Elle and I decided to treat our mother for her birthday and gave her a few choices. She decided to try Indonesian, and so we headed out to Nonya, Montréal's only Indonesian restaurant in Mile End. My mom and I ordered the table d'hôte ($29) that included an appetizer, main and a dessert, while Elle and H ordered the tasting menu for $40 each (2 people minimum required to order the tasting menu).
We were served complimentary roasted peanuts with deep fried garlic slices that imbued the peanuts with flavour.
For an appetizer, I ordered the lumpia goreng, Indonesia's version of spring rolls which were nice and crispy. I did really like the side of simply pickled cucumbers and the accompanying dipping sauce. My mom ordered the laksa, which was topped with a large shrimp and a quail egg. Other appetizers that were part of the tasting menu included a gado-gado salad and a potato kroket, filled with ground beef. I loved the kroket's presentation with the fried basil leaves on top, which made it look like a pear.
A dish consisting of udang mangga, which are grilled shrimps and sate kambing, grilled lamb brochettes, was also part of the large tasting menu .
Some side dishes brought out for the tasting menu, that were also part of the main dishes, were gule tahu (tofu in yellow sauce), eggplant slices in a tomato sauce and tempe bacem, as well as (Elle: crack-like addictive) sticky peanuts in a fish sauce and a shrimp cracker. The peanuts reminded my mother of ones her mother served her back in Vietnam.
My main dish was the bebek bengil, which consisted of Balinese style duck, served with coconut and curcumin rice and a side of chayote. It was nice to have vegetables in the chayote, but they were on the salty side.
My mom ordered the grilled cornish hen in red curry sauce and she thoroughly enjoyed the flavours of the cornish hen.
For dessert, we had a choice of black rice pudding or pandan flavoured crème brûlée. My mom really digged the black rice pudding in coconut while I quite enjoyed the pandan flavour in the crème brûlée. The dessert plate on the tasting menu also included homemade mango ice cream.
If you want to try different dishes, the tasting menu is a great way to go. However, there were enough components in the table d'hôte that made me feel like I tried an array of food. This is a great place to try out Indonesian for the first time. There were definitely flavours that were reminiscent of other Asian cuisines, but it also was unique enough to feel like I was trying something new!