Wednesday 13 February 2013

Nelayan Indonesian Restaurant

265, Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Nelayan Indonesian on Urbanspoon
Scoring 82% likes on Urbanspoon, this is a no fuss place that serves up good basic Indonesian fare. It is worth noting that Nelayan is also Halal-certified.

The Place
This is not a huge place and is set up almost like a canteen, with most of the food being served from the bain-marie. You order your food up front, pay for it, grab your utensils and off you go to find a table. It's the same thing if you are looking for an ala carte meal - order and pay first, then wait for them to bring it to you. It's not a place to have a long yarn and there's not a whole lot of space between tables. You could watch people walk by on Swanston St as you enjoy your meal.

Ok, this is going to be a strange thing to say but I don't like their chairs! They need to replace them, many are clearly quite unstable and I have visions of crashing on to the floor in the middle of a meal - freaks me out. You can also help yourself you water and very watered down tea, but they are just sitting on the tray by the fridge where people are queing up for food... hmm.

Other things to do close by: It's on Swanston Street near Lonsdale. QV, Bourke Street Mall, and Melb Central are all close by, and so is Chinatown.

The Food
This place serves basic authentic Indonesian fare that's quite simple and delicious. There are a number of different dishes that are quite good for food from a bain-marie. Their ala-carte menu is not bad too.
However, the main highlight is:
Beef Rendang  which is probably one of the best rendang in Australia. I can't speak highly enough of it. It pretty much melts in your mouth and has a rich sauce - I am salivating just thinking about it. My friend Scott loves it too!

The Service
Cheap and Efficient. No fuss, no demands. The problem is consistency - some of the servers give you lots while others are a bit miserly - it's all luck of the draw.

This is a good place to go to if you are in a hurry and want some light spicy Indonesian food that's really quick. A great place for a quick meal under $10.00 (if you dare to risk the chairs).

Cultural Moment
This is quite a good place to check out what the local Indonesian community is up to. There are all sorts of posters and notices from the Indonesian Community and Student groups, advertising everything from Career Fares to Indonesian Church gatherings.

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