Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013 details - Timeoutdubai.com

Betawi Café

Nominated for Best Budget 27 Comments

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Tucked away in the backstreets of Karama, on a small thoroughfare that runs parallel to Trade Centre Road, Betawi Café is one of few budget Indonesian restaurants in the city. The eatery is nothing more than a quirky narrow dining room with wooden tables and a closed kitchen to one side, with lime green painted walls. But the food is exceptional. Belinjau crackers coated with nuts sit in plastic sleeves on each table and the simple menu makes it easy to make up your mind. The gado gado salad is served cold with cabbage and sprouts marinated in peanut satay sauce. There are a few good options for mains, but the pecel ayam, a marinated and fried portion of chicken (you can choose the cut) is very tasty and comes with an eye-wateringly spicy sambal. You can’t come here and not try the nasi goring, which is topped with an egg and a perfect accompaniment to the chicken.
Open noon-10pm; Fri 2pm-10pm. Mabrooka 1 Building, Shop 20-21, behind Ministry of Health Building, 4B street, parallel to Trade Centre Road, Karama (056 759 8118).

By Time Out Dubai staff
Time Out Dubai,

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Posted by: Rana on 03 Jun ' 15 at 13:21
  • Best for: Family friendly

The authentic Indonesian- Malay Restaurant on Budget, very good quality of the Malay- Indonesian food.
The price as well is good value towards to the menu. the minus things is the place is to small if you want to bring your group..
But after all the restaurant and food is fabolous

Posted by: Hanna on 21 Apr ' 13 at 05:22
  • Best for: Family friendly

Long time ago that I have eaten Indonesian food. Food was delicious. Never expect so good food for this a nice price. Easy to find and the staff was friendly.

Posted by: CHANDRAN on 10 Apr ' 13 at 16:52

The quality of food and the presentation was okay, and its just an experience for a person who is keen to have an indonesian cuisine or try a new place. Apart from that, the ambience is bad, the waitress hardly speaks English and you may find them busy having food at the next table ad busy chating with her friends in her language. Its definetly a wrong place to take some one out for a lunch or dinner. Lastly they do not have a proper bill to give you as well.

Posted by: meidi on 16 Mar ' 13 at 09:03

great food, love the gado gado and pecel ayam. friendly staff.

Posted by: Kathy Pembry on 08 Dec ' 12 at 12:46
  • Best for: Family friendly

The restaurant is small and simple as is the menu but the food tastes great and the dishes are authentic as we went with an Indonesian friend who really enjoyed the meal. The portions are generous as we could not eat anymore once we had finished and very good value for money.
They also deliver so we will be ordering from there instead of our usual takeaway.

Posted by: Peter on 22 Apr ' 12 at 14:32
  • Best for: Family friendly

A great place for affordable and tasty indonesian food. Staff very friendly, always smiling. Food absolutely authentic. A lot of indonesian people go there. Would definitely recommend!

Posted by: Marcello on 22 Mar ' 12 at 03:14
  • Best for: Family friendly

Authentic atmosphere and authentic food.
If you are looking for posh places to impress people with decoration do not go there, Dubai is full of Armani-like places to rip you off.
If you look for good indonesian food this is the place!

Posted by: Geoff on 24 Jan ' 12 at 08:02

Authentic. Nice price. Delicious.

Posted by: Jodasche on 27 Oct ' 11 at 04:36
  • Best for: Family friendly

Best Place Ever!

Posted by: Emma on 19 Jun ' 11 at 11:48
  • Best for: Family friendly

The staff were so welcoming and their English is great - we had no issues at all.

Food is AMAZING! Everything was delicious and I will definitely be returning :)

Posted by: ami 02 06 on 31 Mar ' 11 at 23:09
  • Best for: Family friendly

before i didn't know there's Indonesian food in Dubai,,,but my friends told me there was Betawi Caf'e at Karama and i try it ,,,wooowwww it's fantastic so everyone who live in Dubai should try this Indonesian food the taste there's no one here,,,,,,,,love...love....love it...

Posted by: julia on 18 Mar ' 11 at 07:56

been wanting to go there for the longest time but no one seems to know where it is, not even my indonesian colleagues.
craving for nasi goreng and being in the vicinity, we braved the back streets of karama to look for this gem!
love, love, love the food and will be back for sure.
downside- the order took 1 hr to be served.

Posted by: JC on 11 Mar ' 11 at 09:10
  • Best for: Family friendly

Fantastic ..love it ....i used to come with a friends from diferent nationality...well they love it even some of them dosnt like the spicy thing...

Posted by: Chloe on 18 Jan ' 11 at 12:50

Betawi restaurant :

mm ... Lovely place to enjoyed the food, I have been there the food was outstanding, but location and service wasnt really great, the waiter and waitress not speaking eglish very hard to comunicate with,

But food was outstanding

Posted by: Gina on 12 Jan ' 11 at 10:13
  • Best for: Family friendly

Well I would say BETAWI one and only Indonesian restaurant in Dubai, so Indonesian people basically have no much choice.

