Coconut Bay Leaf is a new name for a returning stall at this long-running bazaar; its canopied table, like several others in recent years, was branded by professionally printed signage. The proprietors, who travel to this Astoria mosque from Newark, grew up in Jakarta, but it was their parents — whose natal home is in Aceh (Ah-chay), on the northwest tip of Sumatra — who provided the family recipe for this bebek panggang. Roasted duck, to you and me ($8). In addition to coconut milk (and perhaps bay leaf, too), star anise was a notable component of the sauce.
Also shown: A pescaterian sampler ($8) of milkfish (in cross-section), catfish (eyes right), and mackerel (eyes left), served by Philadelphia-based Pecel Ndeso. Brilliantly colored sambal mangga, a spicy condiment made from green mango, refreshed my palate between bites of different fish; it opens up the sinuses, too.
If there's one qualm I have about this bazaar, it's the heat. Not the spicy heat of peppers in a made-to-order gado-gado (three chiles is plenty), and not the fire licking at skewers of satay soon to be dressed with homemade peanut sauce. A sweltering heat rises from the mosque's small parking lot, where the bazaar is held periodically during the warmer months, and canopies offer only just so much shade. A wise plan of action is to arrive in the relative cool of the morning, say, around 11:00; as at many similar events, a timely arrival also enables you to enjoy the widest and freshest selection of food. See much more, from many years of the bazaar, in my slideshow.
Indonesian bazaar at Masjid al-Hikmah
48-01 31st Ave. (at 48th St.), Astoria, Queens
Periodically, on a weekend, during the warmer months