Little Sister on Portland
Little Sister has hand sanitizer available, if needed.
Little Sister on Portland is the second location branching off their Uptown home, still serving shareable plates of Indonesian-Dutch food.
The restaurant that sits just off King and Portland is considered to be the bigger, cooler older sister, with two floors of seating, two bars, and different vibes to share.
Downstairs maintains an earthy feeling with low lighting and coral-coloured velvet booths that complement the brown and white decor on the walls.
Upstairs feels like you've been transported to a tropical food bar in Bali. It's fresh, with greenery surrounding the space, plus tons of natural light pouring in from skylight windows on the ceiling.
On the menu here, there are definitely some staples that have traveled from the original location. However, majority of it introduces a whole new set of dishes to appeal to the younger demographic that frequents the area.
So, what exactly is Indonesian-Dutch food? Here's a short history lesson for you.
During the late 1600s, the Dutch East India Company started colonizing portions of Indonesia, while the Dutch government eventually gained full control of the country in the late 1700s for a couple hundred years until independence was achieved in 1949.
For many years afterwards, the two countries produced a blended cuisine, which is why nowadays you will find Indonesian food is a norm in the Netherlands, especially for late night bars and after-hours food spots.
Now back to Little Sister. The food here is meant to be shared, and for the vegetarians, you'll be happy to know all of their sides are meat-free.
For example, the Nasi Goreng ($8.50) is an Indonesian fried rice made with all the staple fixings, like soy sauce, mixed veggies and the flavour of bumbu seasoning, an Indonesian spice blend.
Little Sister has been praised for their meat skewers, so we had to try them on our visit. Here is the Satay Lamb Lilet ($9.95), that's grilled with Balinese spice and coconut. It's served with a small helping of pickled eggplant, that introduces a tangy flavour to the savoury meat.
If you're looking for a drink to have with the food mentioned above, check out the Indo Citrus Sangria ($14 for 8-ounce glass or $38 for a pitcher).
You're getting a hefty load of alcohol in this drink, including: Whitley Neill gin, St. Germain Elderflower, white wine, Triple Sec and Limoncello.
Coconut liqueur and a pink lemonade lavender coconut water keeps the tropical vibes going inside this strong, yet pleasant drink.
Rich, saucy and sweet, the Babi Kecap ($18.95) will definitely have your mouth watering. Braised pork belly comes slightly charred with a ginger soy sauce glazing over it. Sweet star anis and a pineapple salsa decorate the surface, adding some freshness into this dish.
Udang Kari ($22.95) has four to five pieces of white shrimp soaking in a rich bath of coconut curry, then garnished with shaved green onion. The flavour in this is incredible, but with the tails left on, I found it hard to eat the shrimp without biting on that.
Last but not least, the Tropical Negroni ($16) is another great cocktail from Little Sister Portland. A toasted coconut-strawberry infused aviation gin is combined with campari and a lime leaf infused dry vermouth.
With so many unique flavours going on in this drink, it maintains a good balance between sweet and bitter.
Little Sister Portland's outdoor patio offers a perfect casual summer hangout spot for those that want to eat good, without forking out more than a hundred dollars for a meal.