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Dec 4, 2010 12:14 PM

Bornean food in Alhambra

Driving up Garfield today, I noticed a hand-painted sign in the window of the tiny "Little London Fish & Chips" saying "Ramah makan Kalimantan". Can't remember ever seeing an advertisement for the food of Borneo before (Kalimantan = southern half of Borneo, part of Indonesia), so I did a U-turn and checked it out.

It's basically a guy from that state trying out about 10 dishes he brought with him from Kalimantan, which will be familiar to those who've had Malay food elsewhere. He pointed out some classic dishes, including this glazed grilled pork over rice with a fried egg, and a wide rice noodle soup with chicken. Also the usual nasi goreng, friend chicken, fish balls.

He spoke decent English, so don't worry about translating (they do have two menus - a burger/teriyaki bowl menu in English, and the Indo one). I asked why the sign wasn't in English (or at least Chinese) so potential customers who didn't happen to speak Malay might stop by, and he just smiled and said he was testing the menu out for now, with the Kalimantan community in town.

Anyway, get it while you can - I didn't have time to order and wait, but hope to actually try it out soon. The operation looked authentic, and he stressed that it was all homemade, fresh food.

Little London Cafe
19 S. Garfield Ave. #A
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 282-4477 or 282-8881

He said everything's available for take out. Looks like they're open for lunch and dinner. Report back if you beat me to it!

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    1. Thanks for the lead - went for lunch today. Indeed, you need to ask for the "secret" menu. Turned out they secret menu started about 4 months ago, and there were quite a few tables of Indonesians there for the special menu.

      Ordered 2 dishes: Rujak & Nasi Campur.

      This is a hard to find in LA version of Rujak, basically vegetables (sweet potato, cucumber etc) in peanut sauce, topped with shrimp paste. SO said that it's very authentic, but personally I found the taste of shrimp paste a bit overpowering, but still a good dish.

      Nasi Campur turned out to be completely different from the typical Indonesian version. Chinese-ish sausage, roasted pork (char-siu) and fried chicken on top of rice. The most interesting part was that you have to pour over a broth and mixed everything together. The flavor was completely different from what expected - possibly some sort of Chinese fusion Kalimantan food?

      The other item that we meant to try is 1/2 fried chicken, looked really good. Overall, this is a very authentic, home cooked version of Kalimantan food, but whether it will appeal to your palate or not - you have to give it a try and decide for yourself.

      Thanks so much for the tips!!!! We are always looking for regional Indonesian food in LA....