Indonesian Kitchen is officially named Calgary Sweet House because they originally focused on Indian food and desserts. On urbs (what I call urbanspoon), there is one listing for Calgary Sweet House, and a separate listing for Indonesian Kitchen. They are, in fact, the same place.
To make it even more confusing, when you look for this place, its main signage says Calgary Sweet House with Indonesian Kitchen printed on a smaller banner on the window underneath. The place has apparently been open for five years, but only in the past year have they started serving Indonesian food alongside Indian food (on separate menus). I am considered the Gordie Howe of urban navigation in some circles, so I didn’t have trouble finding this restaurant, but I can how some people might (ie. me –Richard).
Richard and I came for the Indonesian food. The owner is actually Indonesian, but I am sure she does a fine job with the Indian food too.
Alright, story time:
I got there first and decided to take a wide photo of the restaurant from the inside. Immediately after I took the photo, this big burly dude asks “was I in the photo?”. No smile was made, he looked pissed. I think I offended him and at that instant my testicles ascended into the depths of my body cavity. I was going to die that night.
My reply was “um, no sir”, and I sat down. I take a photo of the menu because us at TSD (This Sh*t’s Delicious) folk tend to forget names of dishes. BBD (Big Burly Dude) then asks “are you stealing food ideas for your own restaurant?”. This place is in Forest Lawn. If I were to disappear in this lawless land, no one would know! My response was “um sir, I am actually writing a review for a food blog”. Five long seconds passed before he said “oh cool” and went back to his meal.
Now to the food:
(Kent didn’t take notes and it took us 3 months to get around to writing this, so it’s all me from here! –Richard)
The first thing out was a plate of some sort of salty, southeast-asian tasting chip – it had an… interesting flavour, but I wasn’t a huge fan of it – it was rather stale and unevenly salted/spiced. Hey, at least they were free!
We ordered a variety of things to split, as the only Indonesian food I’d ever had previously was from a food court in Singapore and I was eager to try something new. Kiran wasn’t with us so we took the opportunity to order all meat. Our server recommended the deep fried wontons to start, and we went with the rendang stew and satay skewers to flesh things out.
The wontons were kind of floury tasting, but nice and crispy – and the dipping sauce had that complex tangy/vomit-y (not in a bad way) taste that you only seem to get with Southeast asian cuisine (tamarind-y? My flavour vocabulary is rather limited here, sadly – if you know what causes the flavour I’m talking about though leave a comment!). The rendang was pretty good – rich like a curry, but not spicy at all. The satay skewers had a very unique flavour – kind of grassy, very peanutty, and with a sort of lofty bitterness that reminded me of vodka. Also, they put fried onions on everything (or something resembling onions, as they didn’t have that strong of a taste).
We were also treated to a plate of ayam goren ibu sari – quite the mouthful! What was this, you ask? “Mother’s recipe”, we were told – piping hot and very tasty chicken wings! Probably the best dish we had there, and we didn’t even order it!
To top it off we got a 30-layer cake, which sounded like a real pain in the ass to make. It smelled warm and cinammony, and it had subtle yet exotic flavours that I can’t quite describe. You’ll have to try it yourself! Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that the coconut juice has floaty bits in it – just like Orbitz, if anyone remembers that.
All in all, the food was decent, though the servings seemed kind of small given the price and the foot wasn’t all that hot (though maybe we were just eating too slow). The Indian menu, on the other hand, seemed damn cheap from what I saw (lots of dishes under $10, which I’m pretty sure isn’t typical in Calgary!). The service was good, but it wasn’t very busy so hard to say what it might be like on a different day.
The owner (the husband half of it, anyway) sat down for a chat with us near the end, and was quite the talkative guy – apparently he’s quite the well-traveled renaissance man. Car importer, correctional officer, school board member, restaurant owner – oh, the stories he could tell!
The food was hit and miss (though the hits were really quite good), but the people and place were cool (there’s even a stage there where they hold speeches, weddings, and other events), so if you’re ever in the area and in the mood for something different, it’s worth checking out.
-Kent & Richard
||5/6? Who knows
||18.5/26 = 71%