It’s been barely two weeks back and I’ve already missed the food back home. Despite other scrumptious cuisine and food that can be easily found in Melbourne, there’s just something that makes me really miss some good ol’ Indonesian food from time to time. My brother suggested Bali Bagus for lunch so we went there with a couple of friends, and I’m glad to say that we’ve managed to leave a good impression of Indonesian cuisine on them. The restaurant is located in the CBD, a few blocks away from Melbourne Central, and close to RMIT University.
– General Review –
- Service: 6.5/10
The service here was satisfactory since the staff weren’t very friendly nor welcoming, but they weren’t exactly rude either – just passive. On the other hand, our food were served quite quickly, which slightly compensated for the flaws. The restaurant also only accepts cash as payment, so make sure you bring some money with you if you plan on dining there one day.
- Servicescape: 6/10
When we ate there, the restaurant wasn’t crowded and there were only two groups of customers including us. The emptiness made me feel slightly isolated and initially, doubtful (‘Is this restaurant actually good? nobody’s here!’). They have some Indonesian cultural decorations around and also played some chill and good music (may defer depending on music preferences). Half of the restaurant (the one on the right) looked a little dark though, which made me feel a little uncomfortable at first, but the food definitely made up for it.
- Non-smoking area: Yes – I couldn’t find any seats outdoors and there weren’t any ashtrays provided on the tables inside, so I’m assuming that the whole restaurant is smoke-free.
- Vegetarian dishes: Yes – There were some vegetable dishes such as Gado-gado and Ketoprak, and several more vegetarian snacks available like Lumpia and Tahu Gejrot.
- Price range: $ (AU$8 – $13 for food. The beverages range from AU$1.50 – $4.00)
Overall Rating: 7/10
– Food Experience –
1) Iga Penyet with Rice:
Most of the times when I have decided to eat Indonesian food in the past, I wouldn’t have considered getting Iga but I really enjoyed it this time. It was quite fatty, but the meat was very tender (some of the iga that I’ve tried in the past were tough). As with most Indonesian food, the meat would be a little too salty or sweet if you don’t eat them with rice, so eat them both together!
2) Soto Ayam with Rice:
I was a little disappointed with the soto ayam and frankly, homemade ones taste way better. The soto ayam was bland and it was too oily and watery (too much soup in general). It also looked very different from the picture portrayed in the menu, and I’d expected there to be so-un (bean thread noodles) since it was in the picture, but there wasn’t any.
3) Ayam Penyet with Rice:
I really liked the ayam penyet – the chicken meat was very tender, and it wasn’t too salty but still retained its flavour. It’s a little oily but the sambal totally made up for the flaws. It was actually spicy! (The Iga Penyet also came with this sambal.) The rice was also cooked quite nicely – not too hard nor soft – and it was topped with bawang goreng, something I rarely eat here because I can’t seem to find them in supermarkets and Asian groceries.
4) Sambal Goreng Ayam with Rice:
Out of all the dishes I’ve tried so far, the Sambal Goreng Ayam with Rice has got to be my favourite, so I highly recommend it. The chicken meat was so tender and the spice wasn’t very spicy either (although that may depend on the individual’s spice tolerance). The flavour and spice were balanced out nicely with the rice, and the meat wasn’t too sweet nor salty. It’s definitely one of my top Indonesian dishes that I’ve tried here!
Contact number: +61 3 9662 1474
Operating hours: Sat – Thurs: 11:00am – 9:00pm
Fri: 11:00am – 9:30pm
Posted by: V