The Enduring Legacy of Nelayan Restaurant

As one of Melbourne CBD’s most longstanding Indonesian restaurant, Nelayan Restaurant (also known as Nelayan Indonesian Restaurant before its recent rebranding) is definitely no novice when it comes to serving authentic Indonesian food. Be it a selection of over-the-counter homemade menu or a special set meal, Nelayan Restaurant has got it all. Occasionally, you may even find that the restaurant serves salmon fish head gulai as their special menu. Even better, since its recent renovation and rebranding effort, the restaurant has added the popular ayam geprek (fried chicken served with shrimp chili paste) and bebek geprek (fried duck served with shrimp chili paste) into the menu – both favourites of Melbournians and Indonesians alike.

Open every day from 11 A.M. to 9 P.M. with an extra hour every Friday and Saturday, Nelayan Restaurant provides an easy and reliable dinner destination with menu catering to your own unique palate. This time, OZIP Magazine came down to the restaurant to try out some of their special menus and bring you some of the lesser known choices that you definitely should try: 

Nasi goreng cakalang

Nasi Goreng Cakalang (Skipjack Tuna Fried Rice)

At first bite, the skipjack tuna fried rice reminds you of salted fish fried rice, a.k.a. nasi goreng ikan asin. This is understandable, given that both have fish as their main ingredient. However, unlike the crunchy salted fish fried rice, the skipjack tuna is tender and soft. Chewing on the fish will slowly build up your appetite as the savoury fragrant of the rice wafts through your nose and tickle your taste buds. Garnished with carrot and complemented with prawn cracker (kerupuk udang), the skipjack tuna fried rice is the perfect choice for a simple and fulfilling dinner that everyone can enjoy.

Pecel lele

Pecel Lele (Fried Catfish served with Sambal Chili Paste)

This famous East Java cuisine may seem simple at first glance. However, upon taking that first bite, you will discover just how crunchy the catfish is. Served with extra crunch on top, you will find yourself biting away at the crispy skin and getting more addicted as you continue. As fellow Indonesians or Indonesian food lovers may know, a serving of pecel lele will not be complete without some spicy sambal terasi to complete the dish. Luckily, this dish comes with an extra serving of tomato, cucumber, lettuce and sambal terasi for you to enjoy. So lick your finger as you partake in this local fiery dish and let your tongue be the judge.  

Sup combo

Sup Kombo (Combo Soup)

There is a good reason why the menu is dubbed “Combo Soup” in the first place. This soup-based dish is served together with sliced grilled beef ribs. Cooked to perfection and tender in every bite, the juiciness of the meat will refresh your palate with a tinge of sourness from the lime garnish provided. Or, if you are feeling bold, you can also eat it with sambal terasi and the miscellaneous vegetables served on the plate. When it gets slightly too hot, gulp down the chicken stock soup which will help your tongue cool down from the sharp tinge of the chili. If you are a meat lover, this is definitely a dish that you do not want to miss out on.

Home made chilli sauce

So if you are craving for some quick and mouthwatering Indonesian food amidst your busy schedule or evening hangout, come on over to Nelayan Restaurant! Alternatively, you can also get your food delivered via deliveroo by simply typing “Nelayan Restaurant” and placing your order into the app. So what are you waiting for? It is time to stop thinking and start ordering!

Bon Appetit!

Text: Edward Tanoto
Photo: Fakhrul Hadianto