I have been feeling nostalgic as of late. In search of South East Asian cuisine and all its affiliates. Flavours and ingredients I have grown up eating, and now miss more and more, with the inability to travel and discover.
Therefore, when the team at Chubby TaRo reached out, soliciting a taste of their authentic Indonesian cuisine, I was quick to jump at the opportunity.
As a small mom and pop operation their menu is quite limited, but what they do have, is definitely worth trying. The following is what they prepare and offer in multiple person servings, versus how I assembled it for a more traditional Indonesian platter.
New to their line up is the classic Indonesian side of sambal anchovies and peanuts. “Sambal” is a chilli sauce or paste, typically made from a mixture of various chillies, and may include shrimp paste. Their zesty sambal with shrimp paste added plenty of spice and a seafood tang to the crunchy peanuts and crispy small fish. This makes for a terrific nibbler with beer, and is ideal as a side to the dishes below; as a flavour injector.
One of their signature dishes is the fried, stuffed tofu, filled with shrimp and vegetables like broccoli and carrots. I am sure you have had blocks of fried tofu before, but never filled like these. Logistically I am in awe. With the filling they eat like a meal; a mix of textures given a nice pop of flavour from the use of a sweet chilli sauce dip on the side. The tofu itself is battered and fried perfectly crisp on the outside; so consistent that they easily hold up with a quick reheating in the air fryer.
For mains we tried their Spicy beef rendang. “Rendang” is a rich Malaysian-style curry that is slow cooked into a dry paste, and therefore is not saucy. All the familiar spices were here. Best described as having triple the intensity of stew; I highly recommend having it with rice to help balance and highlight this zesty curry.
Each individual element was great, but together they are so much more. Therefore, I highly recommend doing as I did, and crafting the following plate. Given how heavy everything is, you definitely need some freshness, raw cucumber and tomato slices are commonplace. And of course rice as a base is necessary. I liked adding fried shallots or garlic for a little topping and crunch. And/or Shrimp chips offer a similar effect, while making for a nice break in between all that is going on. But don’t forget the egg, an egg makes it breakfast ready, and if runny a great moisture agent.
An add-on option for Chubby TaRo would/could be to create a set with all the above, to self craft. Or even a single serving lunch box set, that include all the above.
In short, the complete assembly hit all the right spots for me. Every nostalgic marker was satiated. I hope they continue to expand their menu! I would love to see them take on gado gado with it’s one of a kind peanut sauce. But in the meanwhile they also offer a spicy chicken rendang and Nasi Goreng Tek Tek (fried rice with egg and chicken), that would be worth trying considering how great the above is/was. And for desserts they have cheesecake but Indonesia is well known for their desserts, so there is room for growth here as well.
In closing, I love supporting local small businesses, and even more so when they deserve a standing ovation for their quality of goods (food). I can’t rave more about Chubby TaRo, although I cannot wrap my head around their small business’s name.
Order from them here: