I was driving back from Veterans Day ceremonies today when I spotted a sign for what appeared to be a new restaurant in the old Kalbee location (next to Starbread and Tapioca Express in the CVS Plaza on Sonoma Blvd/Hwy 29.)
I wasn't quite hungry enough to stop initially, but after a quick run around the neighborhood, I had built up an appetite and headed back to check things out.
Sure enough, this place has literally been open for less than one week, according to the female owner who hails originally from Indonesia. This business appears to be a family operation that's geared both for both eat in and take away customers.
Unlike their closest competitors just to the north (The Asian Wok & Grill in American Canyon), they don't have any Americanized Chinese items on the menu - from what I can tell, it's all Indonesian, Malay and Singaporean.
I went with something I knew well from my brief stint in Malaysia last year - Char Kway Teow - and got a nice portion size, enough to cover two meals. I will say also that this version is better than their competitors to the north (for example, this version had squid - I don't care for squid, but I didn't mind it at all here.) It wasn't quite what I remembered from Malaysia but I guess that's understandable; when I added some sriracha, it gave it a nice little kick.
There are 92 items on their menu - I won't list them all, but I'll give a fair representation with a list:
Appetizers: Martabak Telur, Empek Empek Palembang, Otak Otak, Roti Prata
Meat dishes: Sambal Roast Chicken, Java-style Fried Chicken, Rendang Beef, BBQ Five Spice Pork, Malaysian Pork Chip
Vegetables: Gado Gado, Sambal Eggplant or String Beans; Sayur Lodeh Stew; Belachan Kangkung
Soups: Prawn Mee; Laksa Rice/Egg Soup; Beef Honeycomb Tripe Egg/Rice Noodles/Singapore Chicken Noodles
Seafood: Banana Leaf wrapped Pepes Fish; Malay Sambal Fish; Black Pepper Squid; Singapore Chili Crab; Fish Head Curry
Rice: Singapore, Indonesia and Indian fried rices; Banana Leaf Rice
Noodles: Char Kway Teow; Singapore- & Java-style Mee Hoon, Hokkien Mee; Mee Goreng
Drinks & Dessert: Ice Teller; Ice Longan; Ice Coconut Kopy; Kue Dadar; Cheng Thng(sic) Sweet Clear Dessert Soup; Bu Bo Cha Cha; Black Sweet Rice w/Jackfruit & Coconut Milk
Everything on the menu right now is less than $9 (the Fish Head Curry and Singapore Chili Crab is listed as Seasonal, so I don't know what the price range is on that.)
They seem to be eager to please, thanking me for not asking for change and asking that they get feedback as to what works, what doesn't etc. If you're in the neighborhood and in the mood, it might be worth a stop
Spice Island Cuisine
3730 Sonoma Blvd
(next to Starbread & Tapioca Express)
Vallejo, CA 94589
Phone & Fax: 707-648-1895