So imagine the look on our faces when the roads were still jammed up with cars when we were out looking for food at 6.30pm after work.
We ditched all plans about trying to drive to Chinatown and decided to try our luck at South Melbourne, being the neighbouring suburb. A quick search on Urbanspoon and we found Garmerica, a small cosy place that serves Indonesian cuisine. Something tells me that we will definitely be regulars here after having dined here twice in the one month we have been in Melbourne.
The food is simple and non pretentious. The cuisine is somewhat similar to our Malay cuisine in terms of dishes and flavour profile.
The tahu isi goreng got me confused with the version that has lots of vegetables and a sweet sauce drizzled over it. This was like the name suggests, deep fried tofu with a filling. Nothing special and I guess no harm ignoring this.
The tempeh is a ferment soy product which has an unique bite to it is served with a chili dressing, perfect alongside a meat and rice.
I was up for something light and had the oxtail soup. A clear soup that is supposedly flavoured with nutmeg, parsley and spring onions; this was comforting to sip on a chilly evening.
On another occasion, I decided to go for the hearty beef rendang. The sauce didn't have too much heat but by no means were the flavours watered down in any aspect. I had it with lontong which is compressed rice pieces instead of white rice. As I dunked the piece of rice cubes into the sauce, it made me miss the Malaysian version which we serve in a laksa soup base. I must ask the waitress if they serve anything like that off the menu next time.
The ayam percik is pretty good and comes in a few variations, one is grilled and the other is fried and then grilled. Choose your pick and you would not be disappointed with the sweet black marinade and the char you get from the grill. If you choose the later, the meat may seem a bit tough after going through two rounds of cooking so if succulent meat is a must, I say take the grilled version.
From what I read on the menu, the deep fried fish dishes sounds like a treat so we see ourselves ordering it when we next drop by.
Prices are around the AUD10-15 per pax, so pretty affordable for a weekday meal.
Address and contact details:
Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. A simple place for a simple meal and the benefit of being so near makes it so convenient for us.