Restaurant: Little Sister
Location: 2031 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z9
Price Range: $$
I admit.. I have been here once before but I lost all the pictures, so I thought another visit was appropriate :p. Prior to visiting the restaurant, I have heard of Little Sister as the first Indonesian restaurant in Toronto and I actually sampled some of their dishes at Taste of Toronto! Their babi panggang (roasted pork belly) and watermelon salad really hit home for me that day and I knew I had to check out the restaurant itself.
Anyhow, the krupuk or prawn crackers didn’t have a strong prawn/shrimps flavor like the ones in Thai restaurants, but the sauce was delicious! It had a nice combination of spicy and sweetness.
If you’re expecting the regular sweet and tangy watermelon salad, then you’re in for a real surprise! The salad was packed with heat, luckily the fresh mint and basil helped to calm the spiciness and lightened up the dish. The Sambal vinaigrette added a savoury touch to the salad and I was surprised at how I couldn’t smell the shrimp paste or fish sauce – which typically is part of the sambal vinaigrette.
While the babi kecap was the less spicier dish out of everything we had that night, it was still hefty on flavorful marinates and spices! The pork shoulder was oh-so-tender and melt in your mouth goodness… I liked how the ginger wasn’t too overpowering and the soy sauce was thick, which gave the gravy a nice consistency, perfect to eat with some steam rice :p!
Samur java was somewhat lacklustre compared to other dishes due to the heavy spice mix, which I think contained nutmeg or something along the line that was too overbearing. The meat wasn’t as tender as the babi kecap either, it was quite tough to chew on. I thought the crispy potato was unnecessary as it added no flavor to the dish, it would have been better if they included chunk of potatoes to soak up the gravy!
Since both of the previous dishes didn’t come with a side of rice, C and I decided to order a side of nasi goreng to fill us up. While the dish was essentially a fried rice, it was incredibly aromatic with the combinations of chili, garlic and shallot aromas. The rice wasn’t too oily and while it had a kick of heat, the sweet soy sauce toned down the chili.
Being the first Indonesian restaurant in Toronto, I really wanted to love Little Sister as the food was delicious and flavorful, however the price and service really let me down. I understand that this is a tapa-style restaurant, but considered that I almost paid $20 for a dish that was just a size of an appetizer, I didn’t think it was worth it. If you really want to try, I recommend going into smaller groups as the dishes are shareable between 2-3 people, anything more than that will make you fight with your friends over the amazing dishes.