Secreted in a secluded corner of a supermarket south of Adelaide you can find a rare treat - a dedicated Indonesian eatery. DJ's Cafe and Indonesian Meals is one of the few restaurants in Adelaide that specialises in Indonesian food. There are other food court stalls like Warong (featured in this popular guide to cheap eats) who sell Indonesian food, but all offer a mix of other Asian cuisines too.
I've been enjoying the delicious Indonesian cuisine from DJ's Cafe and Indonesian Meals for a couple of months now and selfishly kept quiet about it. After my first taste at Indofest Adelaide it encouraged me to search out more Indonesian food, and now the time has come to share the good news with others who love Adelaide's multicultural food.
Indonesian Food Menu at DJ's Cafe on Goodwood Road
The exterior of DJ's Cafe is fairly unimpressive, just part of a large Foodland supermarket on Goodwood Road in Daw Park. Inside it has been tastefully decorated with comfortable furnishings, and a TV and books to read while waiting for takeaway food. The cafe is not licensed for liquor and promises WiFi, but that seems not to have been connected yet.
The Indonesian food menu at DJ's Cafe is prominently displayed on the wall behind the counter. Large colourful photos of the meals are shown with prominent English names, while the Indonesian names are in smaller print underneath. There is no description for any dish (some have an indication of spiciness with chilli symbols), but the owner was happy to answer questions.
Beef Rendang - Indonesian Takeaway Food in Daw Park
The takeaway food menu is identical to the main Indonesian food menu board, without listing the daily specials. DJ's Cafe food prices are the same whether you eat in or for takeaway food - and both are terrific value.
The first meal I tried here was Beef Rendang a traditional Indonesian food recipe which comes with rice supplied. I generally prefer medium hot food but ordered the three chilli rated Beef Rendang because the lamb curry had sold out. The Rendang was not dry as I had expected, but came in a sauce. The beef was deliciously tender and full of flavour but just too hot for me - I was told by the cook that the three chilli meal was not very hot, but obviously my chilli experience did not match hers.
While collecting my first takeaway dinner I noticed a group of people in traditional Indonesian dress leaving the cafe, so DJ's food clearly has authentic appeal to expatriate Indonesians.
On my next venture to DJ's Cafe and Indonesian Meals I ordered the lamb curry (Kari Kambing, two chilli rating). Again, the lack of a menu description made my choice something of an adventure, but I was very pleasantly surprised. The lamb comes on the bone, but separates easily into tender and juicy chunks of meat. With a serving of rice included I loved the meal and thought it excellent value for money, but some may think it on the hot end of medium spicy.
My dogs were very disappointed with the lamb curry - it was so moreish that there were no leftovers for them!
The most recent Indonesian food I sampled from DJ's Cafe and Indonesian Meals in Daw Park was the Fried Rice and Dry Fish (Nasi Goreng Ikan Asin). It looked a little like Chinese fried rice - the rice was dotted with colourful bits of egg, peas and spring onion. The delightful difference was the presence of plentiful crispy fried whitebait, which were really tasty. The generous quantity of whitebait were quite salty but not unpleasantly so, and the spice level was just right. I was asked when ordering if I wanted the food hotter, but I'm glad that I didn't.
It seems that this hidden secret south of Adelaide is picking up in popularity, the last time I called to order takeaway food I got voicemail a few times. While the owner assured me that they return calls with messages, I would much rather get the busy tone on the phone.
Another quirk of DJ's Cafe and Indonesian Meals is their resistance to Facebook. Despite customer pleas that they post more information about their fabulous Indonesian food on Facebook, they have resisted - until today. Let's hope that more posts are in the works because this food is seriously good, and I want to hear more about it.
DJ's Cafe and Indonesian Meals is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner except Mondays. Find them on Facebook or better yet, just order some food. You will be back to Goodwood Road for more in no time.
Indonesian Food Menu for Takeaway Food from DJ's Cafe at Daw Park