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3.5
  • Food4
  • Service3.5
  • Value3.5
  • Ambiance2.5
  • Reviews14

Sweet Chili Cafe

5438 Victoria Drive
Vancouver, BC V5P3V8
Tel: (778) 371-8092
  • Cuisine: Indonesian
  • Price: $ ($15 or less)
  • Service: Catering
  • Meals: Dinner, Buffet
  • Features: Cheap eats
  • Hours: Mon: Closed, Tue: 11:30AM - 2:30PM & 5:30PM - 9PM, Wed: 11:30AM - 2:30AM & 5:30PM - 9PM, Thu - Fri: 11:30AM - 2:30PM & 5:30PM - 9PM, Sat: 11AM - 2:30PM & 5:30PM - 9PM, Sun: 5:30PM - 9PM
  • Sweet Chili Cafe serves authentic Indonesian cuisine at reasonable prices by the same owner and chef of the award-winning Bali Restaurant on Broadway. AYCE buffet every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month 12:00 noon until 3:00 pm.

Reviews

Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 Reviews FoundSort: Useful | Helpful | Reviews | Date
Indonesian goodies here...
By EatsFats of Vancouver (321 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, April 16, 2010 - 11:36pm [Dine in]

It's a tiny, cramped restaurant. No, it's not fine dining, so let's dispense with that straight off. It's not going to be marked in the same league as, say, Lumiere. Not in a million years. Frankly, it's a bit like walking in grandma's kitchen in many ways.

And really, it kind of is. The owner/waitress/cook is some kind of Indonesian granny, who is more than friendly and willing to drop by and have a chat.

The food? Good, honest home-style Indonesian cooking. Really tasty for sure. And you can tell she loves this job. She confided in us that she whips up different specials regularly, whatever she feels like making at the moment, so you might get lucky.
Food was tasty, not too spicy, and every dish we ordered had distinctly different taste. She even makes her own tempeh (which she'll happily sell you) and you can taste the difference.

If you have a craving for Indonesian eats in town, and you have no access to an Indonesian granny, this is the next best thing. Waaaay better than Pondok. I would recommend this over any other one I've been to so far.

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good eats
By chasiubow of North Van (675 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, June 6, 2009 - 10:16pm [Dine in]

The usual dinner gang met up at SCC to enjoy some Indonesian flavors. We were not disappointed. The restaurant was clean enough (including the w/c) although it was rather small and simply decorated. Service was great, and the friendly manager chatted with us at various points throughout our meal. As for value, it was okay. Of course the important thing was the food. We had chicken fried rice, coconut steamed rice, roti canai, gado gado, lamb and chicken satay, beef rendang and lamb curry. All were very tasty, but the portion sizes could have been bigger. The best part was that there was no MSG detected in anything. That was a huge bonus.

This place keeps irregular hours as they mostly focus on catering, but it is definitely worth trying when they are open.

Recommended.

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Good indonesian, but cheap on ingredients
By aregma of Burnaby (116 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 1, 2009 - 2:15am [Dine in]

Had dinner here yesterday with my friend, and we had the roti canay, chicken skewers, their special of the day lemongrass chicken, as well as a rice combo which had beef rendeng and baked chicken.

The Roti Canay was quite good, one of the best I have had. Also the chicken satay was very good, it was very tender and the sauce on it was quite good. The main dishes consisted of a large portion of rice, a large portion of salad, as well as the meat. The salad was very generic, and had some sort of light italian dressing on it. The chicken on the other hand, consisted of 3 pieces of chicken, but it was approximated 80% bone, but at least tasted decent. The Beef rendeng was of course boneless, but seemed overcooked and hard.

Value wise I felt a little ripped off for $8-10 for the entrees to have white rice, generic greens, and not even a drum stick worth of meat for the chicken. Service was quite good an attentive, but we were the only ones dining in the restaurant. Ambiance was nothing special, but was clean.

Would probably not return.

