Who Are We? We’re BFFs whose love of stuffing our faces has taken us to the US and Europe in search of the world’s top restaurants. But recently, we decided to have some food adventures closer to home. We’re setting out to try one new (or at least new to us) Toronto restaurant every week for a year – or at least until we can no longer fit into our clothes.
And here’s the catch… we want to give you an authentic experience so all of our reviews are done anonymously. As far as the restaurant is concerned, we’re just two patrons who take lots of photos of their food. Or are we?
This week, we hit up the recently opened Little Sister Indonesian Food Bar.
Address: 2031 Yonge Street
Closest subway: Eglinton Station
Drink menu: Inventive cocktails, thoughtful wine list
First Impressions: Little Sister Indonesian Food Bar is a welcome addition to the Yonge & Davisville ‘hood, proving that buzzy new restaurants aren’t exclusive to south of Bloor. It’s the brainchild of Jennifer Gittins and Michael van den Winkel, owners of the nearby Quince Bistro. On a recent night, this months-old hotspot was packed to the rafters, so we saddled up to the bar and ordered a few Balinese cocktails before diving into the menu, which is divided into skewers, snacks, traditional dishes and sides.
Satay Lilit ($6)
A trio of chicken skewers arrived with a generous amount of kicky peanut sauce on them (instead of on the side as a dipping sauce). The Balinese spiced meat was tender and smoky, with a hint of lemongrass flavour.
Rendang Taco ($4)
The server suggested we order two of this dish since it only consists of one taco, but we figured we had lots of food coming so we should just split this one. Big mistake, as we could have easily gobbled down more of this. The coconut crema cooled down the spicy beef and added a hint of sweetness. The lettuce and pickled red onion added a nice crunch to the flavourful bites.
Beef Croquettes ($6.50)
We were surprised by the texture of these as we’re used to lighter croquettes but this duo was packed with dense, tender shredded beef that almost reminded us of tourtière. The saucy, Sumatra-spiced beef inside the crispy batter was spicy enough to have us repeatedly reaching for our water.
Nasi Goreng ($5.25)
The fried long-grain rice was a highlight of the meal, studded with leeks and flavoured with cumin. Its crunchy texture and nutty taste won us over. We fought over it even though the generous portion gave us plenty to sop up some of the leftover sauce from the entrees.
Semur Java ($14.50)
Another winner, this Javanese beef arrived in a dark, slightly sweet sauce. The texture of the rich braised beef reminded us a bit of oxtail, and the sauce offered a nice kick of heat. It was topped with green onions and crispy thin potato sticks (think fancy Hickory Sticks).
Udang Kari ($16.75)
We appreciated the generous amount of shrimp in this dish, which featured a sweet coconut curry sauce. This was the only dish we wished had a bit more heat, though we couldn't complain about the tender, perfectly cooked shrimp.
Final Thoughts: The servers were friendly but a bit overwhelmed (we would have loved to try the fried cauliflower we ordered, but it never arrived), but overall we were impressed. The smaller sharing plates stood out for us more the larger entrees as the flavours were more pronounced and the textures were better balanced. The fried rice especially merits another visit.