Sparrow Indonesian Restaurant

Posted July 2nd, 2016 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »


Another Indonesian restaurant in Perth after a post about Manise Cafe.  Sparrow Indonesian Restaurant has also been in Perth WA for a long time. After moving from Northbridge many years ago, now with a new owner the restaurant is located on Lord street in Highgate.

Although the restaurant is pretty small inside, I like going to this restaurant because the food is nice, the price is pretty reasonable and also there’re ample parking spots on the side streets.

As soon as you go inside the restaurant the friendly staff would greet you and take you to the seats.  The owner is not Indonesian but he is very nice and during my visit there’re lots of laughs and smiles from customers.  🙂

At Sparrow, I ordered Laksa Ayam (yes, it’s not really an Indonesian food but I couldn’t resist it) and my partner ordered Nasi Kuning.  We also ordered Tahu Tek to share.


Nasi Kuning – combination yellow rice with friend chicken, egg, and chilli pickles.


Tahu Tek – fried bean-curd omelet with peanut sauce.

The omelet was nice but the peanut sauce was bit too rich for me.  My partner (Indonesian) really enjoyed it though.

While I was there, the owner was talking to all the customers that 10% discount would apply to new customers.  I hadn’t been there since the owner had changed but my husband had gone there couple of times with his friend so he told the owner it’s not his first time, but we received 10% discount anyway.

Great service, great food, and great price.

Try to avoid a peak lunch hour or book a table beforehand as the seats are limited.

Sparrow Indonesian Restaurant
301 Lord Street, Highgate, Perth,WA
(08) 9228 2238

11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM
11:30 AM to 2 PM, 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM


We recently went there for lunch again and here are some more photos:

Ayam Bakar (grilled chicken in tasty soy sauce)


Mie Goreng with vegetables.  Kids shared this dish.


And, as usual we ordered Tahu Tek.  On my last visit I didn’t really like it much, but for some reasons I started to crave for it few days later.  Now it’s one of my favourite dish!


Family Restaurants in Japan

Posted January 13th, 2012 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

While I’m in Japan I often went to family restaurants to have lunch or snack. The top reason is the price! I can easily get a coupon for free drink bar (unlimited drinks) online.  Not all family restaurants have good drink bar though.   D loved matcha latte at Big Boy and Gusto, but we didn’t see matcha latte at Saizeria.

Saizeriya is a Japanese chain of Italian family-style restaurants.  I used to go there often when I was a student because the food there is very very cheap.  Pasta, gratin and pizza starts from 280 yen each.  Plus, they have drink bar (which is normally 190 yen).  Although their pizzas and pasta are with just few ingredients and don’t really look nice, students like us were happy with those foods.  We could kill time with just few hundreds yen after school 🙂 I saw many students at Saizeria when I went there have lunch the other day.  Food there is much cheaper than other family restaurants such as Coco’s and Gasto, It could be even cheaper than McDonald’s.

I went to Big Boy more than 5 times during this stay.  I’m actually quite fed up with their menu now :p.  D wanted to go there because of Matcha Latte at their drink bar.  At some Big Boy they gave us a toy for Hiro too, and it was nice.  They do “Kids Members Card” as well where you can chose one item from their selection as a gift to your kid after earning 5 points (1 visit = 1 point).

One thing I was surprised was that Gusto now has few different versions – normal Gusto, Ohashi-Gusto, and Steak Gusto.  Ohashi-Gusto serves all the foods with chopsticks (ohashi = chopsticks).  I loved their food menu than Big Boy.  They had matcha latte at their drink bar too. (the one near my house)  And I won a free vanilla pudding as they were doing “instant win” scratch for New Year. 🙂  Steak Gusto serves steak, and it’s cheap!  It comes with salad bar & drink bar, and you can enjoy it under 1000yen.  I should go there one more time before I go back to Perth.

Oh, another thing I noticed when I came back to Japan was that some Japanese fast food restaurants, such as Yoshino-ya, Nakau and Matsuya, now have drive-thro facility!  It’s just like McDonald’s and KFC.  People can take-away beef donburi etc through the drive-thro.  Many people are using it, actually.  Japanese people work hard, and just want to eat up one donburi in the car then head back to office, maybe!