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Very nice dinner
By foodiephil of Richmond (65 Reviews)
Submitted Thursday, September 2, 2010 - 9:40am [Dine in]

It's important to re-iterate that this is a tiny, simple space. Comfy, but not elegant. But you are here for the food.

We had spring rolls - very nice; roti canay - a pretty small portion, but flaky and oh-so good; a salad - which I liked very much, but my dining partner thought was too thick in texture for his tastes; a red chicken curry which was good; a baked fish which was out of this world excellent; we topped it all off with turmeric rice, and it was really, really good.

We had ordered with the idea of taking 1/2 of it home for lunch the next day, but we couldn't stop eating it, so that tells you something. The food is not oily, fatty, or greasy like I've experienced at some other Indonesian places, and it's much tastier and complex than, say, Banana Leaf (not Indonesian, I know, but similar in style.)

Our total bill was around $53.

The owner, Angie, talked with us for a while and told us how she got established. Very friendly lady.

I am looking forward to going back again.

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Great Authentic Indonesian Eats on the Cheap
By manager of commercial drive (24 Reviews)
Submitted Saturday, December 26, 2009 - 8:36am [Dine in]

I have been to Indonesia a number of times and love the food. Let me say , while I was eating at this very tiny, little hole in the wall I said this to my wife..." Close your eyes and you can imagine you are in Ubud." Ubud has some of the best food in Bali. That's a compliment to the restaurant. The food is good and fresh. There is no booze. There are only a few seats. The food is better than a lot of the food I've eaten in Asia. The cooks know their stuff.

We were the only table on a Friday evening. The owner was very hospitable and interested in chatting. The food was spectacular! Will go back again and again. Try the Gado-Gado and the Fried Tempe.

Cheers

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maybe I'm too picky...
By bumblebee7 of Vancouver (32 Reviews)
Submitted Friday, August 7, 2009 - 10:28am [Dine in]

Came in one Saturday for their all you can eat buffet lunch. Thought it was a bit suspect when the "buffet" fit all on one small table. There wasn't much selection - chicken, beef, fish, rice and two salads, plus a dessert and fresh watermelon. It's always hard to judge the food in a restaurant based on a buffet but I did't think the food was that good.. it wasn't bad but not great... just acceptable. The cost for lunch was $12 per person. In hindsight, I should have just ordered a la carte.

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A taste of Indonesia in Vancouver
By pufferfish of Kensington, Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 9:06pm [Dine in]

What a gem. Fantastic and authentic with a homemade taste. Don’t miss, and don’t let the small size fool you.

I went here yesterday for my birthday, so my sister and parents from out of town joined my boyfriend and I for our first time to Sweet Chili café. There have been so many instances where I’ve walked passed Sweet Chili, intrigued by its quaint charm. Unlike other pretentious Southeast Asian restaurants in Vancouver, Sweet Chili is sincere, and doesn’t claim to be more than it is—a restaurant serving delicious food.

The interior was small, and our party of five filled the restaurant to capacity (there was another party of 2 and a party of about 10). The service was friendly, and it seemed as though the 2-3 person team was effective. We ordered some water, ginger tea, and Koala soda. When we were told the Koala soda was out, my sister and boyfriend were offered the “fresh lime soda”. Served in a plastic glass, it was simple but wonderful, and as my sister said it was “the best soda ever.” When I took a sip, I was surprised at the refreshing simplicity. The ginger tea was pungent and spicy, which made me reminisce about the ginger tea I have had with my family in Indonesia.

We picked a few things to share between the five of us, picking out the chicken sate for my sister, who is a notoriously picky eater. Though advertised as 4 skewers, we got 5. The notoriously picky eater had finished all 5 skewers off in 5 minutes, with the rest of us drooling over the smell alone.

The food arrived surprisingly fast for how small the café is. Next came the Gado-Gado salad. Everybody in our party loved it. You could tell it was freshly made: the bean sprouts were crisp, the eggs were firm, and the peanut sauce not overbearing. Right when we had finished the Gado Gado, came the Soto Ayam (chicken soup) that my mom, who is from Indonesia, ordered last minute. I guess I would describe Soto Ayam as the Indonesian equivalent of Pho. The Soto Ayam was spiced with lemongrass, and tasted as fresh as everything else we had eaten.

