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Doris Jaa, the owner, may have obtained a science degree after arriving in Australia from Jakarta in 1954 but the degree in which she has since majored is that of restaurant.

She has been looking after the appetites of Avenue Apartment on the Beach, surfers and the public generally since 1984 and should there be any doubt about the quality of Indonesian cuisine, it should be settled by the fact that after 24 years, almost a quarter of a century, her food remains popular.

Perhaps Doris has been blessed. After all, she is not a chef. She has a scientific and medical bent. Had she followed medicine, as have most of her family, her bedside manner alone would have instilled faith in her patients. As it is, that same pleasant manner, so important in hospitality has enabled her to win many friends among the dining public over the years.

The Style

The menu says it all: ‘When you come to Masakan Indonesia you are in for a real taste experience.

‘Indonesian food is highly original and exciting in its ingredients, preparation and presentation. All our dishes are prepared using only the choicest ingredients including authentic imported herbs and spices.’

Ironic then that the chef Kenji who has been with Doris for seven years, is Japanese. But it is the nature of chefs that their cooking is not confined to their place of origin and Kenji, appreciative of Indonesian food, does excellent Indonesian dishes.

The Ambience

At Burleigh, Masakan had a Balinese feel with lots of cane and rattan and batik. While the configuration of the 19th Avenue premises is different, Doris managed to bring that same atmosphere to Palm Beach. Nothing as it seems, has been lost. There is a carpeted floor, upholstered booths, cane and rattan furniture, a cane bar cum service bar at the entrance and walls decorated with umbrellas and a painting of a village scene. Soft music completes the restful feel of the restaurant which has its kitchen off to one side and an outdoor dining area at the beachside front.

The Service

Doris usually is the welcoming face of Masakan and knows most of her customers by name. Elise Poulton has been waiting tables there for six years and is as knowledgeable about the food as the owner ‑ persuasive too. Should you have any doubts about a dish, ask. Either Doris or Elise, who is there for only a few days each week, will tempt you with their enthusiasm which is rarely misplaced.

The Food

“Try the Dutch pancakes.” suggests Elise. She obviously likes them and rightly so. So the kanape it is. A curried Dutch Indonesian savoury pancake. Two of them filled with diced chicken and vegetables, they come with a side dish of delicious homemade peanut sauce. Served as an entree, a couple of plates of the tasty pancakes could easily suffice as a main course.

If Elise is on trial, she passes with flying colours, her recommendation is superb. There are fritters too. bahwan udang, made with fresh prawns and thinly sliced vegetables, coated in a thin batter, deep fried until crunchy and served with a satay sauce. This too Is a tasty dish but the kanape is tops, Satay sticks are dc rigueur. Four sticks of either chicken, pork, or beef marinated in Javanese herbs and spices, char grilled and served again with the Peanut sauce, the charred flavour of the meat shining through the delicious sauce.

Among the four rice dishes the nasi gurih is a favourite. A fragrant and delicious yellow rice flavoured with coconut cream and herbs and topped with roasted coconut. But when it comes to rice dishes with more, nasa goreng and rysttafel fit the bill. Nasi goreng is Indonesian style fried rice, stir fried with a good helping of fresh prawns and diced vegetables, garlic, chilli and beaten egg and always popular.

Rysttafel or rijsttafel stands apart. Literally, rice table, It is an adaptation by Dutch colonialists of the Indonesian rice dinner served with a host of other dishes, referred to on Doris’ menu as the paradise of foods and recommended for first timers to Indonesian cuisine. Rightly so as it affords an opportunity to try a range of 10 exotic dishes along with side dishes of krupuk, prawn cracker, and sambal bajak. A chilli based garlic and nut paste designed to add a bit of spice to the dishes.” Rysttafel includes satays, gado gado, rendang and noodles among the spread, and really is a great way of trying several dishes. Far better should there be one item you don’t enjoy to leave it and enjoy the others than to be stuck with an entire dish you dislike.

If you enjoy meat, beef rendang is a particularly pleasant spiced dish, this a Sumatran recipe with spices that enhance the flavour of the beef combined with herbs and coconut cream. Acar kuning, onions, carrots, cucumber, celery and red capsicum pickled in a sweet vinegar, are tried at the urging of Elise and prove another rewarding suggestion.

There is more, much more to enjoy. The popular steamed vegetable dish godo gado and several good noodle dishes along with laksa ayam, a soupy chicken and vegetables simmered in rich coconut milk with herbs spices and poured over noodles.

When it comes to desserts, Ketan Hitam takes some beating. Black rice slowly cooked and enhanced with a special coconut cream.

Address & Contact

Our Address

Corner 19th Avenue & Gold Coast Highway Palm Beach, QLD 4221