Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

August 17, 2012

Downtown restaurant offers taste of Indonesia

Tess Rowing
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — Hailing from the country of Indonesia, the Mayasari owner may have some business plans that might seem a bit foreign, coupled with others that are more familiar.

Mayasari "Maya" Effendi and her husband explained their three-stage plan to get Mayasari (Which means "morning glory") up and running. Phase one has already been implemented: Get the restaurant started.

Phase two has also begun, in the form of a Sushi bar. Mayasari has started a sushi night every Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. Sushi night has been successful so far according to Maya, and the owner boasts her "Greensburg Roll," a sushi roll made to honor where she now considers home. The Greensburg Roll is made with pulled pork.

Phase three has yet to be implemented: A sweet shop.

Maya said that, traditionally, Indonesian food does not have a lot of sugar, despite the area being a major producer of cocoa beans. Currently the deserts menu consists of a fruit crepe. Maya would like to add to the list.

The deserts menu is one of a few items that had to be changed to suit American tastes. For example, the cucumber BLT originally had no bacon because Indonesia had such a variety of religions that cooking for all of them could be tricky. Hindus don't eat beef; Muslims don't eat pork and there are many other religions including Protestant Christians.

Maya says that the portion of the United States she has experienced loves pork, so she has changed some of her recipes to include meat. Otherwise, her recipes remain "more or less" how they would be seen in Indonesia.

A unique tradition Maya had kept has been providing a complementary bowl of soup for customers. According to Maya, karma is believed to be a powerful force in Indonesia and people must gather as much good karma as possible. Restaurant owners gather good karma by offering anyone who enters their business a bowl of soup. In Indonesia, a family of 20 could walk in without a penny and they would be fed. Maya admits the soup isn't free on her part but doesn't cost much, and she believes the benefits of generosity will outweigh the monetary cost.

To contact Mayasari call 812-222-6292.

Contact: Tess Rowing 812-663-3111 x7004