Ayo Eat in Market Square
Ayo Eat is a bright, cheerful takeaway kiosk tucked unassumingly in a corner of Market Square. The menu is not elaborate; there are six items available for takeout. We took this as a good omen (restaurants with huge menus often have difficulty sustaining quality and keeping ingredients fresh). We wanted to try a representative sampling of dishes so we ordered a salad roll, chicken satay, vegetable green curry and nasi goring, a classic Indonesian dish of cooked rice fried in kecap manis, shallots, garlic, tamarind and chili. The owner volunteered to augment our order so we could have more variety at less expense. We were touched by his thoughtfulness. Ten minutes later, we were given a bag of steaming nosh. The fragrance wafting from the takeout containers was so heady we salivated all the way home.
The owner volunteered to augment our order so we could have more variety at less expense. We were touched by his thoughtfulness.
The food was a revelation. The salad roll was a fat cylinder bursting with tofu, crunchy vegetables and soft slippery glass noodles. We loved the chicken satay with its generous slathering of salty, sweet peanut sauce. The nasi goreng came with a fat fried egg on top. The piece de resistance for us was the green curry, which was bursting with silky bamboo shoots and crunchy green beans and liberally spiked with lemongrass. We often find green curries to be a touch too sweet, but this one was perfectly seasoned. Our dishes were garnished with a delicious house made pickle of thinly shaved cucumber and carrot. This was very refreshing and palate cooling.
Now, since we just mentioned, “palate cooling”, we’d be remiss if we didn’t inform you folks that much of this food is VERY HOT. Bana, the owner makes no bones about this. His website clearly states that is food is liberally laced with chili and other palate warming ingredients. If you cannot tolerate spicy food, you won’t manage the curry or nasi goreng (the salad roll and chicken satay would be fine). We were sweating while we ate, but in a good way! If you are a fan of spicy food, with complex flavors, you’ll want to give this a try. This is the only place in Victoria serving Indonesian food. The chef owner Bana (his full name is Ali Sayabana and he hails from Sumatra) is genial and funny. Pop in and give Ayo Eat a try! In a town where palates are notoriously fickle, Bana has a cadre of happy customers who always come back for more.
OUR PICKS: Green Curry, Chicken Satay, Salad Roll, Nasi GorengLocation: 560 Johnson Street, Victoria (in Market Square). View in Google Maps. Click here to Visit Ayo Eat’s Website