The Nasi Goreng (fried rice) was delectable, with small bits of vegetables, egg, and chicken, though it was not our favorite of the night --- everything else we had ordered outshone the Nasi Goreng. My “must have” dish at any Indonesian restaurant is Beef Rendang. The flavoring was complex, the potatoes perfectly cooked, and the beef was melt-in-your mouth tender. For me, this was the star of the evening.

We left satisfied, but not bloated. At the price, less than 15 bucks a person including beverages, was a steal, especially with the variety of dishes we were able to not only experience, but enjoy.

(However, there was one thing that left a bad taste in our mouths---another party at the restaurant (the large one I had mentioned earlier). They claimed one person in their party had “chewed on glass” that they found in the food. The irony? That they didn’t say which dish made them sick, and that the person who “felt the glass” swallowed it, then was concerned with their health. The wonderful woman who owns Sweet Chili offered these customers the opportunity to look at her kitchen, garbage and all, to prove no glass had been broken. This group of 10 wouldn’t drop the subject: the owner offered them the meal for free, after apologizing and saying sorry at least a dozen times (please keep in mind that this party was extraordinarily loud, and almost predatory). This party could not be satisfied, and insisted on paying, then complaining, then asking for the meal for free, then asking for a discount. After an uncomfortable second half of our meal, they threatened to call the health department to shut Sweet Chili down. They looked like they ran a competing restaurant perhaps? We’ll never know, but they had huge smiles on their faces when they left. )

For those writing previous reviews on other websites, there were no plastic utensils or paper plates, and for those wanting more or less spice, they asked us how spicy we wanted our dishes. For a small place like this, I’m sure if you asked they would add spice to your taste. They also do take-out, which I’m sure I’ll be taking advantage of in the future. Sweet Chili is worth it!!

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When you're craving Indonesian Food & Experience
By MarkHoyt of East Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Friday, April 9, 2010 - 10:06am [Dine in]

Kudos to people at Dinehere for building such a great site. I was searching for a place to eat some Indonesian food (as I had a massive craving) and stumbled upon this site. When I read the reviews about how authentic the food was, I decided to check out the place yesterday...and what a find!

It's a pretty small place, but aren't all restaurants in Indonesia :) It reminded me of being back on the beaches in Kuta, Bali. Angie the owner was super friendly and shared with me some her stories growing up in Indonesia. I tried the satay and rendang, and wow was it tender and rich with flavor!

I also found out that they have a buffet on Saturdays...too bad I work on the weekends. But I heard from Angie that they might be opening up the buffet every evening because it's been so popular on Saturdays. I hope they do, cause I'll be there for sure!

It's always great when you find a spot that reminds you of a great travel experience!

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The real Indonesian thing! mmm Satay!
By Jamesfisher of Kitsilano, Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Thursday, August 21, 2008 - 10:53pm [Dine in]

I was driving down Victoria Drive this weekend and stumbled upon the small but great restaurant. I was craving some Malaysian or Indonesian food when I saw the sign for the restaurant. I decided to give it a try and wow what a find! The satays and the beef curry reminded me of the delicious food in Bali. The peanut sauce was to die for. I acutally picked up some to take home with me.

I spoke with the chef, Angie, and apparently she use to own another Indonesian restaurant a few years back called the Bali Restaurant and she does a lot of catering for the Indonesian and Dutch Consulates here in town. She told me she does catering and take out for parties and dinners, and gave me a take out menu with a lot more items than what's actuallly on the restaurant menu.

I look forward to trying everything else on the menu. Angie, I'll see you soon!

