The Early Word–Danku


Two krokets and a side of mie dan (fried noodles)
Danku, a Dutch-Indonesian “all-natural” fast food joint, recently opened its only US outpost on 57th Street. The chain’s other location is in Antwerp, Belgium. The menu runs from ordinary paninis and baked goods, to krokets (Dutch croquettes) and Indonesian dishes like sweet soy beef stew, satays, noodles and rice. (Indonesia was a Dutch colony, hence the connection.)

I fell in love with Indonesian food in Bali, and any sort of fried croquette is welcome, so I wanted to like this place… Details after the jump.

Mac-and-cheese kroket innards
The krokets come in little cardboard sleeves that remind me of the McDonald’s apple pie containers. They’re about the size of a short, fat sausage, and have a very crispy breaded crust, which you crunch through into molten filling. I tried the chicken curry and the mac-and-cheese krokets. The chicken curry filling was like chicken pot pie with a large dose of curry powder. In other words, tasty enough. The mac-and-cheese version was filled with a starchy yellow mash that seemed like puréed boxed mac and cheese. Very strange, and not particularly good.

The mie dan (fried noodles) were like nothing I tried in Indonesia–mushy rice noodles with a scattering of scallion and carrot, and flavored with what tastes like more curry powder. Granted, this isn’t meant to be straight-up Indonesian, it’s meant to be Dutch-Indonesian, which I’ve never had before.

In any case, I thought this place might provide interesting new snack and lunch options for midtown, but based on what I tried, I’d only go there if I suddenly had a craving for fried chicken pot pie.

47 West 57th Street