The Mayasari Indonesian Grill celebrated its one-year anniversary in Greensburg Saturday, as well as holding an official grand opening.
Mayasari Indonesian Grill has been a part of the Greensburg culinary scene for a full year, but Saturday’s event was important in many ways for the small restaurant. The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr. Andriana Supandy, attended to cut the ribbon for the official grand opening.
The vice-president of Indonesia was scheduled to attend as well, but a missed flight in Germany prevented his appearance. In addition to the high-profile guests, Mayasari was filled with friends and family of chef Mayasari “Maya” Effendi and her husband Richard “Rick” Mays.
When Mayasari opened last year, the owners were optimistic but unsure if the people of Greensburg would welcome them and be willing to try authentic Indonesian food. Based on the restaurants in town that could boast success, mostly places that serve cheeseburgers and pizza, Maya and Rick weren’t entirely confident Decatur County residents would embrace the cuisine of her native country, but they were determined to try.
Their tenacity seems to be paying off in spades. Mayasari, which is an ancient Indonesian word for a flat flower and Maya’s namesake, has been doing steady business for a full year now and Greensburg citizens appear to love the exotic fare. Though the lunchtime hours tend to be slow during the week, Mayasari serves a steady stream of customers during the dinner hours. The restaurant is open Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, Mayasari is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturday from 12 to 8 p.m. Mayasari is always closed on Sunday.
Chef Maya, who was taught to cook and work in restaurants by her grandmother in Indonesia, makes all the food fresh and from scratch, stating she doesn’t use anything that's prepackaged. The signature drink, Mayasari mango tea, was launched at Saturday’s event. The delicious beverage bursts with flavor, as does everything Mayasari serves, and includes chunks of fresh mango.
Maya said the most popular dish she offers is the beef curry, which is available in three levels of spicy, ranging from a mild level one to a “only the experienced need attempt this” level three. Maya’s husband Rick jokes that level three should be called “Maya.” Residents who enjoy a healthy dose of spice with their food may want to take the challenge to see if Maya’s spice is too much. The chicken satay, which is a small skewered chicken served with Maya’s homemade peanut sauce, is another customer favorite.
Chef Maya makes nine different sauces fresh every day, in addition to the items on the menu. The menu features a selection of traditional Indonesian dishes, as well as some American dishes with an Indonesian flair. Maya’s husband and co-owner of Mayasari said they wanted to make a menu that was exotic without being too scary. When they started Mayasari, they wanted to do something different than every other restaurant in the area.
In the year they’ve been open, Maya and Rick said many people come in expecting the food to be like Chinese food, or for everything to be very spicy. However, Maya says real Indonesian food is layers and layers of flavor and not necessarily spicy. Mayasari’s menu can change when Maya develops a new dish. During Lent, Maya offers a seafood menu on Friday, in addition to the sushi she offers on Saturdays, which includes a “Greensburg Roll” specially developed to honor the town she now calls home.
Rick added a map of the world to the wall when he realized how many out-of-country visitors Greensburg gets. Now, when someone visits from another country, they are invited to stick a pin in the map to represent their native land. Just in the short year Mayasari has been open, a staggering number of pins have been placed on the map, showing that Greensburg seems to be attracting visitors from around the world.
Maya said she is always making new things and that the current menu is in no way the limit of what she can do. Both Maya and Rick reported that she likes to experiment with food to create something new. Mayasari is also willing to create special menus for guests if planned in advance. Catering is available for groups, either by having the food brought to the gathering or by the group renting the restaurant to eat at Mayasari in privacy.
When one walks into Mayasari Indonesian Grill, the blend of scents is the first thing that hits. The restaurant itself smells overwhelmingly delicious, making the mouth water in anticipation. The decor is both beautiful and exotic. Maya and Rick stated that nearly every decoration in the restaurant is from Indonesia; even things bought in America were usually made in Indonesia. The music that plays while diners eat is original Indonesian music as well.
Every guest that enters Mayasari is given a complimentary bowl of soup, which is an Indonesian practice among restaurant owners dating back generations. It is thought that offering free food to the hungry gives one good karma. Karma is believed to be a power force in Indonesia and people are taught to gather as much good karma as possible. Maya said the soup isn’t free to her, but she believes the spirit of generosity and its benefits outweigh the cost.
Upon entering the eatery, guests are welcomed with the same warmth often reserved for family or close friends and made to be as comfortable as possible. Based on the success the restaurant has seen so far, the next year should be very eventful for Maya and Rick. The culture and cuisine Maya Effendi and Rick Mays have brought to Decatur County seem to be much appreciated as more residents discover the hidden gem that is Mayasari Indonesian Grill. Acording to Mays, Mayasari isn’t just a restaurant with fantastic food and superior service; it is an experience that gives one a small peek into Indonesia.
More photos from this event can be found at www.greensburgdailynews.smugmug.com
Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004