Dinner at New Indonesian Restaurant Kata Kita in Melbourne CBD
New Indonesian restaurant Kata Kita is a revelation in La Trobe St, and already one of my favorite Indonesian experiences in Melbourne. Bold flavors is the name of the game in an attractive bright (including greenery) setting. Following the success of their street-style venue, Yoi, Lie Lie and her two sons, Michael and Dion Sanusi have launched this second Indonesian venture, which has "nailed it" from the start.
Translating to ‘Together we say [EAT]!’, an invitation to relax, unwind and enjoy good Indonesian hospitality, Kata Kita is kicking things up a notch and bringing a new layer of fresh, flavourful Indonesian dining to the CBD, with a delicious menu of cocktails to match. Be prepared for flavour bombs of zesty citrus, tongue spiking chilli, homemade aromatic sambal underscored with lemongrass, shrimp and sweet palm sugar.
Offering a range of small and big plates, Kata Kita is showcasing the very best of Indonesian regional specialties including Balinese favourites Babi Guling - 5-hour slow roasted pork coated in Balinese spices, served with a mix of crisp vegetables, coconuts and fried shallot sambal.
Other favourites include Nasi Goreng’s flavour-rich (and spicer) cousin, Bebek Goreng Madura, an Indonesian delicacy prized for its fried duck, that’s as crispy as it is tender, and topped with traditional bumbu hitam, a rich and unique black sambal of blended spices that are fried until it turns its signature black colour.
Modern Indonesian dining respecting traditional flavors but with exciting fusion. Dishes cooked from family recipes and several cooked over charcoal to the delight of diners.
Sometimes you walk into a new restaurant and realize “these people really know what they’re doing”. It makes sense given this is the family behind Yoi.
Packed house on a Tuesday night with a young trendy crowd says it all. Staff were engaging, helpful and knowledgeable.
Food was top notch with an impressive menu consisting of smaller plates and larger plates, all easy to share.
Highlights for us on the night included-
DANG BAKAR Grilled prawns marinated in sweet and spicy sauce, lime, Sambal Kecap was a showstopper dish. A must order.
LUMPIA SEMARANG Peranakan-style spring rolls filled with shrimp, chicken, egg, onions, bamboo shoots, chilli sambal dipping sauce was a generous and delicious dish.
BABI BAKAR Slow-cooked Balinese BBQ pork ribs glazed with house sauce, lime, Bumbu Genep, micro herbs were melt in your mouth ribs.
IKAN BAKAR Grilled pomfret fish, sweet and spicy glaze, Sambal Embe, Sambal Kecap, lime, served on banana leaf. Another showstopper cooked over charcoal. Was told this is the most popular dish.
Great rendition of NASI GORENG Indonesian fried rice (chicken, onions, Chinese broccoli, wok tossed with Kecap Manis), fried egg, prawn crackers.
KANGKUNG GORENG Stir-fried water spinach, garlic, onion, shrimp paste, was the perfect side dish accompaniment.
CENDOL BAO Fried bao, pandan jelly, palm sugar, coconut ice-cream was a delightful donut-like dessert.
PISANG GORENG Indonesian banana fritter, coconut ice cream, icing sugar was another excellent dessert that was not too heavy.
KOLAK BIJI UBI Sweet potato balls in creamy salted pandan coconut milk was a sweet dessert that impressed with its texture and flavour.
Plus excellent cocktails (you could taste the alcohol) of Kemangi rum based cocktail and the Uluwatu gin based cocktail, as well as Indonesian Bintang beer. Highly recommended.