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Indonesian Restaurant

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Living in Amsterdam I used to go out for Indonesian food often. Does anyone know of a quality restaurant in Toronto? I'm looking for Rijsttafel...

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  1. Doesn't exist, tho there were a couple of Indonesian spots in TO back in the 80s and 90s. Matahari on Baldwin is as close as you'll get today but no rijsttafel.

    1. Like dimbulb said, there aren't any true Indonesian restaurants anywhere around the GTA ... as far as I know. I tried out an indonesian restaurant about 4 years ago called Stone Orchid, but it's quite a long drive since it's on the highway heading from Owen Sound up to Tobermory. It's actually a house turned into a restaurant and you'll miss it if you're driving too fast up that way :)
      The ladies running the place were really nice about 18 hungry people filling up half the restaurant! There was sate, nasi goreng, mi goreng, gado gado, and krupuk....rijstaffel... I can't remember what else but everybody enjoyed it a lot cuz the atmosphere was really nice too.

      The best option for getting Indo food here in Toronto is to get to know Indonesians.. there's a whole crazy network of food ordering/delivery .... maybe that's why there are no restaurants :)

      1. BUMP... cause I miss Amsterdam's Indonesian food as well!

        I haven't found any Indo in TO. And while Matahari is great... it isn't what hmclean is exactly looking for.

        Any recs?

        8 Replies
        1. re: JonasBrand

          Unfortunately, there have been a few regrettable casualties among Toronto's ethnic restaurants in the recent past. For Indonesian food, I always used to like a place called "Indonesia" (you can't be more direct than that) on the west side of Yonge south of Bloor.

          But the, I also miss the Benes for Czech food (Eglinton near Avenue Rd.) the Bucharest for Romanian (Yonge south of Eglinton) and tne Tarogato, outstanding among Bloor West's collection of Hungarian restaurants.

          These have largely been replaced by a proliferation of sushi places. I love sushi, but there is just so much maguro and wasabi one can eat.

          1. re: ekammin

            ooh, I remember seeing that place on Yonge south of Bloor...It's been gone for years though, right?
            Now I regret not ever trying it out. Was it really good? Were the owners/cooks actually Indonesian?

            1. re: sumashi

              Yeah, it's now a pasta place or something. The staff there looked Indonesian, as I recall, but I can't be sure, maybe they were from some other place in Asia. But both their bami goreng and nasi goreng were delicious.

              As to rijstaffel, I haven't had a complete one since a trip to The Netherlands, many years ago.

              1. re: ekammin

                I've read more than one cookbook written by Indonesians that regard the rijstaffel as an abomination created by the Dutch.

                1. re: Teep

                  hey teep,

                  just out of pure curiousity, do you have any idea what the difference is between a rijstaffel and a nasi padang restaurant? they sound somewhat similar.

                  1. re: yoyodyne

                    Sorry, I don't. I just reported what I read in some cookbooks. Probably the same way a classic chinese chef from China would sneer at Mandarin!

                    1. re: yoyodyne

                      To me, they seem the same..
                      I don't know if there are slight differences or not, but I'm guessing that rijstaffel is the Dutch term for it, while nasi padang is the Indonesian term for it.
                      When I was in Indonesia, there were many nasi padang places. You pay for what you eat. They give you a big bowl of rice for the table and then put out a ton of plates with all different dishes. yumm...Personal buffet... just like rijstaffel!

                      1. re: sumashi

                        eee... si sumashi! :)

                        Nasi Padang is a notoriously spicy style of Indonesian cuisine served in the "pay for what you eat" style (which would NEVER go over well here because they take back what you don't eat and serve it to other people).

                        Rijstaffel means "rice table", which really means "Indonesian food on the table", I think. I don't know if there are any strict requirements on what makes up a rijstaffel.

                        As for eating Indo food in Toronto, you just have to find Indonesian people. The link to the Warung Kopi below is your best bet, short of knowing any Indonesian people. There should be plenty of people there who can hook you up with all manner of yummy stuff like this:

                        http://flickr.com/photos/gomonik/2313...

          2. http://www.unicas.ca/warungkopi.html

            1. i just came back from a week in Amsterdam, and am missing Rijsttafel.
              i wish there is a place in the GTA that I could get it decent a decent version.

              2 Replies
              1. re: flying101

                There was a place on Eglinton near Avenue, I think it may still be around called Garuda 373 Eglington Avenue West
                Phone: 416-487-6426
                Last time for me was more than 2 years ago...but was pretty good at that time.

                1. re: DDD

                  Garuda closed much longer ago than that. More like late 90s. And not very good IIRC

              2. I recommend to explore the link that LikeTheWolf has posted ( http://www.unicas.ca/warungkopi.html ). UNICAS also holds bazaars with lots of Indonesian food.

                1. Good news--in case you are still searching! Quince Bistro in the Yonge/Eglinton area hosts one quarterly. There's one coming up on Nov 23rd. very soon! Go and enjoy it!
                  http://www.thegridto.com/life/food-dr...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: jazzng

                    They are already booked solid.

                    1. re: TorontoJo

                      Toronto Jo, are you attending? (Mr. Vuitton and I are going)

                      1. re: CocoaChanel

                        No, not this one -- doing the Maple Yip chowmeet on the 22nd, so can't imagine two huge meals in a row! But enjoy! :)

                  2. I wonder if anyone else remembers the dear departed Java in Cabbagetown. A dinner there was like being in Indonesia. Excellent food, great decor. And relatively cheap. I used to wonder how they could afford to serve such cheap food in such a grand setting. Unfortunately, the answer was they couldn't.