In the second of my recent forays into Indonesian food, I was pointed to Nelayan by Sally, an Indonesian student.

Out of all of the cheap Asian eats on Swanston Street, Nelayan seems to be one of the more popular. Very early on a weekday evening, the tables were doing a quick turnover of heading-home office workers and international students.

I edged towards the bain-marie and asked for advice as to what to order. The friendly girl suggested that I try a couple of dishes with rice and pointed me especially to the beef rendang and fried chicken. Done.  A huge dish of both meats and a potato dish plus fluffy steamed rice, all for the bargain price of $8.50.

The photo makes everything look a bit beige and sloppy, but I assure you that the food was full of flavour. The chicken was a bit dry but I did like the crunchy bits (sorry, no idea what they were) and I was especially impressed with the rendang – lots of cubes of tender stewed meat and whole spices evident in the sauce.  Based on my tastings of that single plate, Nelayan is well worth a return visit. Do you have any other recommendations?

Nelayan Indonesian Restaurant, 265-267 Swanston St, Melbourne +61 3 9663 5886
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