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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lestari Indonesian Restaurant, Ultimo

Bakmi babi panggang noodles with barbecue pork at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo

If you know about Lestari, you're one of the few Sydneysiders about the hidden alleyway running off Harris Street. It's a poky little pedestrian laneway tucked in between the Agincourt Hotel and the UTS Design & Architecture building. Lestari, which means everlasting in Indonesian, is a fitting name for a restaurant that's been serving up cheap and cheerful fare to homesick uni students since 2011. This year they moved to an even bigger space at the end of laneway, the former site of ATL Maranatha that served Indonesian pressure-cooked fried chicken (RIP).

Kwetiaw goreng ayam stirfried noodles with chicken at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Kwetiaw goreng ayam $10
Stir fried thick rice noodles with chicken

The menu is still the same, a double-sided laminated sheet with the most expensive dish topping out at $12.50. No wonder it's a favourite with students.

Kwetiaw goreng is the localised version of Malaysian kway teow fried flat rice noodles. The most noticeable variation is the sweet sauciness to the noodles, combined with a noticeable whack of chilli. If you need more heat, got nuts with the self-serve sambal chilli sauce pots. Proceed with caution though - the chilli sauce packs a serious punch.

Kwetiaw siram ayam thick rice noodles with chicken and gravy at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Kwetiaw siram ayam $11
Thick rice noodles with chicken and gravy

At the other end of the spectrum you'll find kwetiaw siram. The thick rice noodles drenched in gelatinous-like gravy might take a little while to get used to, but for many locals, this is pure comfort food. It's not all gloop. Fresh bean sprouts, green vegetables and fried shallots add textural contrast and crunch.

Cap jai stir fried vegetables with tofu and tempeh at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Cap jai $11 and tempeh $2
Stir fried mixed vegetables with rice

Vegetarians don't have a lot of options, but the cap jai is a hearty choice. It's a crunch-fest of stir fried cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and leafy greens sauced up with gravy. The deep fried tofu puffs and your mound of white rice will soak up the sauce magnificently. If you want a little more substance, get an order of tempeh fermented soy on the side.

Ayam goreng penyet fried chicken with Javanese chilli sauce at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Ayam goreng penyet $9
Fried chicken topped with Javanese chilli sauce

It goes without saying that you can order chicken fried (goreng) and grilled (bakar). The ayam goreng penyet will make most peoples' eyes water. For chilli lovers, it's an adrenaline-packed treat.

The Javanese chilli sauce smeared across the top is less sauce and more chilli puree. You've been warned.

Nasi goreng special fried rice at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Nasi goreng special with chicken and prawn and fried egg $12

Nasi goreng fried rice is ideal for carb-loading. It might look like variations of brown on the plate but wait until you crack open that fried egg and the gooey yolk runs out.

Bakmi ayam jamur noodles with soy chicken and mushroom at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Bakmi ayam jamur $9
Noodle with chicken and mushroom and soup on the side

The Indonesian Chinese dish, bakmi ayam, is popular too. Wheat noodles are topped with a tumble of chicken and mushroom seasoned with soy. Leafy greens make this a complete meal. You'll also score a bowl of clear soup with beef balls on the side.

Bakmi babi panggang noodles with bbq pork at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Bakmi babi panggang $12.50
Noodle with bbq pork and wonton and soup on the side

Pork makes a surprise appearance here too - most Indonesian restaurants are halal and don't include pork on the menu. Here you can request pork in all the noodle soup and stir-fry dishes.  Get the babi panggang bbq pork on your bakmi and you'll score a pile of deliciously sticky fatty grilled pork.

Clear soup with beef balls at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Side soup with beef ball

The bowl of clear soup with two bobbing beef balls is just what you need to sip on in between mouthfuls of noodle.

Eating bakmi babi panggang noodles with bbq pork at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Bbq pork with wheat noodles

Hoe into those crinkly chewy noodles with sweet pork and try not to eat that deep fried wonton in one go. It's worth savouring that crunch.


The dining room is bright and clean and relatively roomy. You'll have to get your own cutlery from the communal service area but tissue boxes and bottles of kecap manis are on every table. Priorities.

Lestari Resto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Shop 96, 732 Harris Street, Ultimo, Sydney
Tel: +61 (0)430 138 268

Opening hours 
Daily 12pm-8pm

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/26/2017 01:16:00 am


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