Nila’s Taste of Indonesia:
The tropical port city of Surabaya feels worlds away from snowy Calgary, especially in January. But thanks to Nila Tulis and her husband Pol Polandari, Calgary is now home to authentic Indonesian dishes and showstopping traditional desserts. The couple started Nila’s Taste of Indonesia two years ago to share cuisine from their hometown with Calgarians.
Their stall serves up classics like rendang, a stew of tender beef braised in coconut milk and spices like ginger, turmeric and chili peppers. The rendang is served atop a golden rice, which is cooked with turmeric and coconut milk for an added richness, and finished with homemade spicy, salty sambal, a traditional condiment of chilli peppers, garlic and other ingredients. Another popular dish is their satay chicken skewers, which are flavored with peanut, soy sauce and garlic, and grilled to order. But the hidden gem on the menu is undoubtedly the tossed chicken noodles, a large bowl of springy egg noodles and perfectly seasoned savory soup. Each bite is filled with tender chopped chicken, crispy fried onions, fish meatballs and spicy sambal.
While Pol manages the entrées, Nila focuses on her specialty, desserts. Kueh lapis is a layered tapioca dessert, with each colorful layer painstakingly poured by hand. It is flavored with sweet coconut milk and has a delightful chewy texture, similar to mochi. Other beautiful desserts include Nila’s thousand-layer baked cake and serabi, a traditional pandan cake with coconut milk and palm sugar. If a trip to Indonesia seems unlikely, make sure to visit Nila’s Taste of Indonesia this winter — you won’t be disappointed.
Nila’s Taste of Indonesia | Crossroads Market | 1235 26th Ave. S.E. | 403.681.1223 | Facebook: Nila’s Taste of Indonesia, Instagram: @nilastasteofindo