Friday, May 4, 2012

Es Teler 77, Melbourne CBD by Snooze

With Big Fil out of town for a week or so, Bureaucrat and I ventured out on a wet, blustering week day to test one of the many cheap, student eateries clustered around RMIT. Our choice was Es Teler, serving Indonesian food, in Swanston Street.

I’ll come clean and admit I’m not a fan of Indonesian, or even Malaysian, food and this will be reflected in any review I write about food from either of those places. To my taste buds, the Indonesia and Malaysian food I’ve tried in Melbourne tastes over cooked, over sauced and over seasoned, although I’ve been assured it’s better/different if I was lucky enough to visit Indonesia or Malaysia. I look forward to that day. In any event, Big Fil has promised to take me somewhere that makes better Indonesian and I'll let you know how I go.

Es Teler was no different to other experiences by me of Indonesian fod in Melbourne, and given this isn’t the first time I’ve eaten at Es Teler over the last couple of years (around four times in total), I feel as though I’ve given Es Teler a reasonable shot. But to hopefully offer a less biased view, I’ve asked Bureaucrat how she felt and her views form part of this review.

Bureaucrat and I opted for two dishes: mine was the Nasi Goreng seafood (prawn and octopus) with Bureaucrat going with the Kweotiaw seafood. The picture on the wall for both showed delicate rice topped with plump juicy seafood. My plate was generously heaped with Nasi Goreng, but the dish was overcooked over peppered rice and a snall amount of over cooked seafood. I couldn’t and didn’t finish my plate.

Bureaucrat’s Kweotiaw was made from the dried rice noodle sticks, and seemed as though it was re-heated/cooked. The noodles were gelatinous and clumpy. It was a bit salty and peppery. There was a modest amount of frozen seafood in it. I couldn’t finish it either – mainly because it was a big serve and also because it was average in quality.

What I liked best, and Bureaucrat agreed, was the small bowl of chicken soup that came with our meals. It was hot, with a delicate chicken flavour and the kind you'd be happy your mother made.

Es Teler is a smallish, well located eatery well located to cater for students and office workers looking for a cheap lunch—change from $10 isn’t bad given the size of the serves. Ordering can take a while, depending on when you arrive, although the food is delivered pretty quickly to your table. The d├ęcor is both dated and faded, but clean and tidy and my only suggestion would be to take down the menu options on the front window that obscure the view of Swanston Street and the State Library of Victoria. I also found the sparrows locked inside endearing as they flew around, but I’m not sure what the health department would make of them. (And this was Bureacrat's thoughts too as she really liked the brightly coloured restaurant with the small birds darting in and around the diners.)

Food – 5
Ambience – 5
Service – 6
Price - 7

319 Swanston St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: 03 9663 4243

Es Teler 77 on Urbanspoon


katy_em said...

it sounds like you didn't enjoy it. did you really sit though all of that? Azurea in Bundoora has great $10 student meals

Anonymous said...

I found their food too salty! Many of my friends said that too. In addition, there was one lady wearing kerchief was so impolite!! Bad service. Totally didn't like it. Wouldn't go again!

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