Posted December 19th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

Betokon is name of a small stall selling ramen noodles, gyoza, etc near my house.  I don’t know if I can call it “a stall”, or should I say “a shed”.  The place looks just like a small shed, really.  They open only at night time, and there’re only 2 staff (son & mother) working.

My dad and brother likes going there because it’s very close to home.  My dad always have one or two glasses of beer when eating out, so being close to home is very convenient for him.  (even though my brother who doesn’t drink usually drives)   Penalty for drink driving is severe in Japan too.

Another reason for them going there is, of course, the food.  They don’t have much variety on thier menu, and the place is awfully small (just counter table + 10 chairs), but they serve pretty good food.  Some say the food is bit oily, but it fills you up when you are really hungry and want to eat FOOD.

Son is in charge of cooking, and mother serves customers.  Oden is ready in front of the counter, and customers usually eat oden while waiting for other foods they ordered.

They mostly serve Chinese food, including Changhai fried noodle, but most of them are “Japanese Chinese” food.  Cha-han (fried rice), tenshin-han, gyoza, chicken karaage etc…

It was Wednesday night, and we didn’t expect to see any other customers there.  And, so did the staff.  There was only son in the shop/shed, relaxing on a chair.  He said mother’s coming at 9PM.

My dad ordered 3 x gyoza, 3 x oden, and 2 x fried rice to start.  Yes, we eat A LOT.  The staff was moving around very fast, cooking all the food we ordered and serving us at the same time.  His speed became much faster when other customers came in.  After 30 minutes we arrived, the place became full.  And, there was only one staff!  I felt sorry to place order to him… :p

I love their gyoza.  The skin is crispy and chewy, and inside got juicy meat stuffing.

Fried rice was ok.  Not the best…  but still tasty 🙂

We ordered 1 x omelet and 2 x ramen noodle too.

Their omelet contains stir-fried pork and vegetables inside.  Bit too much tomato sauce to me…

By the time ramen noodle was served, I couldn’t eat anything already.  I just watched my dad & bro eating the noodle.

Oh, I forgot to mention that D was staying at home looking after Hiro.  Hiro was sleeping tight, and we didn’t want to wake him up just to go to the narrow space.  D said he’d stay home, so we bought souvenir to him – chicken karaage and Changhai fried noodle.  Karaage was stir-fried with garlic and spring onion after being deep-fried to add aroma and also drain excess oil.  It smelled so good.  I will try it next time !

Lunch at Katsukura

Posted December 15th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

D, Hiro and I went to Katsukura in Kusatsu city, Shiga to have lunch with my friend.  I haven’t seen her for a long time… probably around 5 years.  We used to go to same collage in Osaka, then flew to Perth to study English at same TAFE campus.  After that she went back to Japan, then came back to Australia to travel around, then went back to Japan again, flew to Europe to travel around, and now working in Japan 🙂  She brought her boy friend to lunch 🙂

I chose Katsukura because I had craving for katsu when she asked me what I wanted to eat.  Katsukura is in Kintetsu building which connects to Kusatsu train station, so easy access was another reason I chose this place (as we both traveled by train).

Inside was bit stuffy and narrow, but maybe I felt so because I had Hiro.  He didn’t want to sit still.  I thought they might have zashiki (dining area on tatami) but they only had tables and chairs.

D ordered normal tonkatsu-zen (pork katsu set meal), and I ordered wakadori-zen (young chicken katsu set meal).

First, small bowls of sesame seeds were brought to the tabel.  We need to grind the sesame seeds at the table, and pour choice of katsu sauce into the bowl.  It’s going to be the dipping sauce for katsu.  Freshly ground sesame seeds are very aromatic.



Rice was served in a big container, and we scoop into our rice bowls by ourselves.  So was pickles.  Bottles of Sauces and salad dressing were set at the table.  Rice, shredded cabbage, and miso soup are all unlimited.  Yes, you can order as many times as you want.

I could just eat rice with the katsu sauce.  Very nice.  The meat was juicy and soft too.


Posted December 13th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

Hi there, happy Hiro from Mister Donut.  We’re having afternoon tea 🙂

Three donuts and OJ for ¥500.

