AWARD-winning artist Diamond Dave is a man of few words, so when he almost waxed lyrical about the food at the Melting Pot I knew it had to be good.
It started with the fresh coconut juice ($4.50) and at first sip his face registered pleasant surprise at how refreshingly good it was.
I’d ordered the house-made iced chrysanthemum tea with rock sugar ($3.90), while D’Angerous Dave went all girly, ordering a bandung, a long and leggy hot-pink drink made with rose syrup and condensed milk ($3.50). He was so impressed he ordered a second.
The drinks are a clue to the food, which is as Indonesian as it gets from nasi lemak to gado gado – although the oxtail soup ($14.90) is perhaps an anomaly.
We kicked off sharing vegetarian spring rolls ($5.90) and fish cakes ($7.90).
I’m a huge fan of Thai fish cakes and was at first nonplussed by the Indonesian version, which arrived swimming in a spicy palm sugar sauce.
The fish looked like chunks of banana, not the golden-brown patties I’d expected.
The flavours were very different too, less spicy and more fishy, but were really good, as were the hot and crispy spring rolls.
Diamond ordered black pepper chicken ($12.90), a decoratively colourful dish thanks to the bright green broccoli and red capsicum.
“Yeah really good, yeah good flavours,” he said looking uncomfortable having to talk about the tender chicken pieces he was tucking into.
D’Angerous and I shared a chilli fish ($14.90) and gado gado ($11.90).
Wrapped in banana leaves and flame-grilled, the fish with chilli and lime was delicious.
And the gado salad was one of the best I’ve had in recent times, generously covered in a great peanut sauce, the cabbage was still crisp, while the potato was soft and fluffy.
As we enjoyed our meal the small eatery filled to overflowing, with a multicultural mix of diners, showing its wide appeal.
3 Kearns Crescent, Ardross
Mon–Sat 10.30am–2.30pm & 5.30–8.30pm