Fried Meatball Soup from Lil Java

There can never be too many little South Philly Indonesian corner restaurants. Lil Java is one of the latest, with burgers and some American breakfast items to lure less adventurous eaters in.

Batagor ($5) is a psychotic appetizer- dumplings, fried tofu, and eggs strewn around with a peanut sauce frenzy. Most of the taste comes from the peanut sauce. The tofu and cut up dumplings had very pleasant, chewy textures.

Beef Randang here is small but mighty. With a fragrant rice and shrimp crackers doing most of the belly filling and the aromatic beef served as a wee portion.

Fried shrimp was a little heavy and reminiscent of Americanized Chinese food, but it wasn’t bad.

Despite its clarity, the broth that makes up the Bakwan Campur ($7) is the world’s most chickeny chicken soup  Besides that broth, the stuffed tofu and fried meatballs were outstanding, while we could have done without  the regular meatballs and wontons. Those fried meatballs though, I don’t even want to know whats in them, but I could them in all my soups from now on.

For dessert we were presented with a complimentary shaved ice- sweetened with condensed milk and containing a surprise avocado.

We ended up passing on the roti bakar, which was described as toast with American cheese and chocolate sauce. Would you have ordered that/ how much would you need to be paid to order that?

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

  • Inexpensive Indonesian plates
  • Amazing chicken soup with fried meatballs

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

  • Small portions of proteins

Little Java, 1739 W Ritner St, 267 991-2636



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