Nonya ▪ Montréal

151 Rue Bernard Ouest
Montréal, Québec

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).

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We were served complimentary roasted peanuts with deep fried garlic slices that imbued the peanuts with flavour.

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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.

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A dish consisting of udang mangga, which are grilled shrimps and sate kambing, grilled lamb brochettes, was also part of the large tasting menu .

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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.

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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.

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My mom ordered the grilled cornish hen in red curry sauce and she thoroughly enjoyed the flavours of the cornish hen.

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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.

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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!

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