Despite Japan’s proximity to South East Asia, it can be tricky to locate restaurants offering the authentic tastes that these countries are best known for. Indonesian cuisine in particular, with its generous incorporation of spices and ingredients unique to its region, is often difficult to find. Here’s a roundup of six Indonesian restaurants that have managed to stay true to the original flavor, together with some great Indonesian hospitality.

1. Indonesian Restaurant Cabe

Think Indonesian food in Japan, think Cabe. The origins of Cabe (‘chili’ in Bahasa Indonesia) date back as far as 2002 at their first store at Musashi-Koyama. They’ve since expanded to another outpost in Meguro but both offer mouth-watering local Indonesian dishes such as rendang sapi, a type of braised beef with spices and gado-gado, a salad of steamed vegetables, eggs and tempeh, served with a peanut sauce. Course menus are also available including a delightful setan or demon course where every dish has a strong spice kick to it. Those with vegan dietary requirements can also rest assured as a number of dishes at Cabe are naturally vegan while some regular items can also be made vegan upon request.

2. Wayang Bali

Business-centric Izumi Garden Tower is actually the unassuming location for Wayang Bali, a restaurant specializing in the Balinese side of Indonesian cooking. The head chef hails from Indonesia and boasts an extensive 10 years of experience in the hospitality industry before coming to Japan to share his local cuisine know-how. Savor some of the most popular items such as the sambal goreng udang (grilled shrimp in a spicy coconut broth), gulai ayam (Javanese chicken curry) and their rendition of nasi goreng (fried rice).


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3. Cinta Jawa Cafe

Choose from Cinta Jawa’s four outlets in Akihabara, Yokohama, Hiratsuka or Shibuya for some hearty Indonesian fare. The restaurant was born out of the owner’s desire to serve authentic dishes for the Indonesian community in Japan and to share the true taste of the cuisine with Japanese people. The menu is extensive, with everything from soup and curry to satay. There’s even a dedicated section just for tempe (fermented soybean slices) as well as tofu. For a refreshing dessert, order the pisang goreng es krim, Indonesian-style banana fritters served with ice cream.

4. Plataran

A slightly more upscale affair, Plataran Tokyo is the full dining experience, complete with a moody ambience and a tall cocktail menu. Guests won’t be disappointed food-wise either as the list is extensive and includes Indonesian favorites such as sate, gado-gado and java curry. Plataran Tokyo hails directly from Indonesia and is the first overseas operation of the Plataran Resorts and Restaurants group. The lush interiors are a celebration of traditional Indonesian design to bring a comfortable yet resort feel to the space.

5. Monggo Moro

This Javanese restaurant in Shinjuku is only a couple of years old but is a favorite among the Indonesian community. It’s easy to see why with a menu that doesn’t hold back. It features some intriguing local offerings such as grilled duck necks and deep-fried snapper heads.

Highly recommended is the nasi campur which allows you to choose from the selection of side dishes behind the counter along with a plate of rice. Look out for their rendang as well. Monggo Moro’s rendition of the globally-loved tender beef stew is perfect with rice and a classic teh botol (Indonesian brand of sweetened jasmine tea).

6. Manis Pedas

For more Balinese food, look no further than Manis Pedas (“sweet and spicy” in Bahasa Indonesian). This food truck peddles mouth-watering comfort food such as nasi goreng, nasi babi kecap (rice with sweet soy-braised pork) and nasi ayam (Indonesian chicken rice). Prices start at a very affordable ¥600 for a portion of nasi soto ayam with options to size up and add side dishes such as the perkedel jagung (corn fritter) and crispy chicken.

Spice lovers in particular will rejoice as not only does Manis Pedas have the option to bring on the heat, they also offer four different types of sambal including sambal matah, a type of raw shallot sambal originating in Bali. This food truck’s location schedule switches up monthly, so be sure to follow their Instagram for updates on where they will be.

Where to find more Southeast Asian cuisine in Tokyo: