Recently I had a major craving for Vietnamese food. I went onto Yelp hoping to find a hidden gem in the sea of steak sandwiches, pizza and hoagies that is deep South Philly. (All the Vietnamese/Thai spots can’t be on Washington Ave and in Chinatown right?) I thought I found a spot at 7th & Wolf but when I got there around 8pm, to my surprise they were closed. I walked back feeling defeated and annoyed.
The next day, thanks to Twitter (and The City Paper) I read an article about a new Indonesian spot at 15th and Ritner. (A mere 10 minute walk from my place) Needless to say, I was thrilled! I had to try it that night for dinner. I opened the door feeling like I had walked into a big family dinner. The Server noticing the shy expression on my face, smiled and led me to a table near the counter. With Cyndi Lauper as the soundtrack behind me, I looked at the menu and decided on The Spring Rolls and Vegetable Curry. A few moments after I ordered the owner (who’s name I found out was Betty) came over and told me they were sold out of The Vegetable Curry and helped me pick out another entree. I went with The Spicy Fish.
My Spring Rolls came soon after perfectly golden brown, with a sweet chilli sauce. Four the size of thick cigars. Inside were Glass Noodles, Cabbage, Carrots and Sprouts. The subtle flavors complimented the sweet and spicy sauce perfectly. Next was The Spicy Fish. (Tilapia) I got the spicy sauce on the side because I wasn’t sure how spicy it would be. I love spicy but not to the point of masking all the other flavors. I definitely made the right decision, that sauce was spicy! The lightly pan fried Tilapia was served with a Hard Boiled Egg, Puffed Rice Chips, sliced Cucumbers and Rice w/ Tuna and Veggies on top. The fish had a nice crunch to it, it wasn’t greasy at all and a little bit of hot sauce on top went a long way! The Egg and sliced Cucumbers wouldn’t have been my first choice to pair with the fish, but it all worked well together. The Cucumbers cleared my palate after the spicy fish and egg. My only suggestion would be a smaller portion of rice and a dark green on the plate. But overall it was good.
Having worked in various restaurants/cafe’s and retail stores, customer service is huge for me! It can make or break a place in a second. Sky Cafe genuinely has it. Everyone there seemed really happy and it came through in the food and service. During my meal Betty (The owner) came over and asked me how everything was. We talked for a little she asked me where I live etc. By the end of the meal everyone was calling me by my first name. (When does that happen?!?) I’m looking forward to going back and trying the Vegetable Curry.
*****(out of five)