Showing posts with label kalimantan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kalimantan. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine Expands Menu with Hokkienese Food and More

When Little London Fish and Chips first converted into Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine, they were only serving a small menu of Kalimantan style Indonesian and Chinese Indonesian food. Now, they've expanded the menu considerably, and I am most excited for the Hokkianese noodles on the first page.

My dad grew up in Medan, where the largest Chinese population are Hokkianese, and they are very proud of their food. Their noodles, especially. When my aunt has a layover in LA coming from Indonesia, she would ask for kwetiauw (large, flat noodles like the ones used in the Thai Pad See Ew). Never mind that she was just in Indonesia, that's still what she wants to eat! I'm partial to Kwetiauw Sirem, where the noodles are topped with a type of gravy, and Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine has it! 

What I had to get: Mi Karet Hokkian
Borneo serves a thick, curly, chewy style of noodles called "Mi Karet' which literally means "rubber noodle."
The only times I've had this style of noodle is at a Hokkianese hole in the wall in Jakarta. Borneo serves this noodle in a few different preparations, but of course I have to get the Hokkian style, topped with char siu, chicken and mushroom, egg, etc. The other preparations include Hakka style mi karet, which has different toppings. 

The noodles are served with a small bowl of chicken broth on the side, which you can add to your noodle to your own taste. The mi karet here was quite good, pretty close to what I had in Jakarta! Many complained that the food here tasted just like Chinese food. Well, don't get the Mi Hokkian, then, because it is Chinese food. But if you don't mind that, this is a great bowl of noodles!

If you want something more Southeast Asian on the new menu, they are also serving Borneo style laksa, a spicy curry noodle soup. We tried the laksa with shrimp:
The broth was spicy and packs a lot of flavor! This style is pretty close to the Singaporean laksa (although the noodle type and what they put in the soup differs) and may be one of the best versions in town.

Borneo Kalimantan Cuisine
19 S Garfield Ave
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 282-4477
Little London Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kalimantan (Borneo) Food at Little London Cafe (Alhambra, CA)

As an Indonesian food blogger, I try to make my way to all the Indonesian restaurants in town, albeit slowly. When Wandering Chopsticks told me about the Kalimantan (the Indonesian word for Borneo) menu at Little London Cafe in Alhambra (formerly, and pretty much still is, a fish and chips place), I was pretty excited since Kalimantan food is a hard find. The LA Times beat me to the punch, but I feel that there is still some explaining I can do about the food here.

#1: Nasi Campur Kalimantan ($7.25) / Kalimantan Mixed Rice
babi merah panggang, ayam goreng bumbu, sosis babi, telur rasa, timun
(roast pork/char siu, fried marinated chicken, pork sausage, marinated egg, cucumber)

Nasi Campur Kalimantan
Do those like char siu and chinese sausage to you? Many of the people I knew who had come here said the food was just like Chinese food. Well, that's because it is. There is a big population of Chinese people in Indonesia, and Kalimantan in particular has a big Teochew population (Teochew people come from the eastern region of Guangdong).

The key here is the gravy that's soaking the rice and the amazing fried chicken. I should have gotten the half chicken,but luckily the fried chicken here is as ubiquitous as rice. In fact, it ended up being in all three dishes we ordered. No complaint, though, the chicken was juicy, the skin just the right combination of crispy and fatty.

The other dishes are more decidedly Indonesian rather than Chinese.

#3: Nasi Melayu Kal-Bar
($6.99) / West Kalimantan Malay Rice (Kal-Bar is shorthand for Kalimantan Barat, i.e. West Kalimantan)
Ayam goreng, telur gulai, ikan kacang, timun
(fried chicken, curried egg, peanuts and anchovies in sambal, cucumber - and it's not listed but there's obviously tofu, too)
I ended up enjoying the cut-up pieces of chicken in #1 better because the skin was fattier, but this was a great dish to order. More chicken, and the anchovies and peanuts in sambal is always a great accompaniment for rice. The "curried egg" was actually the same as the marinated egg in the other dish.

They ran out of the beef soup so we got the Soto Ayam Pot ($6.99) / Chicken Soup
nasi, ayam goreng bumbu, tomat, kol, daun bawang, bawang goreng, kerupuk
(rice, fried marinated chicken, cabbage, green onions, fried shallots, shrimp crackers)
Soto Ayam Pot
Soto is chicken soup made with various spices (the yellow color of the soup comes from turmeric). The fried chicken appears here again. No complaint, still, but they sure do maximize the use of their ingredients and it seems a bit silly to dump fried chicken in a soup but at least the marinade adds a nice flavor. The soto is pretty similar to what I get in my hometown in Java except for the tomatoes. They do a pretty good version here, though I miss the stronger flavors of Soto Ambengan.

Crysanthemum Tea
Tea with whole crysanthemum leaves
The menu here is pretty small, but a good Indonesian restaurant is always a welcome addition. Their rujak kalimantan (fruit and vegetable salad with peanut sauce) is supposed to be authentic and rare in this part of the world, but unfortunately they ran out when I was there, as was the beef soup, but they were getting hit by the post-LA Times crowd. I plan on coming back when the crowd settles and try the other items. Or at least have more fried chicken.

Little London Cafe
19 S Garfield Ave
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 282-4477
Little London Fish & Chips on Urbanspoon

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