CBD Indonesian pleasin’




Salero Kito Padang, Tivoli Arcade Shop, 18, 239 Bourke St, Melbourne. Phone: 039 571 3097

Tivoli Arcade is old-school CBD and to be cherished for that.

Over the years, a variety of cheap-eateries have come and gone.

Salero Kito Padang’s current competition includes places of the Vietnamese, Indonesian and Nepalese varieties.

These premises were long inhabited by a Malay/Chinese joint called – IIRC – Chatterbox that I used to be happy to visit for perfectly fine chicken rice and the like.

This is my first chance to check out the new, West Sumatran configuration.

Most of the food is displayed in a bain marie and doesn’t appear particularly inspiring.

The menu includes jackfruit curry (maybe next time) and deep-fried ox lung (nope).

Nor does my plate of three choices with rice for $13 lead to wild excitement and high hopes.




Which just goes to show that one should never judge just about anything on appearances and first impressions, let alone on relative swishness of decor.

Because this is the best South-East Asian meal I’ve had in a long while.


For starters, what appear to meager servings of my three choices turn out to be more than plentiful enough to fill me up and make the $13 price seem something of a bargain.

The beef rendang is good-dry, tangy, chewy and free of fat.

The spicy eggplant has that very excellent silky thing going on and tastes heavenly. It’s not particularly spicy apart from the red-hot chilli mash, an extra dollop of which I am dished up from a choice of about five condiments.

The gratifyingly meaty bone-on chicken thigh is part of a mild chook curry that is nevertheless delicious.

Of the few dishes prepared to order, I see great love and care being accorded serves of a lurid yellow laksa.

That’s for me next time!






13 thoughts on “CBD Indonesian pleasin’

  1. Love, love, love Indonesian food – haven’t tried this place though, Now on the ‘to do’ list. Mostly, it isn’t the most attractive presentation, but so full of flavour. Jackfruit curry must definitely be on your list for time, it’s one of my faves.


  2. Great to hear there is a good Padang restaurant here again. Used to be one on Swanston St but it closed some years ago.

    Padang cooking is one of Asia’s finest cuisines. Very spicy but very complex flavours too. Lots of great dishes with beef, chicken, fish, eggs and veges all featuring strongly. In Indonesia “rumah makan masakan Padang” can be found in any decent sized town anywhere in the archipelago, such is the popularity.

    It’s food made for sharing too, as when you sit down the waiter will swiftly fill up the table with various small plates of different dishes. You pay for only what you eat.


      • I think so Kenny. I’m not 100% sure but I think the sauce-based rendang dishes that we are familiar with are more Malysian than Indonesian.

        I’ve visited West Sumatra a couple of times and the “rendang sapi” (beef rendang) dishes I’ve had there have been dry. There’s also a similar braised meat dish called “dendeng” that has a more lemongrass-y taste that is served dry too. (Look out for dendeng if you ever see it on a menu, it’s super tasty!).


  3. Been here a few times. Love a tender, moist rendang without too much sauce. The beef with green chilli is also good, the amount of heat perfect (to my taste anyway). And if you are willing to go out on a bit of a limb, try the creamy textured lamb brains. To top it all off, you can get a lightly fried egg on the top.

    Also, in terms of it being bain marie food, a lot of the dishes benefit from slow cooking. Consequently they don’t necessarily deteriorate and may even improve from the time they spend sitting around. Oh, I while I’ve not had the lung the jackfruit is decent here.



  4. I agree with Jill, you should definitely try the jackfruit curry. I tried a jackfruit curry in Launceston (of all places) a few years ago, it was fantastic, and probably one of the best veg curries I have tried.


  5. I had the jackfruit curry when they first opened, and to be honest, it was a whole lot of plain to me. Maybe it’s just not the dish for me. Or maybe they had a bad day.

    I’ll have to go back and try the rendang.


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