Nusa Dua (Shaftesbury Avenue) | Indonesian
When local dignitaries drop by to dine you know you’re doing something right. Indonesian eatery, Nusa Dua, takes regular visits of the VIP kind when the Indonesian minister pops by to check out their deliciously authentic dishes.
After more than two decades on Dean Street, Nusa Dua moved to its new location in 2015. And, with it, stripped their menu back to raw, authentic goodness.
Expect the most popular sweet and spicy dishes, from all over Indonesia, cooked and served just the way they are back home. Like their superstar dish Rendang Daging (tender beef, served in a sizzling hot Padang sauce), or their Kambing Bakar (grilled lamb chops with soy and lime leaves). And don’t get us started on their chicken wings – cooked to perfection, they’re crisp on the outside whilst lovingly tender on the inside.
While it draws influences from India and China, Indonesian food really does things its own way. The ingredients differ slightly. Take their spring rolls, for instance. Instead of bean sprouts, expect bamboo shoots. So traditional are their dishes, that Harrods’s Indonesian chef learns from them. With all food locally sourced, and their spices imported directly from Indonesia, you know you’ve struck gastronomic gold when you visit.
Talking of gold, you can’t help but notice the artwork on the walls. A floor-to-ceiling graffiti mural features a giant crown. But not just any crown, a gilded tiara-like crown, native to Indonesia and often seen on Indonesian dancers.
But it’s not all about food. Perhaps most importantly of all, Nusa Dua is the lynchpin of London’s Indonesian community. Not only do their diners rhapsodise that their food is “better than back home” but Nusa Dua’s owner established an annual culture festival which is held each summer in Trafalgar Square.
Clearly the authentic taste of Indonesia is something that Nusa Dua does well. Very well indeed.