome texture to the dish.

I detected flavors like garlic, chili sauce or paste, and soy sauce, but I’m sure there’s also kecap manis (Indonesia’s “ketchup”), which is like soy sauce, but thicker and sweeter. In fact, it’s the slight sweetness that helped distinguish this Javanese dish from the similar Japanese dish known as yakisoba.

If you want more: As a fan of ong choy, I recommend Kang Kung Cah Terasi ($9.95). In this preparation, the greens are stir-fried with spicy shrimp chili paste, giving some oomph to the dish. But if you want more carbs, try the Siomay ($5.95). These Indonesian fish (tilapia) and chicken dumplings are topped with homemade peanut sauce. You can get them steamed, but fried tastes better!

Be aware/beware: Indo Café is under the same ownership as the new Cloves restaurant in lower Queen Anne. The menu looks interesting, with fiery chicken, frog, and corn fritters, but reviews have been far from positive. I hope they can turn this around, as I’d like to give it a try.

First published in Seattle Weekly’s Voracious on July 30, 2012.

Indo Café on Urbanspoon

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