Sky Cafe Gets A Two Bell Review

Craig Laban dives in for stinky beans and fish rice at the two-year-old Sky Cafe in South Philly, and comes up with a rollicking two bell review about culinary adventurism, the joys of fish funk and eating tongue.

“You’re not going to like that,” says Edy Yu when I ask about a special called “satay Padang” taped to the wall at Sky Cafe, a cheery little Indonesian restaurant on Ritner Street.

Well, what about the salted fish fried rice?

“Not going to like that, either.”

OK, what are “sator” beans?

“We call them stinky beans, and you are definitely not going to like those,” says Yu. “I don’t even like them. They stay in your body for three days . . . . ”

Yu’s expression lightens suddenly, though, as it dawns on him what’s about to happen: “Wait a second. The more I tell you not to get something, the more you want it, right?”

Two Bells–Very Good

Sky Cafe [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Sky Cafe [Official Website]

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Yelp on Catahoula

Local bloggers haven’t weighed in yet on this Cajun spot on Front Street but Yelp has.

A $5 Boilermaker of Jim Beam and the just-launched-in-PA Narragansett beer immediately won over Elite yelper Jon D. He does soak up some of that alcohol assault with “the hands-down best po-boys around, killer hush puppies and a menu I can’t wait to continue eating my way through.” [Yelp Philly]

“Sometimes a girl likes to be told what she likes,” confesses Elite Tina N. An “on-point” server who was quick to recommend duck jambalaya, crawfish bisque and banana fosters bread pudding had her “ready to call him daddy.” Ye-ow. [Yelp Philly]

“Butter is what binds this place together,” writes Emily M, who scored the first Yelp review of Catahoula on August 4. Barbecued shrimp, griddled cornbread and peach cobbler all drip with that sunny substance; hushpuppies studded with fresh corn get a dip in truffled tartar sauce for an equally heart-stopping riff on the Southern snack. [Yelp Philly]

Catahoula based on 7 reviews

Sky Cafe Brings Indonesian to South Philly

Adam Erace finds an Indonesian gem in Sky Cafe at 16th and Ritner.

On another visit, I began with whole chicken wings, marinated in soy and garlic, floured and fried to order. Squirting them with zigzags of sriracha and kecap manis (sweet Indonesian soy sauce) didn’t diminish their audible crunchiness; you could hear me tearing in over the ’80s soundtrack of A-ha and the Bangles. Fried wontons filled with ground chili- and garlic-spiced chicken (rather than pork, to accommodate the halal-observant) delivered the same crunch — even after half an hour in a steamy Styrofoam clamshell. The takeout travel didn’t topple their pope-hat peaks, didn’t dampen their crackly shells. They’re some of the best fried dumplings I’ve had.

Magna Jakarta [City Paper]
Sky Cafe [Facebook]