Naughty Nuri's Melbourne (Invited)

Friday, November 04, 2016 Sharon Halim 0 Comments

Naughty Nuri's is founded by a young man named Brian Aldinger from New Jersey in 1994, he was travelling around Java, Indonesia then fell in love to an Indonesian woman name Isnuri Suryatmi. They opened a small warung (street restaurant) at Ubud, Bali a year later. The name Nuri comes from the wive's name and Naughty comes from Brian. Then one day they had an idea of putting a small BBQ in front of the restaurant and it became so popular and started attracting tourist. They are also famous for their Naughty Nuri's Martini which Anthony Bourdain said were the best he had outside of New York. Since then many celebrities such as Julia Roberts, Donna Karen and many more visited Naughty Nuri's. One of the favourite part of Brian's job is chatting with his customers, sadly he passed away in 2012. However, Naughty Nuri's continue to live and grow as it grew to become an international franchise and expanded it wings to Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia then Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and now Melbourne.

I was recently back from Indonesia then one of my friends tag me to Naughty Nuri's post searching for real foodies to come in and have a taste so I emailed them and on the same I got replied and ready to come in on the next day. Rosyln, the marketing person for Naughty Nuri's was there to greet me and we were seated together with her husband. The restaurant it self is located in Melbourne Central in front of TGI Friday. It was vibrant, well decorated, quite spacey and of course decorated with the signature logo of Naughty Nuri's.

We started our lunch with Soda Gembira - rose syrup, sweetened milk, soda water ($4.5), Denpasar Raya - orange, lychee grenadine ($6.5) and Seminyak Sunset - red sala, orange, soda, lychee. My husband was really excited to see Soda Gembira on the menu, it's a popular traditional Indonesian drink and we rarely see them in Melbourne. He was really happy with what he had. The mocktails was refreshing and perfect companion to our lunch.

 Our lunch began with an army of small dishes; Prawn Crackers with Satay Sauce ($5), Tempeh Crackers ($6), Lemongrass Spiced Calamari with chilli, spring onion and special seafood sauce ($12) and Crispy Pork Ear with lime and sriracha mayo ($10). I have to say the starters are all delicious and quite authentic. My favourite was the pork ear and spiced calamari, I could eat them everyday. So crunchy, rich with spices and the sauces were good too.

Naughty Nuri's 1995 Signature BBQ Pork Ribs Full - marinated with Balinese spice, grilled to perfection and served with Sambal Nuri's sauce and Truffle fries ($50). This is what they are famous for and most people will come for this. The ribs was nicely marinated and quite tender. Honestly, I love the sauce so much.

Ikan Bakar Jimbaran - grilled barramundi fillet marinated coconut oil served with plecing kangkung and a choice of 3 sambal sauce ($30). Plecing kangkung is spicy blanched morning glory leaves ith sambal tomat terasi but this version is not spicy at all. This is one of the highlight of my lunch, the spices was well made and highly seasoned. A little bit charcoal flavour would elevate this dish even more.

I originally wanted to order their crispy pork belly but they have none on the day so I opted for Nuri's Bebek Goreng - half duck simmered in Balinese spice, deep fried served with rice and authentic Betutu sauce ($28). It was served with 3 of their Signature Balinese Hot Sauce; Sambal Tomat  Terasi - made from red chilli, tomato, garlic, shallot, dried shrimp and shrimp paste, Sambal Hijau Teri Asin - made from green chilli, tomato, garlic, shallot, lime leaves, dried anchovies and Sambal Matah - red chilli, shallot, garlic, lime leaves, shrimp paste soaked in fragrant virgin coconut oil. The duck it self comes in a very generous portion but lack of crispiness on the outside and it could be a little more tender inside as well. Some of my friends dine in on the same day and feel the same way, some even worse. The spices was tone down compared to the original version and it might suit the Australian market but to an original Indonesian tongue, we want more spices on the duck as well as their sambal.

Indonesian Nasi Goreng - fried rice with egg, chicken, squid, prawn, choy sum, onion, carrot, cabbage ($14). The nasi goreng is more of Chinese or Malaysian fried rice rather than Indonesian fried rice to me even though it taste decent and well fried.

Soto Ayam - Traditional Indonesian yellow chicken soup with sliced chicken breast, carrot, green beans, cabbage, fried shallot ($8). The soto was a bit of disappointment, it does not resembles the authentic soto ayam, the soup it self lacks tumeric, the chicken was plain, a bit tough and even some of other Indonesian restaurant around serve a better version of this dish but oh well Nuri's is not famous for their soup dishes anyway.

Es Teler - famous Indonesian fruit cocktail of avocado, coconut, nata de coco, jackfruit, coconut milk and sweetened milk ($8). I love this dish so much even though it's a bit expensive. This dessert resembles the authentic es teler of being creamy, refreshing and tropical, I just wish for a bit more of avocado in it.

The service was friendly and attentive, the food did come surprisingly fast. Some of the food was nicely done, especially the starters but as for the other dishes they are not as authentic as I expected. They did say they are trying to tone down the spices to fit in to Australian market but maybe later down the road they will make an option of spicier, richer taste just like we had in Bali. I really hope they will go through with it cause I will be waiting.

Naughty Nuri's Melbourne Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Naughty Nuri's
Melbourne Central
211 La Trobe St
Melbourne, VIC 3000