You could take issue with white people better known
for their artisanal ice cream cooking Balinese food (I withhold judgment) or
that what they're calling Balinese is more generally Indonesian (ok, that’s
sort of an issue) but where else are you going to find rendang in North (or
South, for that matter) Brooklyn?
And the beef rendang was good, rich and stewed
tender in coconut milk, lightly spicy with cinnamon and star anise undertones.
The only weirdness were the pickles, which were, uh, pickles. I was expecting
crisper shallots and matchstick-cut carrots and cucumbers (yes, pickles are cucumbers).
You just never know in Brooklyn because at Three Letters it was the complete
opposite: fried pickles turned out to be fried pickled vegetables. For further
confusion there was a $4 seasonal pickle plate (as well as that old Balinese
specialty, deviled eggs) listed in the snack section—who knows what it
The last of the three snacks was shrimp chips with
three sambals—two very lemongrassy, one more tomatoey, all hot. It’s a nice shared
starter. Sambals, nam priks and their ilk are fussy to make, so I’m always
happy to eat someone else’s selection.
The non-small plates are served as entrées, not
family style, so my bite of mahi mahi coconut curry was inconclusive. I did not
try the tamarind tempeh that was also present.
Everything is organic; the beef is grass-fed.
Descriptors like wild, biodynamic and heritage make appearances. Items are
priced accordingly, which isn’t to say outrageous (the rendang was $17)
especially when you consider that there is now a food truck selling beef
rendang to go for $13.
If you come from Tørst like I did, you can continue drinking
Evil Twin beer. Hipster Ale, of course.
Selamat Pagi * 152 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, NY