230 Dorcas St
South Melbourne
Phone: 9696 2192

I went to Garamerica for lunch with my friend D in South Melbourne, who claimed this Indonesian restaurant was ‘elusive’. This was mostly due to the lack of prominent signage on the street, and its tucked away location off the main Clarendon St drag.

I started with the Martabak Telor (fried crepe with diced onion and minced beef). It was very different from the murtabaks I have tried before at Rich Maha and Bismi’s Gold and Fork, and more like a spring roll/parcel then a derivation of a pancake. I’m not sure I liked it that much. The onion was quite coarsely diced, and there wasn’t much beef. Still, not bad as a little appetiser.

I also had the Gado Gado – a mountain of crisp vegies and tofu smothered in peanut sauce. An interesting twist to this Gado Gado was the inclusion of some chunks of a steamed rice cake, which at first I thought were huge pieces of potato. It made the rice I had ordered alongside the Gado Gado rather unnecessary. The colourful prawn crackers were cute (and always appreciated by this son of suburban Chinese restauranteurs).

D had the Ayam Bakar (grilled chicken) which looked succulently juicy – of course, D ordered extra chilli – and the accompanying soup was surprisingly interesting. I noted hints of tomato, but it’s just always a pleasant surprise to get a real soup instead of a stock powder broth as an accompaniment in this sort of restaurant.

Service was quick and cheery, and the restaurant is very reasonably priced (we spent $27 between us). Please note they accept cash only – there are ATMs nearby on Clarendon St.

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