Jimbaran Indonesian Restaurant

By Franz Scheurer


Avoca Street teems with restaurants of every cuisine imaginable. Nepalese, Chinese, Thai, the list just goes on and it would be easy to miss Jimbaran, a small Indonesian restaurant at the quieter end of the street.


Jimbaran is named after a beautiful bay in Bali, where a once isolated and quiet fishing village has now been ‘discovered’ and transformed into a luxury resort strip.


Jimbaran conveys more of the fishing village atmosphere, however, with lace covered, plastic topped tables, tropical plants and lots of tea lights everywhere.  An interesting set of wedding masks with progressive expressions from stoic to full laughter, make up the ambience, helped by the tantalising aromas from the kitchen. The food is unadulterated, authentic Indonesian and full of flavour and texture. Start with ‘Martabak Telor’, crisp, light beef pancakes with egg holding it all together, or the ‘Pempek’, a deep-fried, light and airy fishcake served with chillies on the side. Jambaran’s food is best shared and eaten at room temperature. So order up big and take your time.


Try the ‘Sup Buntut’, a rich, slow-cooked soup with marvellously gelatinous oxtail pieces and umami-rich root vegetables, or the ‘Beef Rendang’, cooked until the oil separates back out on the top of the dish, and amazingly balanced, red-curry-like flavours; easily the best in Sydney. Caramelised, smoky satay sticks (lamb or chicken), each one just bite size, are served on a little brazier, and the ‘Gado-Gado’, a salad of greens and bean sprouts with peanut sauce, is fresh, sweet and crunchy.  The house special, ‘Bandeng Duri Lunak’, consists of whole fish smothered in herbs and cooked in a pressure cooker, so that the bones end up soft and edible. It is cut into bite-size pieces, deep-fried and served with chopped chillies, onions, tomato pieces smothered in Ketjap Manis. It’s a textural delight! We also loved the ‘Sambel Goreng Udang’, stir-fried chillies with king prawns. The only disappointment was the ‘Ayam Goreng Kalasan Anugrah’, a soy- marinated half chicken slowly cooked in palm sugar unit it takes on a very dark brown, almost black colour, then quickly deep fried and served with a chilli relish. Unfortunately it was dry and stringy and I don’t think anywhere near sweet enough.


Once you have finished with the savoury courses I suggest you wash it all down with an ‘Es Cendol’, an ice-cold glass of green jelly with coconut milk and palm sugar or indulge in ‘Ketan Hitam’, black sticky rice, served in a bowl, smothered in coconut cream and caramelised palm sugar. Yum!


Value for money is excellent and the service is friendly, attentive and fluid. This is a really great restaurant to go to with a group of like-minded foodie friends and eat and eat and eat and eat…


Score: 6.5/10


For more information or bookings:


Jimbaran Indonesian Restaurant

129, Avoca Street, Randwick

Tel.: 02 9398 8555