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surprisingly good
By indo_foodie of Vancouver (2 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, August 17, 2008 - 3:40pm [Dine in]

I heard about this new restaurant from a friend so my better-half and I went for dinner last night. We ordered 3 appetizers, 2 entrees, and 2 desserts. As an Indonesian, I was very impressed with their chicken satay, beef rendang, and soursop slush. They're really good perhaps because the owner/chef is also from Jakarta. I've tried chicken satay at many Indo/Malay restaurants in North America ranging from decent to dry-chicken with peanut butter sauce (yuck!). But the chicken satay here is the best thus far. If my memory serves me right, it's the same as the ones I used to have in Jakarta. The beef rendang is creamy, delicious and (most importantly) as spicy as we requested (mild is also available). The soursop slush is perfect for a heat-wave day like yesterday. It's definitely a must for those who never had this tropical fruit before. The menu has appetizers, salads (gado gado), entrees, rice tables, and desserts. But I wished there were more authentic dishes on the menu, particularly Jakarta food. But later I found out she could make many of them. Order in advance perhaps?

Overall, we had a surprisingly good dinner. Total damage? about $40+tip. Definitely a repeat.

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That's it??!!
By EatFood of Burnaby (11 Reviews)
Submitted Tuesday, August 4, 2009 - 5:29pm [Dine in]

We heard of this all you can eat Indonesian restaurant and thought we would try it out since we really like satays. The first thing I thought when we got inside was how small it is. It can maybe sit 20 people.

The hostess (one of the owners I think) asked if we were going to have the all you can eat and we said yes. She pointed to the food in the corner and said to help ourselves. What?? That's it??!! There was just a table with a couple of food warmers you find at buffets in a wedding. We should have left but thought maybe there were other things for our $12 something like satay or roti....nope...just what we saw on the table.

The food was good...authentic I guess but so not worth the money. Lesson learned: find out what's included in a meal before starting.

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Great even cold!
By UrbanFoodie of Kits (4 Reviews)
Submitted Sunday, March 28, 2010 - 4:06pm [Dine in]

We went to a festival today at the Roundhouse Community Center. We expected bad food and drinks as it was a festival food. Our day started off at the Cafe inside the Roundhouse. Fresh brew ice tea and mango infused. it was excelelent and then we went to see the show inside and they had this buffet line set up. it wasn't a buffet but it was a ticket type event.

we've been to indonesia several times and this did not disappoint. Although some of the food there was actually Malaysian the sate ayam (chicken satay) was great. The peanut sauce was a tad too greasy but deeelicious.

We're definitely going to try the restaurant tho from the sounds of the review, we'll avoid the buffet. :)

Try this place, people, and try that ice tea at the restaurant at the community center. Either way, can't lose.

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What a find!
By louisgvan12 of Vancouver, BC (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, November 11, 2009 - 3:20pm [Dine in]

Out of all the Indonesian restaurants I have been to in this city, this one is definitely the best. The food and warm personality of the owner (Angie Tan) brought me back to the days when I was traveling through Indonesia.

The beef rendang was so flavourful and tender and was made even better better with the homemade sambal. I also tried the roti canai, which I think is actually a Malaysian dish, and it was to die for. It was so flaky and the sauce was delicious.

If there was a vote, I would definitely vote Sweet Chili Cafe as the best Indonesian restaurant in Vancouver handsdown. I'll definitely be back...and soon!

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My new favourite spot! Mmm Peanut Sauce!
By SamWalker of Yaletown, Vancouver (1 Review)
Submitted Wednesday, October 29, 2008 - 1:09am [Dine in]

I was at a party last weekend and a couple of my friends mentioned this small restaurant. They said if I ever had a chance to check it out sometime. So tonight I decided to check it out. And wow what a find! It's a funny little place. Sort of looks like it should have been a bakery or a deli, but the food was absolutely delicious. I asked the owner/server/chef Angeline Tan (she was doing everything) what to order. She recommended the chicken satays and lamb curry. Both the chicken and lamb were very tender, and the peanut sauce for the chicken satays was to die for. I convinced Angeline to let me take some home. Apparently she does a lunch buffet every Saturday. I think I'll try it out a couple of weeks from now, so I can try and sample the rest of the menu. This is one of my new favourite spots.

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