At MisterDonut, they are selling these “Christmas donuts” right now for limited time only ↓↓↓

Snow-man-looking donuts (the face is coated with icing), and Christmas-wreath-looking churros (one is coated with icing, others are with chocolate).  The icing donut is sweet, but it’s kind of addictive!  I love the icing Christmas wreath churros.

I went back there in few days to eat another icing churros.

They’re collecting the orders for Mister Donut Christmas Set (¥1000), and I wanted to order one, but I couldn’t…..   They were all sold out by the time I went to submit the order sheet. 🙁

The donuts are yummy….  Unlimited drinks (cafe au lait etc) make afternoon tea perfect relaxing time of the day!

Big Boy

Posted December 11th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

We had lunch at Big Boy the other day.

I remember staying here for hours with friends when I was a student, just by purchasing drink bar.  It’s sometimes ¥100, so it was the best place to kill time and have a chat with friends.

I ordered daily lunch menu (¥580).  It was a set of grilled chicken, prawn katsu, and stir-fried pork dish came with unlimited soup bar and a choice of rice or a bread roll.

D had big hamburg set (¥780)which came with a choice of sauce and a choice of rice or a bread roll.  The hot black stone on the right front is to sear the meat if you want to cook more.

I had ¥100 coupon for drink bar, so we ordered one.

A piece of paper was placed around the hamburg plate to avoid any oil spill.

It was pretty volumy…  I was full after having 3 cups of soup, meat plate, drinks, and bit of rice.

D was eating the hamburg as hamburger…   sandwiching slice of hamburg inside a bread roll.

McDonald’s Big Mac 200yen

Posted December 9th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan | No Comments »

We went to Jusco store (a shopping centre) yesterday, and had a bite at McDonald’s.  Right now, they are selling a Big Mac for ¥200, so D ordered one.

I didn’t feel like eating burger then, so I ordered small vanilla shake. Just ¥120.

The staff was so friendly and polite 🙂  I love thick shake….  I sometimes get a craving for it.  Always vanilla flavour.

They had high chairs for babies.  Hiro had snack (milk) there too.  Looks comfy 🙂

There is one sink to wash hands, and one for little people too.

A bottle of hand soap with McDonald logo.

The tray came with some discount coupon and a flier saying that they are selling Chicken Tazta Burger again soon.  Chicken Tazta Burger!!!  My favourite….  I just love the combination of chicken tazta and shredded cabbage 🙂  And this time, they have two kinds – one is an usual Chicken Tazta Burger, and another is Chicken Tazta Wafu Oroshi (with grated daikon radish and some soysauce-based sauce).  I must try it!!  I also want to eat their limited-time-only burger, Tomato Gra-Koro Burger (a gratin-croquette burger with special tomato sauce), so I will need to come back to McDonald’s at least twice within this month!

Trip to Shigaraki and Koga -Part2-

Posted December 6th, 2011 in Eat out in Japan, Japan | 2 Comments »

The restaurant was located just in front of Shiragaki train station.  We couldn’t miss the place because there’re lots of big red flags around the restaurant saying “MATSUTAKE”.  And there was loud music coming out from the restaurant.

Apparently, this place is very famous for ALL YOU CAN EAT matsutake course menu.  Matsutake is only available during Autumn, so they serve crabs and fugu dishes in winter. All-you-can-eat as well.

There’re many photos of famous actors/comedians/sumo restler taken with the owner of this restaurant at the entrance.  They came here to eat matsutake dishes!  The place was all tatami-floored, and you sit on zabuton (cushion) and eat the food.  Lucky we made booking – there’re so many people inside.  Our table was upstairs.

Our couse menu was Matsutake and Ohmi Wa-gyu Beef Sukiyaki with Matsutake Gohan (seasoned rice with matsutake), Matsutake Dobin-mushi (seasoned steamed matsutake), and dessert.  Meat, matsutake, vegetables for sukiyaki, eggs, rice were can be ordered as much as we wanted.

We were expecting them to bring warishita (sukiyaki sauce) to pour into the pan, but at this restaurant we actually cook by yourself at the table.  There were sugar, cooking sake, soy sauce and their home-made sukiyaki sauce next to the pan.

First, sprinkle sugar on the bottom of the pan, then place wa-gyu beef.  Pour soy sauce and sukiyaki sauce over the meat, and eat the meat first – by dipping into raw egg.

