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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Batavia (Doraville)

Toddler Foodie Rating:  5 out of 5 Gummy Bears

:) = Fantastic array of authentic, home-cooked Indonesian cuisine + a mini-mart selling Indonesian snacks and other goodies.  Warm, friendly, quick service.  Spacious dining area that's as laid-back as someone's kitchen and dining room.  Crowd that doesn't mind kids.  High chairs available.  Great prices.  Delicious exotic fruit smoothies.

:( = We can't really think of anything negative to say about this place.  Seriously! 

"So sates-fying!"
One cold, almost-snowy evening, we headed out on Buford Highway to find an exotic meal that we had never tried before.  Acting on an anonymous tip, we found ourselves at Batavia, an Indonesian restaurant tucked in an inconspicuous plaza near the backside of Asian Square.  Apparently, Batavia has been around for awhile.  We have driven by it many times because our Daddy works nearby.  But, for reasons unknown to us, we never took the chance to stop by.  (Okay, maybe we know the reason - the exterior isn't too inviting.  But isn't that usually the case with the good eating spots in that area?)

When we walked into Batavia, we immediately knew our toddler antics would be tolerated.  The restaurant is like a cafeteria inside of someone's house.  It's decorated with Indonesian masks and other ethnic items that could easily have come from someone's living room in Jakarta.  The server/cashier was chatty, friendly, and immediately warmed up to Mommy as if they had known each other for years. 

Batavia offers a hot bar as well as a dine-in menu.  We selected dishes from both menus:  sambal ikan teri (dried anchovies with peanuts and chili peppers) from the hot bar; mie goreng (fried soft noodles with a combination of shrimp, pork, and veggies); gule kambing (lamb stew in coconut milk, served with rice and lime slices); lamb sate (grilled kebabs, served with a side of pickled cucumbers and Indonesian peanut sauce); and a durian smoothie for dessert.

Mie goreng & gule kambing
"Hey, that's my sambal ikan teri!"
What can we say about the food?  Actually, what can we NOT say about the food?  This was one of the best meals we have had in our foodie career.  We are so mad at ourselves for sleeping on this place.  Sprinkled atop our rice, the sambal ikan teri added the perfect amount of crunch, saltiness, and spice to our meal.  The mie goreng reminded us a bit of one of our favorite dishes from Mommy's home country, pancit, but with lo mein-type noodles that were cooked to the perfect level of chewiness.  The gule kambing was warming, but not spicy, with large chunks of tender lamb still attached to - but easily torn from - the bone.  And the sate... oh, the sate.  One order was served with 8 kebabs that weren't huge, but were packed with amazing flavor.  The peanut sauce served alongside the sate was thicker than Thai peanut sauce and topped with crunchy fried onions.  We didn't speak for the entire meal because we were too busy stuffing our little faces.

No caption available due to a full mouth.
After we finished our meal, Mommy let us try the durian smoothie.  We had never tried durian, and Mommy wondered what we would think.  (After all, some people say durian tastes like rotting garbage.)  Well, we are happy to report that we loved our smoothie.  We detected the unique onion-y durian aroma, which got stronger as the smoothie began to melt, but it didn't bother us.

"This smells like a trash can, but it tastes so good!"
We loved Batavia.  LOVED it.  We will be back again.. and again... and again until we've tried everything on their menu.  We hope you'll get a chance to visit one day, too.

Until next time, stay warm and eat well, friends!

Thanks for being part of our adventures!

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