04/07/17 1:06pm
INDOCROWD

The Indonesian Food Bazaar will be bustling tomorrow.

Queens is fortunate to have two Chinatowns, the bustling downtown Flushing, home to a wealth of regional Chinese cuisine, and the somewhat mellower Elmhurst, which in addition to Cantonese, Sichuan, and Henanese fare, features some of the best Southeast Asian food to be found in all of New York City. That includes Indonesian food, notably the Indonesian Food Bazaar, which takes place tomorrow at St. James Church. What follows is a pictorial guide/plan of attack for eating your way through tomorrow’s festivities, which run from noon to 5 p.m.

indomartabak

Curb your hunger with the Indonesian beef pie known as martabak.

As Indonesian food nerd/Instagrammer @dan.bukit points out it’s best to arrive before 1 p.m. for the greatest selection. By 2 p.m. some of the stands start to run out. Since my eyes are quite often bigger than my stomach, I immediately head over to one of the snackier stands and have one of the Indonesian beef pies known as martabak. That way I can take my time exploring the festival without being hangry. Many folks like to bring a posse of four or five friends to share. I prefer to go it alone, although I usually run into a fellow food geek to share with.

(more…)

06/02/15 10:45am
suagrclub1

Sugar Club’s i tim ka ti is only served during festivals.

As regular readers of this blog know, Sugar Club, with its vast selection of Thai junk food, desserts, and prepared foods is one of my favorite Elmhurst haunts. On the last Sunday of the month the shop has been holding a market and festival. Somehow I’ve missed the last two festivals, but I’m glad I stopped by this Sunday. (more…)

09/22/14 12:10pm
AYAM3

Nasi tim ayam medan, aka chicken and rice very nice.

To say I’ve missed the food bazaars held at Astoria’s Masjid al Hikmah might just be the understatement of the millennium. So I was quite stoked to attend yesterday’s comeback food bazaar. As much as I love the festive atmosphere and seeing my favorite vendors like the bakso lady, it’s the chance to unearth new dishes seldom New York City restaurants that really excites me. Yesterday’s discovery: nasi tim ayam medan, an Indonesian take on Hainanese chicken and rice. (more…)

08/26/14 10:15am
THAITHEPANANG

Photos: Kristen Baughman

I’m just about emerging from the food coma that overtook me after Saturday’s Thaithentic Food and Culture Festival. Authentic was the key word of the evening with restaurants offering everything from fiery curries to insects. One of the first dishes I tried was a panang curry with chicken from Am Thai Bistro in Brooklyn.

THAITHENPLAYGROUND

Nothing says authenticity like grasshoppers.

I had to show some hometown loyalty and soon found myself in front of Jackson Heights eatery Playground’s table face to face with dozens of fried grasshoppers. I find the crunchy critters to be delicious. The Playground crew was quick to warn me not to swallow the barbed legs. I ignored them and made sure to chew every bit of exoskeleton carefully. (more…)

08/22/14 12:26pm

“It took many years before New Yorkers began to know Thai food,” says Wanne Pokpoonpipat executive chef at Jaiya in a mouthwatering promo video for Thaithentic, New York City’s first ever Thai-themed food and cultural festival being held tomorrow night at eSpace. VIP tickets are sold out, but $45 general admission tickets can be purchased here  and should also be available at the door.

“There is so much more to Thai food and culture than is currently known in the States. With support from our sponsorship partners, the Thaithentic Food and Culture Festival will elevate people’s perception of what it means to be Thai, said Manus Chaorinuea founder and CEO of the festival’s organizer Gotham Food Network. (more…)

05/21/14 10:07am
SUNNYSIDECROWD

Hungry revelers waiting to get into last night’s Taste of Sunnyside.

Last night I had the privilege of attending the Taste of Sunnyside 2014, which was held underneath the 7 train. How fitting for such a diverse roster of eateries—Japanese, Romanian, Mexican, Italian, Peruvian, and gastropub to name just a few—to showcase their specialties underneath the International Express itself. Plus there were sweet tunes from New York City’s only all-female mariachis Mariachi Flor de Toloache, local subway jazz band Sunnyside Social Club and a cappella superstars Ten and Change. (more…)

05/16/14 10:23am
8792823342_7ff65bee61

Serving up some satay at last year’s festival

I count myself a huge fan of the Indonesian Food Bazaars held every summer at Masjid al Hikmah in Astoria. So I was even more excited when I received an e-mail about an Indonesian Food Bazaar being held this Saturday in Forest Hills. I was unable to make last year’s event, but I’ll be there with bells on this year.

It all goes down from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the auditorium of the First Presbyterian Church of Forest Hills, 70-35 112th St., with proceeds to benefit Ranah Orphanage in Lampung, Indonesia.

I’m especially eager to try nasi goreng babat, beef tripe fried rice and tekwan, minced fishball soup from Palembang. The organizers also have other surpises in store including such exotic ingredients as torch ginger flower, keluwak nut, sator bean, and blue pea flower. There will also be Burmese food. Looks like I’ll have to bring my spare stomach to this one folks.

05/06/14 10:49am
MASJIDBAKSO

The bakso at Masjid Al Hikmah’s stunningly good.

I used to live in Indonesia and am craving Indonesian food. Read about the parking-lot festival and would love to know when it will be happening next. I’ve tried calling Masjid Al Hikmah several times, but have had no luck. Do you have any idea when it will be starting up? – Suzanne C., Bayside

I too am eagerly awaiting food festival season at Masjid Al Hikmah. I’m not sure when it starts up again, hopefully soon. In the meantime though some of the sisters from the masjid operate a scaled-down version of the bazaar on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that offers bakso and other treats. You might also want to take a trip to what I like to call SEA Elmhurst to check out OK Indo and Java Village. (more…)

04/11/14 10:27am
Songkran,or Thai New Year, is one of the most popular festivals iin Queens.

Songkran,or Thai New Year, is one of the most popular festivals iin Queens.

The ornate gilded roof of Wat Buddha Thai Thavorn Vanaram rises majestically above squat brick apartment buildings of Elmhurst. The temple, its grounds, and the shrine room with its Emerald Buddha are so spectacular that I always include it in my tours of what I like to call SEA Elmhurst. Even more amazing though is the temple’s annual Songkran—or Thai New Year—festival featuring music, kick boxing, a beauty pageant, and an immense Thai buffet that draws an equally immense crowd. (more…)

09/27/13 2:04pm
HOKKAIDORAMEN1

The line for genuine Sapporo style Ramen from Ramen Ezo Fukuro.

It’s been about a decade since I visited Mitsuwa, the sprawling Japanese supermarket located just across the river in New Jersey. I remember being intrigued but not terribly impressed by the megamart’s food court. So when my friend Kaori—who is my go-to gal when it comes to Japanese food—told me about Mitusuwa’s Hokkaido Gourmet Food Fair, being held this weekend I decided to check it out. Yesterday was the festival’s first day. So after pregaming with an early Filipino breakfast, I was soon on my way to Port Authority’s Gate 51 to the board the complimentary shuttle to the mystical land of Edgewater, N.J.

The first thing I noticed when I entered was the line for Ramen Ezo Fukuro. It stretched to the exit door beneath a banner proclaiming, “We are open this weekend only! Miso ramen from Sapporo, Japan. The chefs flew in from Japan just for this weekend! That’s how special this is!” (more…)