It was a dream for Kimi Abdullah to bring food from her Indonesian background to London.
“We’ve seen big waves of different Asian foods becoming trendy, like Vietnamese food and Thai food and most recently in the last decade Korean food. We felt there was a possibility to bring Indonesian food and break it into the market,” says Abdullah.
With the help of her brother Anthony Abdullah, a seasoned chef who has travelled the world, the pair made that dream a reality in 2015 when they opened Petojo Food.
Petojo Food is a catering service that also sells pre-packaged Indonesian meals that can be found at The Market at Western Fair District.
“We sell things like curries, satays and sauces like peanut sauce,” says Abdullah. “We make things like beef rendangm which is a traditional dish from Indonesia and vegetable and chicken gulai. And the idea behind those is the consumer can thaw it out reheat and serve it.”
Abdullah says it wasn’t long before customers suggested she and her brother should open an Indonesian restaurant in London.
However, with the cost of running a restaurant so high, the pair came up with a different idea.
“We were looking for solutions to serve an on-demand Indonesian meal without having to have dining room staff and a dining room so we came up with the solution of a virtual restaurant,” says Abdullah.
The virtual restaurant called Rasa Indonesia opened last year and already is gaining traction with foodies.
“We kind of have our favourite dishes - the dishes we kind of grew up eating and that’s what our menu is focused on and based on. But then we will also take a lot of feedback from customers,” says Anthony Abdullah.
Rasa Indonesia is open every Wednesday to Saturday and orders are done online through Uber Eats or Door Dash. Authentic Indonesian cuisine will then be delivered to your home.
The pair hopes the virtual model restaurant succeeds so that in the future they can complete their dreams by opening a full restaurant in London.
Eventually they hope to have a brick and mortar Indonesian restaurant.
“It’s not just something that would be great for us to have our dream of having a restaurant but also for London to be one of the few markets in Canada to have an Indonesian market it can sustain,” says Abdullah.
For more information, visit Petogjo Food and Catering.
More segments of our London and Area Works series can be found here.