Jackie McMillan
7th Jul 2023

Time and energy has clearly been invested into the branding of Indominute. This small Indonesian cafe is a recent addition to the St Peters end of King Street, Newtown. The walls are decorated with framed posters depicting key dishes, like nasi goreng and mie goreng abang abang. A television sits on a continuous loop of well-labelled dishes, making it clear this cafe is as much about communicating culture as it is about selling food. 

Named for traditional Indonesian rice packets, the “packets” are mixed plate meals. In the tiniest script I have ever seen on a menu, Mum’s packet deal ($24) includes a tall icy glass of your favourite ade: grapefruit ade ($7.50) made from fresh ruby grapefruit was tart and refreshing. We tried “Packet 1” ($18), which teamed rendang and fried chicken with rice and salad, and “Packet 4” ($18) that included the same beef curry and sambal chicken. While I liked the rich rendang gravy, it hadn’t really penetrated the single piece of meat presented on each plate, so it lacked the tender, dissolving character I associate with this curry. The ayam goreng (fried chicken) was bland, seemingly devoid of any spicing, making ayam balado (sambal chicken) the slightly better bet. Even the tiny pot of requested sambal lacked heat. 

I missed the generosity and flavour of similar rice packets at Sydney’s more established Indonesian restaurants, like the ever-popular Medan Ciak. There the (also cheaper) rice plates automatically include fiery sambal, ikan bilis (anchovies), fresh cucumber, peanuts, and egg, while here portion-size stinginess means a sambal egg ($2.50) is a (necessary) add-on.