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Aug 30, 2007 12:12 PM

Where did all the Indonesian Food go??

I have been searching for an Indonesian restaurant in Toronto for years...I even emailed the embassy once. Nobody can give me a tip! I can't believe there aren't any around. Note please that I'm not even asking for a great/decent or even affordable one! Heck, I'll even take anywhere in Southern Ontario. All I can find is Malaysian, which isn't the same. Help!!!

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  1. My wife loves Indonesian food, and in trying to find a place last weekend, I was out of luck as well. The only recent threads talk about restaurants like Garuda and Indonesia, both of which semm to have closed down.

    Help! We need some nasi goreng!

    1 Reply
    1. re: chiujason

      Jean's on the Danforth used to do a couple of Indonesian noodle dishes.

    2. Where did it go? I don't think it was ever here.

      3 Replies
      1. re: koknia

        Sate Sate seems to be the only one that might still be open. Anybody know?

        1. re: chiujason

          AFAIK, Sate Sate serves mainly Thai food, plus a handful of Indonesian dishes.

        2. re: koknia

          hehe.. yaaaaah, I don't think it was ever really here either.. o_o
          As i've mentioned in previous boards for people looking for indo food, there are no indonesian restaurants in or around the toronto area, as far as i know.

          Indo people in and around toronto usually do orders from other indonesians... but you can find out when there are community bazaars at various times of the year when you can get a sample of indo food. I'm not sure when the next one is going to be because there are a few that are organized by different groups of people.

        3. I'm not sure I've tried either Malaysian or Indonesian, I'm curious what is the difference?...any great Malay places I should try? car so, downtown preferred...

          4 Replies
          1. re: Recyclor

            Is there another Malaysian restaurant other than Matahari Grill (which I think is very good) in the downtown area? I thought that the only other ones were in Scarborough or considerably up north.

            I'd love to try more Indonesian food as well, so if anyone gets a heads up, please let us know!

            1. re: Recyclor

              Not that this is comprehensive, but Malaysian food is generally a fusion of Indonesian, Chinese and South Indian (e.g. Malabari). The only place I've been to in TO is Restoran Malaysia and it was a fairly accurate representation of what I tasted when I was in Malaysia a few years ago. What characterizes Indonesian Food I'm less clear on, but it is different. I know this as I went to an Indonesian Restaurant near the Petronas Towers in KL with a group of Malaysians, and all commented on ho different it was (and how delicious). I'm usually pretty effusive about this stuff, but I will plead ignorance in this case.

              1. re: bluedog

                There's also coconut island around kennedy and hwy 7 - great laksa/nyonya dishes...but very hard to get a decent roti chanai in toronto (restauran malaysia's is not bad, not great)

                1. re: DDD

                  The best laksa I had outside Malaysia was in a strip mall on Steeles near the Pacfiic Mall, but when I returned last year it was gone. The version at Restoran Malaysia is pretty decent.

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. Whatever you do, DO NOT make a special trip to Stone Orchid in Tobermory. Their so-called rijstafel is a waste of time and money. Mediocre food and dubious service.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Food Tourist

                  Rijstafel is actually a Dutch thing. No real Indonesian restaurant would advertise it unless it was in Kuta Beach or some other tourist trap.

                  1. re: koknia

                    I was fortunate a few years ago to spend some time in Malaysia, followed several weeks later by visiting Amsterdam. As such, I ate a lot of Indonesian influenced food in Malaysia and then craving it in Amsterdam, sought out a rijstafel.

                    While rijstafel is indeed a dutch colonial creation, and "No real Indonesian restaurant would advertise it unless it was in Kuta Beach or some other tourist trap", at its heart is Indonesian food served in a particular manner (i.e. buffet style, or at my restaurant in Amsterdam, with many little dishes broguht to the table). This does not, per se, mean that the food is bad. Indeed, comparing the food in such a temporally opportune manner, I thought that the place in Amsterdam hit pretty close to the mark (the chef was Indonesian), and I would not hesitate to go again!

                    Too bad the Stone Orchid is doing a poor job, but its not strictly because the food is served rijstafel style: likely they just don't know how to cook Indonesian food in general.

                    1. re: bluedog

                      The chef at Stone Orchid is a Dutch woman who lived in Indonesia, as far as I know. The reason the food there (including bami goreng, nasi goreng, beef meatballs, fish, rissoles, etc.) is mediocre, bordering on awful is because it's gloppy (e.g. the satay skewers were coated in a thick sauce that congealed quickly), lacking multi-layered flavours (some items were nearly tasteless except for a bit of chile) and in some cases, overcooked. A couple of the condiments were quite enjoyable but being told to "add condiments" to enliven the dishes only pointed to the lack of flavours in the actual cooking. Perhaps this is a reflection of authentic Indonesian...but I highly doubt it. I enjoyed Indonesian food while in Australia this summer and it was tastier and much more memorable. Either way, even if not authentic, Stone Orchid is not a chow-worthy meal.

                      1. re: Food Tourist

                        hahaha... they probably say "add your own condiments" because if they did it authentically, nobody in Tobermory would have functioning taste buds for weeks. :) If you're not weaned on sambal, it's hard to enjoy the tasty, tasty burning.

                      2. re: bluedog

                        Sure, rijsatafel can be tasty and fun. (I've only had it in Amsterdam.) But apparently it has gluttonous colonialist overtones, hence its absence on Indonesian menus.

                        1. re: bluedog

                          The Netherlands has AMAZING indo food... it's not lacking in Indo restos at all, unlike here in Canada. Same with Australia since it's so close... lots of Indos live in Netherlands and Australia...
                          Actually, I talked to the lady at Stone Orchid and her parents lived in Indonesia for a while so their cooking style was influenced, but although I think she said she was born there, she didn't actually grow up there herself.
                          As to the lack of flavours mentioned by Food Tourist, it definitely does not reflect real Indo cooking :)
                          Anyways, I'm late to write, but there was an Indo Bazaar yesterday!! It was run by UKI, which is the Catholic Indonesian Church in Toronto... Next time I find out about one, I'll try to post it ahead of time.