Little Sister

Little Sister is a midtown restaurant that opened in 2014 with a tapas menu inspired by Indonesian cuisine. The restaurant is the sister establishment of Quince (now Noorden), located just three blocks away, which is one of my favourite lunch spots in the neighbourhood. Although I work within a 10 minute walk from Little Sister, I had yet to visit until last month. Little Sister is open only for dinner and I rarely stick around the area after 5pm. After enjoying a meal at the restaurant, I may be changing my habits.

Walking into the restaurant, the first word that came to mind was “hip”. Decor reminded me of places I ate at in Bali, lighting was dim and music was loud. My friend made a reservation for 5:45pm because she noticed that there were none available after 6pm. The restaurant does save half of their seats for walk-ins, but even on a weeknight, the restaurant was pretty much full the entire time we were there. It was a bit hard to talk over the music, but not to the point where we needed to yell. It was hard not to listen to the conversation next to us with the close proximity.

Service: Over our meal, we interacted with our server, who took our order and checked in on us. She was friendly and attentive. Once she noticed us taking photos, she pointed the restaurant’s social media handles that were written in chalk behind us. When dishes were ready from the semi-open kitchen, another server brought them to our table with a quick description that was hard to hear.

Food: For two people, we weren’t totally sure how many dishes to order. The menu had a lot of words we didn’t recognize and few that I did from my trip to Bali. Needless to say, we had a lot of questions. I also did end up ordering fried rice instead of coconut rice due to my poor memory. Oops.

The menu was divided into 3 sections, skewers and sides, snacks and traditional. From the selection of skewers, we decided to try the Satay Ayam, chicken with peanut sauce, a fairly safe choice. One order came with 4 skewers of tender chicken and a generous blanket of sauce that had a strong peanut flavour and lime fragrance. Next we tried the side of Fried Cauliflower Salad that was topped with a dark savoury sauce, green onion and puffed rice. I loved this dish. There were strong flavours (fish sauce? Oyster sauce?), lots of crunchy textures and a touch of sweetness.

From the Snack section, I ordered the Babi Guling, remembering the crispy pork skin from Bali. When the dish arrived though, there was more of a pulled pork with the lettuce wraps. I was confused, but wasn’t sure if I had ordered wrong. The pork was well seasoned, but a touch chewy and dry. Our other Traditional dish was the Udang Kari, a shrimp curry. When I ordered, based on the price of $16, that it was a be a healthy portion. The bowl was on the smaller side and did not come with any rice. There were 6 plump shrimp that were sweet and cooked to just done. The curry itself was thick and spicy. We ordered a Nasi Goreng (fried rice) on the side, which meant our curry and rice totaled $22.50. Not too bad when shared and for seafood, but compared to the value of the rest of the menu I was surprised at the portion size.

Overall, dinner at Little Sister was fun and delicious. I really enjoyed how authentic the flavors of the dishes were with a bit of fusion flare. I’d recommend trying out the restaurant with a few friends on a first visit in order to taste more of the menu.

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