In the beginning of the summer, I heard about an Indonesian restaurant opening downtown on Mackay Street. Curious and excited, I was eager to try it. When Am and I had a dinner date, I suggested Gado Gado.
I went up the stairs leading to the restaurant and entered in a room with a simplistic decor where a serene atmosphere reigned. I was the only one in the restaurant waiting for Am, running late. There was a bar at the back, they serve alcohol including saké, Sapporo and Tsing tao beer. Some parts of the wall are covered in brick or in concrete, in a light gray colour. They are a couple of colorful frames as well as some plants.
Am and I never tried Indonesian cuisine so we didn’t know what to expect but we can never go wrong with Asian food.
After much hesitation as always, I ordered an appetizer. I chose the Kulit Ayam, which is a crispy chicken skin seasoned with chili and spices. It didn’t sound very Asian but it never hurts to try. A basket was brought with 2 pieces of chicken and a red sauce next to it. I took a bite, it was too hot, but it tasted great. It’s crispy on the outside but soft and chewy inside. There were green peas and carrots inside, similar to a chicken pot pie, only covered with chicken skin. It reminded me of the one my sister-in-law and her mother make. I dipped a piece in the sauce and I thought my mouth had caught on fire. It might look like ketchup, but looks are deceiving. It is an incredibly spicy sauce and it’s delicious when you dip the chicken carefully in it.
Am ordered the Lontong Sayur, which is a soup. It contained tofu, egg, young jackfruit and chayote in red curry served with rice cake. The rice cake was inside the soup and not served on a separate plate. A young jackfruit tastes starchy and fibrous; it is boiled and used in curries in many Southeast Asian countries. The chayote is an edible plant in the gourd family, similar to squash or melon. She didn’t like the rice cake, it’s not the same sweet one found in either Chinese or Korean cuisine. I agreed on both points, it was much heavier and didn’t taste sweet at all. The soup didn’t look as appetizing as the tofu soup from Chao Phraya. She wasn’t entirely satisfied with her meal and left the pieces of chayote. The waiter asked her why she didn’t enjoy them to which she replied she didn’t like the taste and found them heavy.
I ordered Ayam Bakar Kecap, which is grilled chicken breast marinated in sweet soya. My plate looked delicious with the mound of rice, the pieces of chicken on top of it and the steamed vegetables on the side. At first, it tasted nice and sweet but after a while, the sweetness was overwhelming. I knew it would be sweet but not this much especially since soya usually tastes salty. I am a sweet tooth, if I judge something is too sweet than it’s not a good thing. I enjoyed that the chicken breast was cut in pieces. I find it annoying when you have to cut the chicken in thousands of pieces to eat (I always cut a couple of pieces so I have at least three bites). Yes, I still had to cut those pieces but I saved time as they were already pre-cut. You can call me lazy or simply one who does not enjoy wasting time to eat his/her food. I prefer the latter. I wasn’t entirely satisfied with my meal either and I didn’t have any space or desire for more sweetness, so no dessert.
I give it a grade of 7/10. The food was okay good, the service was nice and my meals were nicely presented. Prices are fairly decent. An appetizer and a main meal are just under 20 dollars without taxes. I recommend Gado Gado, it’s the only Indonesian restaurant that I know about. If you want to discover Asian food, other than Indian or Chinese, I suggest Indonesian. You could say that it’s similar to Thai food, as both countries aren’t too far. It’s a nice and small restaurant, not more than 40 seats. Whether you’re on a cute date or among a group of friends, you will find your happiness. When we were there, we were the only girls with only groups of men that I suspect are either from the neighbourhood or work nearby. Unless like me, they were eager to try Indonesian cuisine.
1242 Mackay, Montreal, QC
H3G 2H5 514-419-7739