Spice Klub, 4/203 Ballarat Road, Footscray. Phone: 0439 159 417
There are many interesting things for us to try when we return to Spice Klub.
On the menu (see below) are noodles, rice, desserts and more.
But it’s going to be tricky.
Because I simply can’t see us hitting Spice Klub without ordering the beef rendang.
It is brilliant – and I strongly suspect those with a deeper knowledge of and experience with Indonesian food will concur.
Called here rendang sapi, it costs $13 and is served with plain rice.
In modern parlance, this meat would be referred to as “smashed” or even, heaven forbid, “pulled”.
But let’s go old-school and refer to it as cooked down.
It is meat of high quality; no gristle or globs of fat here.
It’s quite sweet, has a nice chilli kick and is just sufficiently oily for the recipe to work.
Best of all, the flavour is a full-on orchestral blast of blended spices.
Bennie and I do good with the rest of our meal, too, though unsurprisingly not quite as spectacularly.
(We are guests of management – see full disclosure below.)
Lumpia semarang (chicken and prawn spring rolls, $10) are gorgeously lumpy in a way that denotes house-made food.
The chunky prawn and chicken mince inside, quite fishy in flavour, is equally rustic.
Our rolls are served with nice tamarind sauce with a strong whiff of ginger.
Nasi bakar ayam ($13) is “BBQ rice” cooked in banana leaf and studded with boneless chicken pieces.
It’s served with a crunchy mix of toasted coconut, chilli and salt, along with a sticky soy/chilli concoction.
It’s enjoyable, though probably better categorised as an entree than as a main.
Despite Spice Klub’s official address being on Ballarat Road, it’s actually on the strip of shops on Gordon Street familiar to all in the inner west as home to … not much.
But now there’s a cool Indonesian joint in place, hopefully we’ll be more frequent visitors to the neighbourhood.
Bizarrely, given the technicolour multitude of food riches in Melbourne’s west, Spice Klub is – as far as we can ascertain – our only Indonesian restaurant.
(Consider The Sauce dined at Spice Klub as guests of the management and we did not pay for our meals. We ordered whatever we wanted. Spice Klub management neither sought nor was granted any input, oversight or pre-publication access to his story.)