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Top 5 Indonesian Restaurants in Melbourne
Melbourne does most cuisines well, including Indonesian. Here are my top 5 in the CBD...
1. Bali Bagus 85 Franklin St CBD
Hidden away on Franklin St is this little gem. Bali Bagus provides sublime Indonesian cooking, friendly service and a modern and relaxed atmosphere. Having been to Indonesia a few times, I’ve always loved authentic Indonesian cooking. This is how I remember it in Indonesia.
Bali Bagus exudes character with treated concrete floor, artwork on the walls, and the striking red rendered wall (with more artwork). And a quirky water feature!
I ordered the Iga Konro Bakar which consisted of ribs with peanut sauce and a pile of rice (and the egg in addition for an extra $1.20).
This dish was fantastic, full of flavour, meat tender (and some fat left on it thankfully) and the peanut sauce was quality. The meal also came with a bowl of thin beef soup, which I also appreciated.
I love the relaxed and friendly ambience of Bali Bagus. It’s a great place for office workers to unwind – again thanks for the water feature.
Like the other restaurants featured in this article, Bali Bagus provides excellent Indonesian food at value prices.
2. N's Satay Bar 296 Russell St CBD
This newly established restaurant in Russell ticks all the boxes for superb Indonesian cuisine at value prices. This is possibly the best Nasi Goreng in Melbourne. And the satay's are first class. N's Satay Bar place hums at lunchtime, full of city workers looking for something tasty, spicy and imaginative. The vibe is great with a modern chic fit out featuring a communal table, benches, outdoor tables on Russell, and an open kitchen. The whole grilled fish is amazing value for $12.50.
3. Kedai Satay 186 King Street CBD
A sensation on King Street, Kedai Satay is a place to relax from the fast lane, with cheerful service and great quality cuisine. The lamb ribs with peanut sauce is a cracker dish. At Kedai Satay the lamb is cooked to perfection and the peanut sauce surprisingly is a great accompaniment. The satays here are magnificent - for example the chicken satays with steamed rice. And the tropical chicken is also a worthy dish. You won't leave hungry - the portions are massive. The vibe here is enjoyable with traditional Indonesian art on the walls.
4. Nelayan 265 Swanston St CBD
Come here for great Indonesian food that is tasty, authentic and fast.
Nelayan is a cheerful restaurant on Swanston St in a belt which does Asian food well. Competition is strong. And Nelayan is one of the best value options around!
Nelayan is set up like a canteen – which is great for office workers and students. Just order your choices – 2 or 3 (always 3 for me) and select from the bain maries. Then grab your cutlery on your way to a table.
Having been to Indonesia several times and a big fan of Indonesian food, I find Nelayan serves up some favourites with distinction. Many of the choices revolve around chicken which is fine. Highlights here are the Fried chicken, the Curried chicken, and the Beef Rendang (which has the right amount of sauce, heat and the meat is tender). All with rice. And don’t forget the chilli!
I’ve been to Nelayan several times and each time I notice a good crowd of Indonesians. Again, there is an authenticity here of flavours. The restaurant is mid sized and you can relax here as the bustle of Swanston traffic passes by.
5. Es Teller 319 Swanston St CBD
Es Teler is a good honest Indonesian eatery on Swanston Street. Popular with students and city workers looking for a cheap eat. The décor is modest if not bright, but the food is terrific. Orange tables!
Having been to Indonesia I love Indonesian food! The feature here seems to be different versions of nasi goreng. Spiced up if you want! Nasi Goreng Seafood! In my case, Nasi Goreng Chicken! The menu range is extensive! Just line up and order at the counter where there’s friendly staff. And the meal comes out quickly!
My Nasi Goreng Chicken came with a huge mound of rice containing a plethora of fresh tasty ingredients such as chicken, egg, bean, etc. I noticed the egg was chopped up and part of the meal rather than an egg on top like other places I’ve been to (including in Indonesia). I was glad there was still some spice in the “non spiced” version of the Nasi Goreng!
Curiously my meal came with a thin soup which tasted like chicken broth. Much appreciated!
Es Teler is in a great location on Swanston Street near Melbourne Central. It’s a smallish restaurant but has an upstairs section. Es Teler is a good cheap eat option.