Posted on | February 24, 2011 | 18 Comments
Disclosure: My first meal at Kedai Satay was organised by a friend of the owner who got a group of food bloggers together. It was a complimentary meal that I never got around to writing up. This post is about subsequent visits that I paid for.
My background is (Hong Kong) Chinese, but I grew up in New Zealand, which meant that I never learnt to read and write Chinese. When Alastair and I visited China many years ago, I felt like a real Failsian (Fail Asian!) because I didn’t speak Mandarin, most people didn’t speak English, my Cantonese is dreadful and they couldn’t understand it anyway! So last year I started Mandarin classes. I’m still Failsian, but I’m trying!
After my Mandarin class, Alastair and Bro pick me up in the city, and we head somewhere cheap for a quick dinner. The past couple of weeks we have been going to Kedai Satay, an Indonesian restaurant on King Street.
I remembered from my first visit that the lamb ribs are GOOD, so one order had to be the the ribs as a pack ($11.80). The pack comes with the ribs, salad, and a choice of plain or coconut rice or lontong (a rice cake). It can also be ordered as a main ($20) which means no rice and more ribs.
The ribs are tender, a bit fatty, and covered in a sweetish sauce. I love the charred, chewy edges on them. They’re really worth ordering!
I also ordered us the Nasi Uduk Complete ($11.80) which came with coconut rice, fried anchovies, fried tempeh, prawn crackers, roasted peanuts, sambal and a choice of fried or grilled chicken. The first time I ordered it grilled.
On another visit, we had it fried, which seemed very similar. The chicken is not bad, and the sambal is great! It’s fairly spicy so be warned if you don’t like spicy heat.
Here’s a closer look at the stuff that comes with the Nasi Uduk Complete. I forgot to mention the egg! I like the anchovies and peanuts, but the fried tempeh is usually way too salty for my taste.
This is a serve of the lamb satay (5 sticks for $10). They were cooked on the grill and covered in a peanut satay sauce. I liked the smokey, mild spiciness of the meat but found the satay sauce too sweet for my liking. And I kept inhaling chilli and smoke – not advised!
We also tried the chicken satay, which I enjoyed more than the lamb as they were more tender and had better flavour. I still found the sauce too sweet, though the Boys didn’t seem to have the same issues.
On one visit I tried the Ketropak ($7.80) – an Indonesian tofu salad with peanut sauce. It looks a bit… brown and white… but it did taste better than it looks! The plain vermicelli with the peanut sauce and bean sprouts tasted quite nice together – particularly when I stole some sambal off Alastair’s plate and mixed that in too. Without the bean sprouts it would’ve been a bit boring – the crunchiness and freshness helped.
You can add grilled chicken to this dish for $2, though I choose not too.
This is the beef ribs pack ($9.80). Like the lamb ribs, they’re coated in a sweetish, sticky sauce and cooked until tender and falling off the bone. I think the lamb ribs are better though – the beef ribs are larger and fattier, so you don’t get as much of the chewy charred edges that I like so much.
Kedai Satay is one of those Asian eateries that’s cheap and casual. You order and pay at the counter, and help yourself to cutlery. You get asked if you want your food spicy upon ordering (yes, of course!) but to be honest spicy doesn’t seem to be spicy at all. So I recommend having some of the sambal! Another thing I like is a very simple thing – I really like their coconut rice. Yes, I’m Asian and I like my rice. Hey – perhaps I’m not that Failsian after all!
For more posts on Kedai Satay, check out these blogs:
[googleMap name="Kedai Satay" width="600" height="300" directions_to="false"]186 King Street, Melbourne VIC, Australia[/googleMap]