Satay and Stained Glass at Indonesia Restaurant

I love that Philly has multiple Indonesian restaurant to choose from. Down on Snyder is the creatively named Indonesia Restaurant. A few blocks away from the holiest hole in the wall Hardena, this spot, in contrast, has pretty table cloths and stained glass. The ambience is completely opposite from the plastic table cloths of Hardena. But at Indonesia restaurant, authentic food is not sacrificed in favor of decor.

Chicken, lamb, and pork satays are available, or you can get the combo with 5 skewers for about $7. On countless occasions I have been disappointed by dry satay skewers.  I was so impressed at how moist each of the skewers were. Pork was my favorite but the lamb and chicken were very good. I liked that it was easy to tell which meat was which. The peanut sauce was not even necessary, though I ended up using it on other dishes. I ordered sticky rice on the side and it came in cubes- not what I was expecting.

Off the appetizer list, the waiter recommended the vegetable with mixed beef in crispy dough. The crunchy wrapper was well done, but the egg flavor dominated the filling too much. The cucumber garnish had been soaked in vinegar- a great touch that proves Indonesia Restaurant loves and cares about you.

The Ayam Kare, Indonesian chicken curry, was recommended by the waiter. It ended up being my least favorite, the chicken was dry and the sauce was thin.

Randomly listed as a side dish of the poultry, pork, and beef dishes was the Perkedel- fried potato beef ball for $3. These things were amazing, maybe my favorite of the day. The filled balls were fried up in some kind of egg batter that left them fluffy and with a really fun texture.

Deep fried marinatef beef is another one of those side dishes. This was like the beef version of chicharron with a lot less fat. Despite the lack of fat, it wasn’t dry. The single piece in the $1.50 order was enough, more would have been overkill.

The special fried egg noodle comes with the works; seafood, chicken, veggies, and sliced meat and fish balls. The noodles absorbed the sweet soy sauce.

I just wasn’t up for the jelly or mung beaned desserts. Instead I grabbed a $2 bag of addictive shrimp crackers (and a bag for a friend), better than the version you can get in the grocery store though not completely home made. I was told they buy them and then cook them up in their restaurant.

Indonesia restaurant is perfect for people looking for Indonesian food and are too scared to eat at Hardena. Try something you have never tried before, make sure to get the satay and the potato balls.  And maybe you shouldn’t listen to the waiter, since his recommendations were not working for me.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • The long menu has extremely helpful descriptions
  • 3 types of most satay skewers
  • Unique side dishes
  • The nice decor can make less familiar food more comfortable

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • I expect more from a chicken curry

Indonesia Restaurant, 1725 Snyder Ave (@ 17th St), 215 829 1400



  • It’s funny… I feel like at restaurants like this, they tell you what they think you’ll like as a white person, rather than what they would eat.

  • Love this place.

    Been here a bunch of times. Best was when I went with someone who knew malaysian / indonesian food and knew what to order.

    I’ve ordered some stuff they told me not too – sometimes great, sometimes I don’t like it – more bones and chewy gizzards than I’m used to. I love offal but not if it’s like eating rubber bands.

    Either way the price is right to stop in and just explore your way through the menu.
    Super nice staff as well.

  • it’s tough to tell from the picture, but it doesn’t look like the person you’re with is white at all. how did they get that one wrong?

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