Little Sister Indonesian Food Bar is Toronto’s first resto focused solely on Indonesian cuisine
Recently, I was lucky enough to sample several delightful dishes and beverages at Toronto’s first Indonesian Restaurant. Little Sister Indonesian Food Bar in the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood is worth the trip north of the downtown core. Though there are many South East Asian restaurants in Toronto, Little Sister is the first 100% Indonesian restaurant.
Commute Design of Il Fornello and Terroni fame, have created a sleek, stylish, and airy feel to the restaurant. It reminds me of a hip New York joint with a sexy bar, a wall of mismatched mirrors, long tables and a section of high booth seating. Towards the back is an open kitchen, inspired by traditional Indonesian food stalls. The tables were accented with a simple arrangement of orchids, bamboo and green leaves with small candles scattered throughout. No detail has been left out, even the menus made of thick pieces of cardboard are cool.
When I arrived, the friendly staff including the affable co-owners Michael van den Winkel (also chef) and Jennifer Gittins (who also happen to own the popular Quince Bistro across the street), greeted me. After I settled in, I sampled two of their Bali-inspired signature cocktails, both delicious and unique. The Little Brother (my fave) blends rum, lime, handmade chai syrup, bitters, mint and ginger beer, while the Ubud Hangout combines gin, lime, jalapeño black pepper syrup, cucumber, cilantro and orange. Everything I sampled, including the drinks, had a satisfying kick that was never overpowering.
The food at Little Sister is very flavourful. My favourites were the Satay Lilit, a Balinese spiced chicken; the Pangsit, a Jakarta wonton with beef, green onions, and chili lime sauce (divine). I was also partial to the Shrimp Lettuce Wrap with sambal, lettuce, coriander, cucumber pickle and shallots and the Sumatra Spiced Beef Croquette. And these were just the appetizers.
The mains I recommend are Babi Panggang, roasted pork belly, pickled bean sprouts with fresh chili sauce and the Semur Java, which is a spiced braised beef with crispy potato and green onion. The menu is very reasonably priced. Appetizers range from $6 to $12.50, mains are between $11.50 and $16.75 and cocktails are in the $12 range.
Little Sister is a fun hangout and would be great for after work drinks or a pre-clubbing get together. The vibe is young and fresh.
Indonesian Food Bar
2031 Yonge Street
*All photos by Gizelle Griarte