Despite being open for more than a year, FOMO in Fremantle has never really won me over.
Maybe I’ve visited the dining/retail hub at the wrong time or perhaps I’m not a fan of “clever” marketing campaigns that tell me I’m missing out on something, but we’ve never clicked.
Part of the problem is that most of the eateries are only open during lunch for most of the week and go to full hours from Thursday or Friday onwards.
Fremantle is already busy on the weekend, so wouldn’t you want these places open earlier in the week to attract more people to the port city?
I guess it’s chicken and egg with the foot traffic not there to justify opening. Anyway, I think I finally clicked with FOMO on the last Friday of the Easter holidays.
I needed some sustenance and Dutch courage before visiting Timezone with the kids, so we decided to try the “healthy” Indonesian joint Suku, situated on the William St side of FOMO.
Like a lot of good eateries these days, Suku cut its teeth in a food market – in this case Fremantle Markets where it went down a storm.
Suku had a lively buzz with feelgood music playing and lots of people coming and going as the Easter holidays built to a manic crescendo.
You could sit on the pavement alfresco or inside and watch life unfold on the busy and chaotic William St (Cash Converters seems to be a mecca for insanity).
Some joints in FOMO can feel a bit fast foodie, but this had a nice vibe with tropical decor and quaint chalkboards. It was a cosy nook with a fun atmosphere (a bit like the Jungle Bird on High Street).
The small menu had three main dishes – Nasi Bali (Balinese chicken rice) Rendang (dry beef curry) Gado-Gado (veggie salad with peanut sauce).
There was also a range of small plates including tempe mendoan, rujak (spicy and tangy seasonal fruit salad), sate lilit and batagor (fried mackerel dumpling).
Suku was licensed, so I got a bottle of Bintang ($7) to ease the pain of playing whac-a-mole for two hours and racing my daughter on a giant plastic horse in Timezone.
It wasn’t long before the smiley waitress was back with my Nasi Bali ($16.50).
I loved the presentation – the food was served in rustic wicker basket with the meat and veg artfully scattered around a large mound of boiled rice.
There was a lovely combination of textures and flavours with beans mingling with fried onions, cucumber, onion, rice and all sorts of little goodies that got your tastebuds firing.
I enjoyed the accompanying tub of sauce which had the consistency of chutney and a spicy/tangy kick.
The chook itself was tender and had a lovely assortment of fragrant spices.
A rustic dish made with love, it reminded me of the jerk chicken and rice I got from markets while on holiday in Barbados many moons ago. Delicious and my only negative – it could have done with a bit more chook.
The kids were busy tucking into their sate lilit ($12) – four minced chicken satay sticks with urap and sambal matah.
They could just about handle the spice level, taking slugs of their creamy soda gembira (a bit like a spider drink $6) in-between mouthfuls. I tried some and it was moreish with a lovely blend of spices.
Last up was the tempe mendoan ($8) a delicious battered tempeh with spicy kecap manis and dipping sauce.
I really enjoyed my lunch at Suku – fresh soul food made with love – and my only slight gripe would possibly be the portion sizes.
After finally burying the hatchet with FOMO, it was off to Timezone, but sadly that is a garish, flashing odyssey I will never make peace with.
28 William St, Fremantle
by STEPHEN POLLOCK