Indonesian cuisine may not be as well known to locals here as Japanese and Chinese, but there is still plenty about this distinctive culinary culture to enjoy at Indonesian restaurants in Melbourne's CBD. Down at Pondok Rempah on Elizabeth Street just a few minutes from the delights of the Queen Victoria Market, the expert chefs here are serving up a wide range of classic dishes. Red meat lovers can try the kwetiau goreng made with stir fried flat rice noodles alongside tripe, beef and vegetables, while those looking for lighter meat dishes can try the soto ayam (a yellow chicken broth made with glass noodles, rice, chilli sauce and more).
Indonesia has over 50,000 kilometers of coastline, so it's no surprise that seafood is a big part of the cuisine. And at the Indonesian restaurants in Melbourne's CBD, locally sourced fresh fish from the waters of Port Phillip Bay are used to recreate these traditional recipes here in Australia. At Pondok Rempah, for example, you can sample dishes such as empek empek (deep fried fish cakes with cucumber in a shrimp and spicy palm sugar sauce) or the ikan bakar ala (special grilled fish) and for those looking for a lunch or light dinner, the ikan asam pedas ala (sweet and sour fish soup with vegetables).
With ingredients like palm sugar, syrups and sweet red bean paste common in Indonesian cuisine, the sweet treats on offer are second to none. The Indonesian restaurants in Melbourne's CBD serve a range of authentic local desserts made with interesting and sometimes unusual ingredients, including kolak (bananas, sweet potatoes and pumpkins in a palm sugar and coconut sauce), tausuan (green beans served in a thick sugar syrup) and ice campur (red bean paste, jackfruit and grass jelly served in a mixture of condensed milk and cocopandan syrup).
In a busy and thriving commercial and cultural centre like Melbourne's CBD, the Indonesian restaurants here can fill up quite quickly. That's why it makes sense to book ahead to avoid disappointment and ensure you get a table. With Quandoo, you can look through our list of the top Indonesian restaurants in Melbourne's CBD, find one you like the look of and book online in seconds without even having to call ahead.