76 Devonshire St
Ph : (02) 9211 8777
Situated in the middle of a line of cafes, takeaway places and next to the obligatory Surry Hills Thai is Padi Indonesian restaurant, with its focus on Sundanese food from West Java. This stretch of eating places’ primary business is the Monday to Friday lunchtime crowd, and for those not familiar with the area, it is the more high profile places nearby, like District Dining, which seem to be the drawcard. There may be restaurants and cafes opening up in Surry Hills every other week, but there are also those which just do their thing, are not subject to fad or fashion and, happily for us all, manage to stay in business.
With a small window seating section looking out towards Devonshire St, this is a small low key restaurant that has been around for a few years. I last visited it about two years ago, it’s too easy to forget this stretch of Devonshire. As well as the a la carte menu, there is an additional lunch menu, including a list of half a dozen items priced at $10.
Yellow fragrant rice with beef Rendang and potato fritter ($10)
The fritter’s interior was soft, the exterior could have been a little more crispy. The Rendang was slightly sweet with a nice depth of flavour, the meat tender but not quite enough to yield to the fork. There was an incongruous addition of a couple of kidney beans, which I would have happily done without. They didn’t ruin the taste or experience, but neither did they add anything to it, and I didn’t quite understand them. The crackers were a welcome crunchy textural addition. Pickles were not large in quantity and quite mild, I’d have enjoyed a bit more of these.
Fried rice with prawns, fried egg and chicken skewers ($9.50)
Although the quantity of prawns was understandably negligible, at this price, what would you expect? The rice was piping hot, with a soy-based taste but with a slight spiciness to it, and quite addictive. The chicken skewers, nicely grilled, were tender and juicy, the egg perfectly fried.
With a short alcohol list, some well-priced ‘group’ meals and a large dinner menu, I hope to return one evening. These two lunch dishes were enjoyable and good value, and for those in a hurry, meals are served pretty promptly. I’ll be back.