Sunday, January 1, 2012


(I also wrote a review for Food Carts Portland -- an edited version by me and FCP's editor, Brett)

Batavia is an Indonesian food cart near the corner of SW 3rd and Washington in Portland, Oregon. Downtown Portland has a stunning array of cuisines to choose from, there aren't too many places offering Indonesian food. Thus, Rizky and Nella opened Batavia, a family-run food cart. Here, you'll be treated to this family's take on Indonesian flare.

Menu (December 2011)

Since I love spicy food, I got the spicy beef satay (sate padang; $8). Usually, the meat is boiled first to get it soft, then the meat is seasoned, skewered, and grilled. Four or five skewers of juicy grilled beef go on the plate. The first few pieces of beef I had proved a bit tough to eat, putting up a fight to stay latched onto the wooden skewer. As time went on, I did have more tender pieces to enjoy. Very nice flavor here.

Sate Padang (Batavia)
Shrimp chips
The pool of alluring yellow sauce contains rice flour, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cumin, etc. The spiciness (perhaps some red chili flakes?) lies within this curry-colored concoction. I found it pleasurable, really elevating the overall meal. I just wanted to pick the container up and drink it like a madman. I can handle a spicier dish, but I'm sure there are people out there who would ask for some relief after trying it. I don't think it would make the average Joe cry uncle, though.

At the base of the dish lies several slices of rice cake (rice pounded into a paste and formed into a solid) that possess a smooth texture -- think a whitish-colored polenta without the grainy, mealy feeling. You'll also get a small bag of crispy shrimp chips. The dish is prepared to order, so you'll get a steaming, hearty container of yummy goodness in this chilly weather. It's a pretty generous portion, so come hungry and leave happy!

Rizky let me sample a piece of fried chicken. The chicken is also boiled first, then fried up with some type of loose breading. It has some essence of Indian spices in appearance (color) and taste. The wing was cooked very well; I made short work of that one.

Fried Chicken (Batavia)
Batavia offers Indonesian coffee coming from Rizky's father. The aftertaste on the coffee commands an exotic presence that domestic coffees lack. It's a full-bodied, rich coffee experience. Batavia also has Indonesian tea (a hot Jasmine tea and a cold bottled tea).

Indonesian coffee or tea
Indonesian Coffee (Batavia)
Batavia has some seriously good eats. Check them out today! 8.75/10

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