Unfortunately, we can’t all go to Bali. Despite that we want to, despite that we’d love to be Julia Roberts, practice yoga in the jungle, drink coconuts and have Javier Bardem fall madly in love with us, for most of us, sadly, this will never happen. Sorry for the harshness, but sometimes the truth hurts.
But lucky for us, the owners of our favorite ice cream shop, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, realized this sad truth, and instead of just sitting around they decided to do something to fix it. Did they buy every New Yorker a ticket to Bali? No. But they did the second best thing which is opening up Selamat Pagi, a friendly Balinese oasis in Greenpoint where you should go for dinner tonight. Why should you go there? Because if you think Bali is only about surfing, rice patties, and yoga, one quick trip to Selamat Pagi will show you that you’re wrong. Apologies again for the harshness, we’re just trying to help. As it turns out Balinese food is amazing, and we’re pretty sure this is just about the only place in NYC where you can find it. It’s all about mixing ingredients like peanuts, chilis, keffir lime, lemongrass, and coconut (so like, every delicious flavor on planet Earth) to create dishes like Gado Gado, Mie Goreng, and Beef Rendang. And if those words mean nothing to you don’t worry, they will after your meal here.
So for anyone who’s ever dreamed of a getaway to Bali or for anyone who’s been there and has been dreaming of the food ever since (so that’s the entire population we’d assume), snag a table at Selamat Pagi tonight. It’s a whole lot easier than getting a ticket to Indonesia, and it’s pretty much just as delicious. Here are some more specific reasons why you should go:
- Selamat Pagi means good morning/good day in Indonesian. Just a little factoid to add to your arsenal.
- Drinkwise, order Killer B. It’s a neon green little number garnished with a neon red chili pepper, and you want it,. You want it bad. Note: Do not eat said chili.
- Don’t be fooled by the airy interior, warm and friendly staff, and dishes with the word “salad” in the name. The food here is serious and spicy. Real spicy. Particularly those salads, people, they’re sneaky.
- Get the Ayam Goreng Bumbu. For those interested in more Indonesian language lessons note that “ayam” means chicken and “goreng” means fried. For those interested in food note that ayam goring bumbu is Indonesian fried chicken and you need to eat it tonight.
- Never again should you utter the words: “Fried rice is boring.” Here it’s not boring and it’s topped with a perfectly runny egg that’ll satisfy all your #yolkporn needs. Refer to the photo above. Then order it.
- Food here is seriously authentic which is great as long as you’re prepared. So don’t think those chips on the side of your plate are potato chips. They’re not. They’re prawn chips and yes, they taste like prawns. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
- You’ll find sambal which is basically a spicy, ketchup-like dipping sauce all over the menu. You don’t need to know much other than that you want it on everything.
- Selamat Pagi is exciting because the food is unexpected. You walk into a space that’s relaxing and where everyone’s at ease, but once you take your first bite of sambal spiced deliciousness you’ll wake right up and realize okay, Bali is waaaay more than a trip to a beach.