Sparrow Indonesian Restaurant
301 Lord St
I'm saving my pennies. In 3 months I am flying to America, for a looooong time, and I am trying to cut down on spending. This means going out to dinner 2 nights a week instead of 4. And only buying clothes from op-shops!
When I heard about Sparrow, I thought it was too good to be true. $9 for a main meal? Surely not. Surely that was 5 years ago. Noone does a meal for $9 anymore - unless it is fast food - which doesn't count.
So, I called up my friends, and we made a date. Sparrow at 7pm.
I got there early and have to admit, was slightly off-put by the faded paint and sercurity grills on the outside. Inside wasn't much better. There wasn't enough room to swing a cat, and the tables were so close you could reach over and grab the food off your neighbours plate. But, the aircon was pumping away and the 'man in charge' greeted us warmly, moved a 'reserved' sign, gave us some menus and sat us down, while answering the phone twice.
There was a good range of food on the menu, entrees, mains, vegetarian, desserts and exciting Indonesian drinks. We decided to settle for the krokettes (chicken meat and cheese cake (???)), vegetarian me-goreng, beef rendang (3 pieces) and satay chicken (3 pieces). Oh, and ice tea was so cheap I couldn't refuse.
When we first sat down (7pm) the cafe was quiet, with a few people coming in for take-away. By the time our food came out, it was half full - and getting quite noisy. When we left, it was full to bursting, there were people waiting for tables and the kitchen was going full steam ahead.
The food came out - all reasonably at the same time. We started with the kroquettes. Lets just say interesting. There was some weird tasting sauce with them and although they were crunchy, and had the right texture, I was pretty dubious about what else was in them. The chicken satay sauce was AMZZING. Soooooo tasty. But, the chicken was that processed stuff that comes pre-skewered - it would have been a little bit fancier if it was real breast they had cut/skewered themselves. The me-goreng was greasy and slightly bland, and there werent very many veges. But...the beef rendang. omg the beef rendang. the beef was so tender it just fell apart. It was a lovely cut (hardly any fat) and the sauce was just the right amount of spicy. The beef came in large pieces - you basically ordered one piece per person.
The best part about this meal? When we went to pay it came to $32. For everything. Not each, EVERYTHING. Which made the slightly greasy me-goreng and dodgy chicken worth it :)
So, will I go back? Yes. I have also been telling everyone about it. It's not flash, it's super noisy, but its cheap, and tasty.