At Selamat Pagi, a new restaurant in Greenpoint, the exotic Asian flavors of Bali come to Brooklyn. Zagat editor Kelly Dobkin filed the following report for NY1.
The folks behind Van Leeuwen ice cream have opened Selamat Pagi, a Balinese eatery that is quickly becoming a neighborhood favorite in Brooklyn.
Q: What gave you the idea to open a Balinese restaurant?
Laura O'Neill, co-owner of Selamat Pagi: We’re really obsessed with Balinese food. I’m from Australia, so Ben and I had been to Bali a few times and done cooking classes over there. So, we decided, given that there’s not really any Balinese restaurants in the city, we thought we’d open an Indonesian restaurant right here in Greenpoint.
Q: What are some of the predominant flavors and ingredients going on in the cuisine?
Jason Greenberg, executive chef: Tamarind, lemon grass, kaffir lime, a lot pf turmeric, a lot of coconut oil, a lot of coconut milk, lots of thai chili peppers. Very spicy cuisine.
Q: What’s your philosophy behind the food?
O'Neill: We're using grass-fed beef, organic poultry, ingredients from the green market, and making it the Van Leeuwen of Indonesian restaurants.
Like its parent brand, Selamat Pagi takes the same local seasonal approach to its menu, which features interpretive takes on traditional Balinese fare, including a bright papaya and watermelon salad and Balinese chicken wings.
"Well, we try to take as traditional recipes as possible, creating sort of a user-friendly meal," Greenberg says.
Q: What are some of your favorite dishes right now?
Greenberg: On the menu right now, I'd say the beef rendang, a slow-cooked braise of beef in coconut milk, and that’s really great.
Diners will also find a selection of tap and bottled beers, as well as natural and organic wines.
In signature Van Leeuwen style, the tunes at Selamat Pagi are provided by record player only.