Homey atmosphere at Sate House
Among the various ethnic eateries in Walnut, Sate House is a hidden gem that opens a window to cuisine from the Indonesian islands. The dishes offer an immersive taste of the rich culture that they originate from. Located in a humble plaza off of Nogales Street, this exotic eatery is only minutes away from local students searching for expertly crafted Asian food.
The interior decorations, such as a lucky cat mini-statue, symbolize prosperity, and the aromas of various cooking spices inside Sate House add to the authentic Indonesian dining experience. Although the restaurant has a lively crowd of customers, the divided booths and pale green-gray color scheme evoke a sense of privacy and relaxation.
The helpful staff is also eager to recommend specialty dishes to first-timers who are unsure about what to order. The manager and some of the waiters speak fluent Chinese, Indonesian and English, eliminating the communication barrier between employees and customers who have questions about the dishes.
I ordered the fish with coconut sauce, Indonesian fried rice and chicken sate. The fish in the creamy coconut sauce is cooked to crisp, juicy perfection. Accompanied with a bowl of rice, this dish achieves a faultless balance between sweet, spicy and tangy. The heavily-seasoned Indonesian fried rice, which contains chicken, pork and shrimp, is topped with a savory fried egg. While the different meats are well-done, the rice is slightly undercooked and too oily. The chicken sate, complemented with a delicious peanut and hoisin sauce, is cooked so that it is melt-in-your-mouth tender with a smoky and sweet barbecue flavor.
Overall, the meals are well-priced and presented with colorful garnishes and a variety of ingredients. Those who are accustomed to eating in traditional Asian restaurants will definitely feel at home, and those who are not will be able to experience and appreciate the distinct Indonesian flavors Sate House offers.
By Angela Zhang, Staff writer