Although Toronto is a very multi-cultural city and we have an immense variety of international cuisines at our fingertips, I was unable to find a lot of Indonesian food. A month ago driving down Yonge street, I came across very bold white writing “Satay Sate”, after doing some research I found out that it was a new Indonesian restaurant! The owner was gracious enough to invite me for a tasting and was able to give me more background on the restaurant.
Satay Sate is a family owned restaurant, serving Indonesian style street food. Satay being the western spelling and Sate being the Indonesian spelling, turned out to be a great restaurant name! I fell in love with the logo and the meaning behind it. The logo symbolizes how real street food would be served by a man standing and hollering out “Sate! Sate! Sate!” Although we didn’t experience a man yelling at us, we definitely got to try the delicious Sate!
Jeeane, one of the owners explained to me that their goal was to ensure that customers trying a new cuisine would not be intimidated, hence the take out containers and cutlery. Customers have the option to dine in or take out, but in all cases they wanted to ensure no one felt overwhelmed by the experience. The restaurant is an ode to their heritage, what the brother and sister duo (the owners) grew up eating.
The menu is also very intuitive, short and sweet! Everything either comes in a plated option with rice or a quick to go wrap, making it great for the Toronto lifestyle. Another thing they wanted to emphasize was the multiple vegan options (Tempeh and Tofu).
I was very intrigued by the Tempeh, for those of you who have not heard of it much like myself, it is a soy product which originated in Indonesia. It is fermented and bound together, but the beans are not completely crushed giving it a chewy, firm texture and a nut flavor. Tempeh has a higher concentration of protein, great for after workouts!
Let’s start with my favourite dish, Ayam Goreng. This literally translates to fried chicken and who doesn’t love fried chicken?! The batter is very thin unlike western fried chicken, it is fried in coconut oil and is very flavorful due to the turmeric, garlic, shallots and other spices. It is served alongside rice, salad which is topped with Acar and a side of shrimp chips. Acar is raw vegetable pickle, it makes a great light salad dressing. I would also highly recommend adding coconut rice instead of the regular white rice!
The Rendang had a little kick to it, so if you can’t handle spicy food grab a water bottle because you don’t want to miss this dish! The curried beef is slow braised for 3 hours in coconut milk and spices. In the curry you will find square chunks of beef, as well as shredded beef. The portions for both the Ayam Goreng and Rendang are very large and very filling!
Next up, the skewers! I have to apologize for anyone allergic to nuts, unfortunately this restaurant is not the best option for you. Most dishes contain nuts or have a nut element to it. The skewers are all served lathered in a peanut sauce, which is mouth-watering. The chicken skewers take the prize!
So, Toronto here is just another cultural experience waiting for you! Make your way over to North York and try authentic Indonesian street food. Everyone is very friendly, more than willing to explain the menu and the food is guaranteed to please!
5025 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON M2N 5P2
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Director of Food & Drink
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