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Calasan Restaurant on West Side

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Calasan Restaurant on West Side

Postby Lily » Thu May 12, 2011 8:19 pm

I am not in ANY way associated with this place but I live nearby. Honest! Check out the new Indonesian place "Calasan Restaurant" on the corner of Old Sauk Road and High Point. They advertise themselves as "Indonesian Fast Food" but I found it better than mere fast food. I was visiting the Ashman Library after work and noticed the restaurant's free taster to celebrate their opening. I was expecting tiny tasting portions and received a FULL meal!!

Their sweet fried chicken is non-greasy, very lightly breaded, and so good. They served it with a spicy sauce but I'd consider it more tangy than spicy. Also had a lettuce salad with some white creamy sauce and a noodle dish with sharp black pepper, a little ground meat, and mild onions. Free soda too. The place is small and cute and the server/owner was very gracious in explaining all their special dishes. The chicken is either sweet or salty each with a sweet or spicy sauce, and they serve up to six side dishes, salads, crazy green beans, tofu, and soups. Prices start at $5.00 but hungry eaters can easily be full at under $10.00. The owner was saying the way they prepare the fried chicken there is virtually no oil in the chicken portions themselves. The chicken was juicy-tender inside. It was impressive how the server/owner so patiently explained what the dishes are and how they are prepared. It was great they took the time with each and every customer who had questions. I think I could be on a first name basis with these folks!!!! I rate them YUM!!! See you there.
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Re: Calasan Restaurant on West Side

Postby Petro » Sun May 15, 2011 9:03 am

I live nearby and I'd been seeing the "Coming Soon!" sign for weeks. When it changed to "Grand Opening!" I stopped through for a visit. Calasan is occupying the old Pollo Inka spot in the shopping center near Old Sauk & High Point.

They don't have menus put together yet, so I snapped a picture of the dry erase board that he's using for the time being -

Image

The man that I'm presuming is the owner was very personable, making a point of talking me through the menu, gesturing at samples laid out on the counter as he went along.

I wound up getting a two-piece with two sides and I'd requested one piece of each type of chicken. I heard another patron request "only thighs" and he complied without an upcharge, which was pleasant. Along with my chicken I tried the "crazy green beans" which seemed to be steamed green beans and carrots and something else unrecognizable, my second side was a noodle dish with bits of meat, onion and a light sauce of some kind - it was alright, but both sides seemed a bit bland.

When I arrived home, I opened the container to find three pieces of chicken instead of the two I'd ordered. I didn't see any sort of marking to differentiate which type was which and I couldn't really taste any difference between the two.

As for the chicken, it's boiled first and then fried. To me that sounds wrong, hateful and perhaps even British - but it doesn't hurt the end product like I'd expected. It was extremely crispy on the outside albeit unbattered, but still juicy on the interior. Certain areas almost felt overcooked in their crispiness, but it didn't ruin the experience. (I'm sure some people will take issue with it, though.)

The chicken was served with a pair of cups of some sort of sauce that again, didn't really have much in the way of flavor to it. It was thin, runny and flecked with chunks that looked like it might have been some kind of chutney? I was told it was spicy, but I'm left wondering if I was given the wrong sauce.

It's a nice little place with extremely friendly staff, so I'll probably be back - if only to see if it's a little better once they've gotten on their feet.

If you visit to grab carryout, expect a wait of ten minutes or so; as everything is made to order. Of course, you can always be a ninja and phone in your order in advance.

Calasan Restaurant

(608) 831-8883
745 N High Point Rd
Madison
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Re: Calasan Restaurant on West Side

Postby Shorty » Mon May 16, 2011 7:07 am

All they serve is fried chicken with a few sides, soup, and soda like Petro's sign says. The decorations were limited and looked like something from an Indonesian grad student's apartment at UW.

This place used to be another chicken shack, Pollo Inka, but they were better than this. They had a bigger menu, offered good baked chicken and other food than just chicken. If you want spicy Asian food there is Swaggat in the same shopping area.
Last edited by Shorty on Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Calasan Restaurant closed

Postby Shorty » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:12 pm

They closed July 1. Window sign says American Latina will open there soon.
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Re: Calasan Restaurant on West Side

Postby snoqueen » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:01 pm

The decorations were limited and looked like something from an Indonesian grad student's apartment...


+3 points entertainment value
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Re: Calasan Restaurant on West Side

Postby NullDevice » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:14 pm

I went there twice, and both times my chicken was tough and overcooked.

I ordered the "indonesian crazy beans" side on one occasion, and apparently what was crazy about them was that they were carrots.

Kind of a shame, because with some tweaking, it coulda been really good. The owner seemed very nice.
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Re: Calasan Restaurant on West Side

Postby Mad Howler » Thu Jul 18, 2013 10:56 pm

I was over at Swagat last week and it looked like Calasan is out of business. Some other ethnic food play is going in, I cannot remember the focus.
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Re: Calasan Restaurant on West Side

Postby Shorty » Sat Jul 20, 2013 2:55 pm

My 7/10 post said: They closed July 1. Window sign says American Latina will open there soon.
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