Sunday, July 1, 2012

Satay Bar, Melbourne CBD by Bureaucrat

For a catch up with Mr S, I managed to convince him that we should try something other than supping at Chilli India. The place I had in mind was Laksa Bar on Lt Lonsdale St, which I spied when Snooze and I went to Miss Chu several months ago. However, when arriving at Laksa Bar, I was dismayed to see it was packed out, and there was queue of people waiting for a table.

I then resigned myself to another lunch at Chilli India, until I remembered that there was another bar in the area that I wanted to try. Not laksa, but satay - Satay Bar. Perplexing is that its logo is a capital N. Not sure how that relates to satays.

Upon entering SB, there was another perplexing puzzle. There seemed to be no staff around. We wandered up to the kitchen and asked for help. They told us to go upstairs and take a seat and assured us that there were staff up there.

Upstairs is set up like a bar. There's a bar, bar stools, and a few tables. Mr S and I perched ourselves on these high stools and quickly perused the menu, as we were absolutely starving by this point.

We placed our order and waited, and waited for our food and drinks to arrive.

Finally, the food started to arrive. Firstly, Mr S' nasi goreng. It was piping hot and was a reasonably good sized serve.

More time elapsed, then Mr S' entree arrived. At least, what we thought was his entree. A plate of spring rolls. Mr S had actually ordered fried wontons, but thought that the waiter had got our order wrong. As we were both hungry, we accepted the entree and didn't bother letting the staff know of the error.

Even more time elapsed, my coconut juice arrived. Going by the articles in The Age, seems like the latest food fad is coconut juice. To me, it seems like The Age is just trying to create a fad. Anyhoo, the juice was sweet but not overly sugary, which tender coconut flesh.

And sounding repetitive, yet more time elapsed and my main finally arrived - ayam bakar (grilled chicken), it was served with rice and a bowl of chicken broth.

The chicken was nicely burnished, had a nice grilled flavour and yummy crispy skin. It was a little bit difficult eating the chicken with a knife and fork and being perched on a bar stool, but I perservered. The broth was warming and not too salty.

By this time, Mr S had finished his meal, and I was about half way through mine. This was when a waiter came up who was trying to locate which table had ordered a plate of fried wontons which we had ordered. We realised that we had taken another table's spring rolls. Oh well.

The service was friendly, when it was there. The place seemed disorganised - what with the no staff on the ground floor, the long wait for the food and then the mains arriving before the entrees.

Despite this, the food was good. I do want to go back. I had originally wanted to order the grilled fish (ikan bakar), which looked really good. However, there is a 20 minute wait for that particular dish. Given that I ended up waiting 30 minutes for my chicken, I should've just ordered the fish. Also, I do want to try the satays.

The interior design of SB is geared up for people going for a drink. I think that's part of its problem. As most daytime diners are office workers, SB would be better set up with more tables (and more staff), instead of bar stools.

Food - 7.5
Service - 6
Ambience - 6
Price - 7.5

Satay Bar
296 Russell Street
Melbourne 3000
Telephone: 9671 4815

Satay Bar on Urbanspoon

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