Whitney Avenue, a few steps from the Elmhurst Avenue stop on the R and in the shadow of the elevated LIRR roads, could be called Little Jakarta, and Sky Cafe is its nerve center. This shop window has been a succession of Indonesian restaurants for the past two decades, and the current occupant is an expert in offering the most familiar dishes in the kitchen, such as chicken satays with peanut sauce, rice curry noodles, gado-gado salad and lontong sayur. Don't be fooled by the name Asian Taste 86 is a full-fledged Indonesian restaurant that serves Javanese food on the Indonesian fringe of Whitney Avenue. Single-course and multi-course meals abound and are bulky, including the Java combination of fried rice with shrimp pasta with fish pie and chicken satays.
Wayan, led by chef Cedric Vongerichten, has appeared three times in The New York Times since February of this year, which is remarkable in a city with more than 24,000 restaurants. Although for reasons that I have NEVER understood, there has always been an excess of certain Asian restaurants and yet a total shortage of Indonesian, Singaporean, Malaysian, Jakarta, etc. At the time, there were no Indonesian restaurants in the vicinity, but it seemed that there was a high demand for homemade Indonesian food, so he took the plunge and opened the restaurant.