We went there last time to have our meal, Being Honest I wasn't that impressed, Place is scrappy and hard to find it most importantly food wasn't really good, the server wasn't speaking English for the value of the money of course you can expect more. and limited selection too ..

Well I don't think we be back there ever again.

Posted by: Shweta on 27 Nov ' 10 at 07:24

Discovered this homey little gem thanks to Timeout and absolutely loved it for its ethnic feel. Though I don't know much about Indonesian food, we ordered everything that the lovely waitress recommended and found it amazing - especially the house special soup in a light coconut broth served with rice. Our meal with one shared appetizer and beverages came to 97 dirhams. Well worth a repeat visit.

Posted by: Shweta on 27 Nov ' 10 at 07:20

A homey little gem in Karama. Don't know much about Indonesian food but we tried everything that was recommended by the waitress and found it amazing - especially the house special soup in a light coconut broth served with rice. Meal for 2 with one appetizer and two beverages came to 97 dirhams. Pretty reasonable and well worth another visit.

Posted by: SW on 26 Oct ' 10 at 16:10
  • Best for: Family friendly

My wife & I got the recommendation from an Indonesian friend and then saw the TimeOut reviews, and all praise is well deserved.
If you are looking for excellent, authentic food at very affordable prices then Betawi Cafe is among the best in Dubai.
Very friendly staff who were very helpful in exploring the menu, but I recommend that you come early to avoid them running out of some dishes as we experienced from 9pm.
If you're not up for spicy food, then definitely seek help from the staff in ordering. Some dishes (e.g. rendang) cannot be made-to-order so not an option to tone them down.
The beef rendang was excellent (but spicy) and the Urap was a great side dish, albeit enough for a meal in itself. Mie Gorang was top quality as well.
Undoubtedly one of the best finds we've had for cheap & cheerful restaurants in Dubai!

Posted by: wisnu on 18 Aug ' 10 at 06:02

Posted by: Peter Liu on 10 Aug ' 10 at 07:09
  • Best for: Business lunch

i've been going here since it was in the old location for over 2 years .. my wife's indonesian and i have done the firs review of this on dubizzle a long time ago ... it's the best indonesian food in dubai .. actually it's best for mpek mpek that sickly sweet broth isn't meant to be drunken but just continually poured over the fish to flavor it ... the best way to find ethnic restaurants is to ask ethnics - the Pinoy lady cleaning your villa, the Indian man pumping gas into your car -> the Kenyan man opening your car door at the Valet of that hotel - you don't need to ask top chefs ... i bet you they ask the mexican dishwasher or the cuban kitchen hand. Read Bill Bufords book Heat or Anthony Bourdains Kitchen Confidential and you'll know more about the food business.

Posted by: ameerah on 04 Aug ' 10 at 10:02

i read the review..

so i hurriedly search and alas found the place thanks to time out location is easy

But to my dismay...

i have been to few restaurant in dubai. always love to try new places and food
service is great but the food.... nasi goreng to be exact... is . i dont recommed it trying even.. and the chicken satay... not worth trying as well...

Understandable that some people might find the food nice but to my own taste it is not even worth paying 84 aed and the food goes to waste ...

Posted by: ahmad on 02 Aug ' 10 at 13:44
  • Best for: Family friendly

wonderful....specially if you like spicy food, this is the best food ever i tried... but sometimes you have to waiting outside when is so busy....

Posted by: Christy on 01 Aug ' 10 at 06:32

Great food with competitive price. Wanna try the authentic Indonesian cuisine? Surely the Betawi restaurant is the right place to be. I can guarantee that all dishes are freshly made - no instant stuff.
During their busy time, eating here can be a pain, but to be honest, I am happy to wait cos I can fill my little tummy with lovely Indonesian snacks (stuffed tofu etc)..with a glass of Sosro Ice Tea...yummy..

Posted by: MIA on 20 Jul ' 10 at 10:50

Ahdoe... Enak enak!!! Super tasty!

Posted by: chris on 20 Jul ' 10 at 08:15
  • Best for: Family friendly

The decor is non-descript, the service can be awful at times and the ambience is not really for a leisurely meal, BUT (and it's a BIG BUT) the food is consistently hard to beat and the value is amazing. I have taken my non-Indonesian spouse there twice (first ever Indonesian food experience for her) and she is now a convert :)

Posted by: nicola on 16 Jul ' 10 at 06:17

I have been there once maybe in 2008 and loved it. Unfortunately every single time i tried to go and indulge myself again there.. i never found it back ! Perfect foood.

Posted by: Ai on 16 Jul ' 10 at 05:46
  • Best for: Family friendly

Well no doubt this is the best truly authentic indonesian food that you can find in dubai. With a decent service style, and ambiance but high value n competitive taste, i do recommend everyone to try this restaurant.

Best for Indonesian food ever in dubai


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