Rickshaw Republic specializes in Indonesian cuisine and specifically, Indonesian street food. I have a pretty good sense of geography and know that Indonesia is located in the Indian Ocean between Australia and Thailand. It is considered part of Southeast Asia, so I would expect there to be some similarity between it's cuisine and the other major cuisines in the area: Thailand, Vietnam, North and South Korea, Philippines, and possibly that of India. While this may have been the case, it was going to take some exploring to find this out. I walked in and was immediately seated in the front room. The room was small with 4 tables and a small bar (for additional seating as the restaurant is BYOB). One of the first things that I noticed was that all of the seats were mismatched. They were all black, but they were all of different designs. There was a large Asian-style wooden screen dividing the front room and the rear dining area. There were many knick knacks spread around the room for decoration including a couple of puppets and a toy rickshaw. There was a hanging above the bar that acted sort of as a drop ceiling that was nailed with several dozen (if not over a hundred) things that looked like rolling pin handles. What little I could see of the back room looked like it also had a lot of knick knacks, although the room was red to the front room's white. Overall, the space very much gave me a feeling of it being a family affair. As I said before, I was relatively unfamiliar with Indonesian cuisine. Looking at the menu helped very little. The names of the dishes helped not at all and I was only able to navigate by the descriptions of the dish. I ended up ordering things by what was in the dish without really knowing how they were going to be presented or really having an idea how different flavor combinations were going to work. My waitress was friendly and helpful and she did help me choose what I ordered. I started out with Risoles. These were breaded and fried croquettes of Chicken with Bechamel Sauce, Coriander, Fennel, Carrots, Cloves, and Celery, and were served with a Coconut Milk Curry. It was crisp, very flavorful and easy to eat with your hands. The curry that was served with it had a strong coconut flavor and reminded me of Massaman curry. It matched well with the spices in the risoles and was a good start.
The food here was very good. My waitress was friendly and I now have an idea of what Indonesian food is like. In my experience, it is most similar to Thai cuisine with some Filipino and Indian flavors thrown in. I enjoyed it and will definitely have to return to try more.