Java Village is the fourth Indonesian restaurant to appear in Elmhurst in the last three years, and quite unlike any of the others. While Mie Jakarta and Minangasli on Whitney Avenue style themselves as warungs–hawker stalls with a narrow range of specialties–Java Village is more of a steam table cafeteria. A $7 special allows you to choose two meat-bearing dishes and one vegetable dish and have them dumped over a giant pile of white rice, with a sambal or two on the side. Peering into the steamy glass case, you’ll see 15 or so choices, but frankly, it’s hard to tell the meat from the vegetable matter.
You’d swear jackfruit curry was beef, except for the presence of little nodules among the meaty-looking fibers. Chunks of boiled taro could easily be fish, or some other ocean denizen. Tofu is often cooked to the texture of beef.
So take it as a given that, in choosing your combination of dishes, you’ll sometimes get the feeling that you haven’t quite selected right.
The steam table contains no satays and almost no noodle dishes, though noodles and soups are available on the lengthy menu. But most patronts run in for the steam table. Two over-rice meals are shown. 86-10 Justice Avenue, Elmhurst, Queens, 718-205-2166