8.1
NYC

Selamat Pagi

Perfect For: Casual Weeknight Dinner Girls' Night Out Keeping It Kind Of Healthy
PHOTOS: Noah Deveraux

Congratulations, you’ve made it halfway through the year. Maybe you’ve even checked off some resolutions. You’ve read a new book every month, signed up for that half-marathon, stopped Irish exiting on bad dates, and purchased a water bottle so you could stop ruining the planet (but actually just because you really wanted that super-impressive $30 water bottle). You might have even already quit your terrible job and moved to Bali.

But just in case you haven’t done that last one yet, there’s Selamat Pagi - the closest thing you’ll get to quitting your job and moving to Bali, without actually having to quit your job and move to Bali.

We ourselves have not quit our jobs and moved to Bali (yet), and it’s fair to say we’re not experts in Balinese food. But Selamat Pagi is Balinese-inspired, and if this food is like what you’d find on that island, we should probably all should start plotting a life change immediately.

The menu here is vegetable-heavy, pretty healthy, and very satisfying. You’ll be familiar with the kinds of things you’ll see on the menu (curries, noodles, fried rice), but Selamat Pagi does them all a bit differently. There’s the pumpkin curry that we could eat every day of the year, a spicy beef rendang (kind of like a stew) with pickled vegetables, and a fish curry in a turmeric broth that’s better than anything sold in latte form at your local Australian coffee shop. The fried rice is really flavorful, and comes with prawn chips for scooping. The papaya salad and shrimp & corn fritters are also great. To put it simply, if you enjoy a spread full of bowls full of colorful, tasty things, you will enjoy the food at Selamat Pagi.

This place also feels like walking into a vacation. There’s palm leaf wallpaper, natural wood everywhere, paper lantern lights, and some neon pink signage. But unlike other similarly-designed spots that feel like cheap Instagram bait, you won’t find yourself stressed out at this restaurant. No one is wildly looking around trying to take mental (and iPhone) pictures of everything so they can try to copy it in their own apartment, and no one is talking too loudly about things no one cares about. The overall vibe is extremely low-key, the crowd is all neighborhood people, and it is in no way a production to eat here.

The only real drawback? Selamat Pagi is in a far corner of deep Greenpoint. But no matter where you stand on your resolutions, you could probably use an escape. And that’s exactly what you’ll get here. No $1500 plane ticket or half-marathon training required.

Food Rundown

Green Papaya Salad

Papaya, radish, and carrot in a turmeric-lime dressing with peanuts. A refreshing thing that’s exactly what you need when it’s 93 degrees outside and your air conditioner decided to stop working.

Shrimp & Corn Fritters

These come with a spicy, smoky sauce, and are a great appetizer to share with a group.

Pumpkin Coconut Curry

Pumpkin has really gotten its ass handed to it by Starbucks, but Selamat is here to redeem its reputation. This pumpkin curry is fantastic - light enough that you feel great after eating it, but satisfying enough that you won’t need to follow it up with a burger. There are a ton of roasted vegetables and seeds in the mix to round out an excellent vegetarian meal.

Nasi Goreng

We initially didn’t order this fried rice dish because we assumed it was unnecessary. That was the wrong assumption. This rice (get it with shrimp) comes with a fried egg and prawn chips for scooping, and is the kind of thing you can’t stop eating. It’s addictive and satisfying and probably the least healthy thing here, and we certainly do not care.

Fish Curry

The seafood changes depending on the day, but even the deepest bottom-feeding fish would probably taste good in this coconut-turmeric broth. Get this.

Spicy Beef Rendang

If you’re feeling the need for red meat, Selamat has one option for you, and that is more than enough. This is braised beef in a spicy stew, and it’s awesome. In addition to the standard white rice that comes with most entrees here, it’s also served with a big helping of pickled vegetables to accessorize your meat bites with.

Mie Goreng Tempeh

The noodles in this bowl are housemade and come with many vegetables and tempeh. It’s fine, but there are much more exciting things to put in your mouth at Selamat.

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