Spices Indonesian Kitchen
213 Russell Street, CBD, Melbourne
03 8590 0425
- Tahu Gejrot ‘Spices’
- Mini Tumpeng
- Nasi Bakar Ikan
- Lontong Sayur
- Soda Gembira
We were first served the Tahu Gejrot ‘Spices’ or ‘”Spices” fried tofu’ as a starter, consisting of fried tofu which had a lovely combination of crisp skin and a silky-smooth texture throughout, forming the perfect vehicle for the thin sweet and savoury sauce, balanced well with a slight chilli kick.
This was followed up by the Mini Tumpeng or the ‘mini celebration yellow rice’ which turned out to be a really good introduction to the different dishes available in Indonesian cuisine. A cone (a cone!) of yellow rice provided the central staple to accompany the rendang which was flavourfully rich with a really nice spice. Potatoes will always keep me happy and the sambal potatoes and beans did not disappoint, especially when combined with the complex sambal sauce served on the side, really filled with umami and heat. Another component of tumpeng was the egg balado which was a hard-boiled egg then cooked in and served with a chilli sauce. Interestingly the flavour of the sauce really worked with the flavour of the egg and would probably be the most interesting part of the entire ensemble, which was rounded out by some peanuts, anchovies and a small salad.
We then tried the Nasi Bakar Ikan next, which I was especially excited by due to the unique packaging of the dish, made up of seasoned rice and marinaded fish all bundled together in banana leaves and grilled. This would definitely be the highlight of our meal which is due in part to the wonderfully savoury flavours from the spiced fish and the rice, but perhaps mostly due to the unique and subtle earthy flavour imparted to the dish from the grilled banana leaves.
We were then presented with Lontong Sayur, which did contain a lot of elements from the other dishes, including the rendang, sambal potatoes, egg balado and fried tofu, along with the usual peanut and anchovy garnish, but served with a delightful curry broth that was full of coconut flavour, as well as rice cakes and onion crackers providing a textural counterpoint.
We ordered Soda Gembira almost exclusively due to the adorable translation ‘happy soda’ and while it definitely lived up to the name, especially in its appearance, the soda syrup and the condensed milk were altogether too sweet for our palate.
Spices Indonesian Kitchen is a great little place in the centre of the CBD with very friendly, attentive staff and really flavourful food.
While we cannot vouch for the authenticity of the cuisine, we very much enjoyed our meal here and the prices are very reasonable for a great feed.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Absolutely! Spices was a fantastic introduction to the rich world of Indonesian food and will definitely be back to try more off-piste options.
We would like to thank Julia and the Spices team for their unending hospitality and the opportunity to try a representation of their menu.