Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Java Indonesian Restaurant, Randwick (NSW) by Foghorn Leghorn

There’s an Indonesian-language church in Randwick, and after Sunday Mass families often go out nearby for lunch. When I lived in Sydney years ago there were three Indonesian restaurants serving this trade, and it was noticeable that Java was always the first one to fill up, after which people would head to the other two.

Mrs Leghorn and I dropped in for Sunday lunch during a recent visit to Sydney, to see how Java was going.

We ordered our three favourite dishes: petai goreng (stink beans), ayam bakar (Balinese grilled chicken) and kangkung cah terasi (water spinach stir-fried with shrimp paste, tomato, chilli, and onion).

Java Indonesian Restaurant, Randwick, stink beans
Stink beans (as their name suggests) have a very distinctive taste. At Java they’re served with a thick black soy sauce mixed with chilli and other ingredients. The strong and bitter taste is something you either love or hate, and we love it.

Java Indonesian Restaurant, Randwick, grilled chicken
The grilled chicken was a very generous serve, brushed with a pleasant savoury sauce. It came with a side-dish of mild and flavoursome chilli paste.

Java Indonesian Restaurant, Randwick, water spinach
The water spinach was possibly the most complex dish. The water spinach (also known as ong choy) has a reasonably strong taste, but it was balanced very nicely by the other ingredients. Achieving that balance is not easy, and Java gets it just right.

Java Indonesian Restaurant, Randwick, tumeric rice
All of this was accompanied by a beautifully fragrant turmeric rice. Java has a good selection of rices, including coconut rice, but we’ve usually chosen the yellow rice, as it has a distinctive flavour of its own, but doesn’t interfere with the flavour of the main dishes.

Chatting afterwards, we discovered that Java has been in business for 33 years, with the mother of the family still running the kitchen. That’s impressive in itself.

Java Indonesian Restaurant, Randwick

Java Indonesian Restaurant, Randwick


We loved it
We loved it.
Cheap eats
Cheap eats.


Java has excellent food at a budget price. We paid just over $40 for our lunch, with no charge for our BYO wine. On weekdays they have lunch options for under $10. Because there were only two of us, we had a limited range of dishes, but the menu provides many more choices: fish, different vegetables, satays, octopus, prawns, noodles and soups. A large group will probably pay $15 each for a Sunday lunch. You can find the full menu on the restaurant’s facebook page.

Java’s location in Avoca Street is a couple of blocks away from the main Randwick shops, but seems to attract the most interesting restaurants. Across the road there used to be an excellent family-run Lebanese restaurant, which closed down when the children finished university and went off to be doctors and lawyers and such. It’s been replaced by a Peruvian restaurant serving specialties like ox heart. Next to that is a Mexican restaurant called Mexico Lindo. I ate there when it was called Azteca’s, and it too was very good. So if you’re looking for food in Randwick, duck around to Avoca Street.

Find it at

Java Indonesian Restaurant
151 Avoca Street
Randwick NSW 2031
Phone: (02) 9398 6990

Java Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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