OH MY GOSH….  The meat was so tender, and delicious!!!  I hadn’t eaten such delicious beef for a long time!!!

Then add other ingredients such as matsutake, tofu, other mushrooms and Chinese cabbage.

We ordered lots of wa-gyu beef and matsutake to top up. Many times.

And lots of rice too.

Wa-gyu was great, and Matsutake was also great!  Great fragrance, and very thick, dense body.  The texture was amazing.

I loved the chopstick stand (racoon shaped Shigaraki ware), and they were selling many kinds of souvenirs downstairs, so we bought few things for ourselves.  My dad bought matsutake to take home, and my brother bought some sweets.  I bought the Shigaraki ware chopstick stand. 😀

They gave us a bag of gift when we left.  It was part of the course menu deal.  And, because we bought some souvenir, we could do the garapon lottery (You could win a prize in a lottery by turning a small round machine. The prize depends on a colour of the ball dropped from the hole of the machine).  We did 4 times, but didn’t get big prize.  They gave us packs of sweet chestnuts and bananas for thank-you.

The food was very very nice!  And the service was great too.  My dad loved the place, and he said we’ll come back here again on Christmas.  Around Christmas they do all-you-can-eat crabs and fugu course meal.  Despite the amount and quality of the food, the price was not that expensive.  That’s amazing too.

First Kitchen

Posted November 23rd, 2011 in Eat out in Japan, Japan | No Comments »

First Kitchen, known as City Convenience Restaurant, is fast food chain serving variety of foods including burgers, soup, and pasta.  It’s not a place I go often, but D and I had lunch inside food court in a shopping mall.  The price for burgers is bit more expensive than McDonald’s and other chains, but we both liked the food.

D ordered teriyaki burger meal, and I ordered kid’s chicken nuggets meal.  Teriyaki burger meal came with fries and drink, like other chains, but you could chose the flavour of the fries – called “flavour potato”.  It’s like shaker fries of McDonald’s.  The flavours are unique: corn potage, flame-grilled mentaiko (marinated roe of pollock), soy BBQ, sizzling butter and soy sauce, butter, consomme, and French fries.  D chose soy BBQ.  It was good 🙂

There is sauce bar at the counter where you can get any sauces as much as you want.  The sauces are BBQ sauce, mentaiko mayonnaise, cheese sauce, and garlic mayonnaise.

I love Japanese fast food because their drink menu has more varieties.  I always chose tea (usually oolong tea).  You can also get hot/iced lemon/milk tea and cocoa with meals with no additional cost.

It may be just because it was weekday and there’re not so many people around, but they made all the food on order including fries and nugget.  Crispy and super hot.  With kid’s meal I got to chose a toy from a basket, and I got Stitches stationery kit.

We were thinking of getting some sweets there as well, but didn’t.  Their tapioca coconut milk float and shiratama cream zenzai (chewy dango with stewed sweet azuki bean and soft serve) looked yummy!

Japanese Curry House

Posted December 1st, 2010 in Eat out in Japan | 2 Comments »

I haven’t had craving for curry for a long long time – any curry including Japanese, Indian, Thai and Indonesian.  But, I suddenly feel like the saucy curry and I can’t stop thinking about it!

The curry restaurant first came up to my mind was Curry House Coco Ichiban.  It’s a curry restaurant chain and is currently in Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Hawaii.  

I started browsing the website, and their limited time special curry look so nice….  There are 7 curry including Oyster Katsu Curry and Sukiyaki Curry, but this Hash De Beef & Mushroom Curry is the one for me!

Like other family restaurants, Coco Ichiban has a huge variety of menus including salads and desserts, and the curry menus are more than 50!

IF, you like Japanese curry (I know some people hate Japanese curry) I recommend you to go to Coco Ichiban and try the curry. You can adjust the rice size, spiciness of the curry and add extra toppings if you like.  At Coco Ichiban the level of the spiciness starts from mild, and as the level goes up it becomes spicier.  There are 12 levels of spiciness to chose from, and the top 5 levels are only available to people who have eaten the one level below in the past.  You can’t order mild, then next day level 10!  According to the menu the spiciness is deadly and you may need to call an ambulance…

They also have breakfast menu – of course all curry dishes.  I remember eating curry in the morning when I was a kid…