Jonathan Amato


Location: SW 3rd and Washington
Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-3:30pm; Sat, 9am-5pm

Please welcome guest author Aaron Wakamatsu

The Story:

While downtown Portland has a stunning array of cuisines to choose from, there aren’t too many places offering Indonesian food. Thus, Rizky and Nella opened Batavia, a family-run food cart near SW 3rd and Washington. Here, you’ll be treated to this family’s take on Indonesian flare.

Since I love spicy food, the spicy beef satay (sate padang) caught my eye. Usually, the meat is boiled first to soften it, then gets seasoned, skewered, and grilled. Four or five skewers of cubed juicy grilled beef is set atop an alluring yellow sauce containing rice flour, coriander, turmeric, ginger, garlic, cumin, etc. At the base of the dish lies several sliced pieces of rice cake that possess a smooth texture…think a whitish-colored polenta without the grainy, mealy feeling. You’ll even get a small bag of crispy shrimp chips with the satay. The dish is prepared to order, so you’ll get a steaming, hearty container of yummy goodness in this chilly weather.

Beef Satay from Batavia

Beef Satay from Batavia

Was the dish spicy? Well, it depends on your tolerance for heat. As a person who has eaten “ghost peppers” before (not a smart idea), I could easily handle a spicier dish, but my taste buds were at least prodded out of their slumber.

Batavia offers Indonesian coffee that comes from Rizky’s father, so of course, I had to try that. The aftertaste on the coffee commands an exotic presence that domestic coffees lack. It’s a full-bodied, rich coffee experience. Batavia also has two types of Indonesian teas (from SariWangi): Melati Flower and Jasmine. (a Jasmine tea) and a cold bottled tea. Batavia has got some seriously good eats. Check them out today!

Sample Menu:

  • Fried Noodle – $4.99
  • Chicken Curry – $6.99
  • Fried Rice – $5.99
  • Beef Rendang – $6.99
  • Chicken Satay – $6.99
  • Spicy Fried Chicken – $6.99
  • Spicy Beef Satay – $8
  • Noodle Soup – $6.99

Hours: Mon-Fri, 9am-3:30pm; Sat, 9am-5pm
Phone: 503 954 7529
Twitter: @bataviapdx
Facebook: Batavia PDX



  1. Interesting to know that Sate Padang has its own audience too abroad, beside of the better known Sate Ayam ala Madura (I assume the Chicken Satay on the list).

    Btw aren’t Melati and Jasmine the same?

  2. Bayu,
    Yes, you are correct. I made a slight change to the posting. Thanks for pointing that out!

  3. “…there aren’t too many places offering Indonesian food.” As a huge fan of this cuisine, I think Batavia is the only place that offers it in Portland, cart or restaurant. The Rendang is my standby dish. The Nasi Goreng (sp?) is fried rice, but unlike the peas and carrot variety you normally find at Chinese restaurants. Love this cart!

  4. Growed up in the Far East, been eating Malaysian, Singaporean, Indonesia foods for 20+ yrs. So, I was really looking forward to seeing this food cart (especially now that the Malaysian Satay Hut in Beaverton has been forced to closed down due to high rental costs). I have a special thing for Beef Rendang, but was disappointed when I tried it from this food cart. The Malaysian Satay Hut made much more authentic version and taste lots better than the one I tried from this cart. I asked for spicy version from the operator, and get a Americanized version of spicy and hot, the beef does not melt in your mouth as it should be (in the real Rendang)

    Not tried the Nasi Goreng, but may give this cart a second try in the future.

  5. Ellen Overson says

    My 9 yr. old grand daughter had the chicken satay and gave it thumbs up, was intrigued with the cube of rice rather than normal white rice. Peanut sauce was just the right flavor and more than enough to smother on the rest of the rice. I had the Gado gado,oh my goodness, it was fabulous. The warm hard boiled egg was also a nice treat.I don’t know what the sauce was on the egg, but yummy. Perhaps a chili one… Shrimp chips were unique . Everything is cooked to order, so be patient, enjoy some friendly conversation with the son while his mom does the cooking, or take a walk around the block a couple of times. This is going to be a regular stop on Saturdays for us.

  6. My first visit to this pod in eons, I was tickled to find Batavia. Having lived in Indonesia for several years, I immediately went for the rendang. Not disappointed! Tasty, got the right bite. I’ll be back.

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