Tokyo Food Page
Ayung Teras/
Shibuya: Indonesian
¥5458-9099
¤Data
These days Tokyo has
plenty of Southeast
Asian restaurants,
but few are as
charming and satis-
fying as Ayung Teras
in Shibuya. The
decor is decidedly
Indonesian, quite
dense with handi-
crafts and art, but
done in a tasteful
and restrained man-
ner. It doesn't feel
at all touristy, or
overly "ethnic."
Rather, Ayung Teras
seems more like a
casual restaurant
you might run across
in one of the finer
international hotels
of Jakarta.

This same care and
sensibility also
extends to the food
and its presenta-
tion. The plates
themselves are rus-
tic yet beautiful,
while the flavors of
the foods served on
them are bewitching-
ly complex and
satisfying.

A good place to
start is with the
Sate Ayam, Indone-
sia's version of
yakitori. Nicely
grilled morsels of
tender chicken are
smothered in a mild-
ly spiced peanut
sauce that's thick
yet not heavy, with
an almost fluffy
quality, as though
it were whipped.
Also recommended is
the Gado Gado, one
of Indonesia's most
popular dishes, a
salad of both raw
and blanched vegeta-
bles with a superb
peanut cream dress-
ing and freshly
fried shrimp crack-
ers. The version at
Ayung Teras is one
of the best that
we've tasted in
Tokyo. Another good
starter is the Tempe
Goreng, Indonesian-
style fermented
soybeans (similar to
Japanese natto),
fried in a block and
sliced. While the
fermented aroma may
be off-putting to
some, we found it
very nutty, with a
heartiness that
approaches that of a
chunk of meat.

The drink that works
best with Indonesian
food, not surpris-
ingly, is beer. San
Miguel Dark, with a
lighter body than
its color would lead
you to believe, is
recommended since
its extra measure of
sweetness stands up
to the strong spices
in some of the
dishes. Other
choices include
Bintang and Bali
Hai, both
international-style
lagers from Indone-
sia.

Moving onto main
dishes, the Udang
Belado, large-ish
plump shrimp with
sweet peppers in a
sweet-hot tomato
sauce, was outstand-
ing. This disap-
peared quickly among
three diners, so we
tried the Sambal
Goreng - the same
type of shrimp, but
in a coconut cream
sauce - and it could
only be described as
heavenly. We fol-
lowed up with an-
other round of sate,
this time mutton,
which was surpris-
ingly tender and
tasty.

To finish off the
meal we ordered Nasi
Goreng Bagus, a
version of the fa-
mous Indonesian
fried rice dish. It
turned out to be
astonishingly hot
and spicy, much more
so than any other
Nasi Goreng we've
had before. For that
reason it probably
would have been
better if we had
ordered it earlier,
along with the rest
of the food - it
would be a good
complement to the
milder dishes such
as the Gado Gado and
Sate.

We were almost ready
to call it a night,
but the quality of
the food here made
us think that the
desserts would be
above average. The
Pisang Goreng Ice
Cream proved us
right. It's tempura-
fried banana served
with a large helping
of coconut ice
cream, and like much
of the food here
it's an execution of
contrasting textures
and flavors. The
Balinese-style cof-
fee is rough and
coarse, yet surpris-
ingly light and
aromatic.

For two or more
people, the dinner
set menus (3,000 and
3,500 yen) each
offer good selec-
tions of the most
popular dishes at a
very good price.
Also recommended is
the 1,200 yen set
menu at lunchtime,
which contains small
portions of three of
their dishes along
with plain rice and
coffee.

With its delicious
food served in an
inviting and taste-
fully decorated
setting, Ayung Teras
offers one of To-
kyo's most pleasant
Southeast Asian
dining experiences.
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Shibuya-ku, Saku-
ragaokacho 20-12. 
Open 11:30am-2:30,
6-10pm (LO). Closed
Sundays.
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