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Kata Kita

  • Restaurants
  • Melbourne
Whole grilled pomfret fish Ikan Bakar
Kata Kita
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Time Out says

Family traditions meet elevated excellence at the CBD's newest Indonesian restaurant, Kata Kita

Brothers Dion and Michael ended up in the hospitality industry almost by accident – if you can call a combined love for cooking and priceless family recipes an accident, that is.

It began with a passion project to create a salted egg yolk sauce, but before long the boys found themselves in business with their first restaurant named Yoi, meaning "yes!" in Indonesian. The successful, hawker-style venue opened in 2019 and brought Indonesian-fusion comfort food to delivery apps throughout 2020 and 2021. But now, Dion and Michael are ready to get serious.

Kata Kita, their newest project, is a joint venture with their mother Lie. The name translates to "together we say", meant as a warm invitation to relax and explore the Indonesian archipelago one bite at a time. Compared to its excitable predecessor, Kata Kita delivers layered, modern Balinese specialities in a pared-back environment that allows you to focus solely on the food. Be prepared for flavour bombs of zesty lemongrass, tongue-spiking chilli, homemade aromatic sambal underscored with zesty lemongrass, shrimp and sweet palm sugar.

Matte concrete tabletops and rattan wall panelling make for the perfect blank canvas for an explosion of culinary colours. There's the bright reds of hot and spicy Indonesian-style crab, the browns of caramelised five-hour slow-roasted pork and the fluorescent pops of slices of lime to cut through the richness. For lovers of street style Indonesian, level-up with nasi goreng's spicier and richer cousin, bebek goreng madura – a complex dish featuring fried duck that is as crispy as it is tender. It's served with both raw sambal and a unique black sambal called bomb hiram that is fried until it reaches a deep, charred hue.

There's plenty of smaller plates for a quick feed or if you're in the mood to share with friends. Try the sate lilit: mince pork rolled on a lemongrass stick; babi bakar: Balinese pork ribs glazed in sweet and sticky soy sauce; or scallop gulai: grilled scallops served with a rich, spicy curry sauce.

Aside from their collective love of food, Lie, Dion and Michael are brought together by their passion for sharing their culture with others. The Kata Kita ethos mirrors that of their Indonesian culinary heritage – coming together over food and celebrating the people you love.

The family's 'must-try' recommendations include the babi fuling, Balinese roast pork served with crispy glass skin, lawar (mix of vegetables and coconut), bumbu genep (Balinese spices) and sambal embe, and the Uluwatu cocktail of gin, Cointreau, pressed pineapple juice and passionfruit pulp, topped with a smokey passion fruit bubble. Tos tos tos (cheers).

Written by
Eliza Campbell

Details

Address:
266 La Trobe St
Melbourne
3000
Opening hours:
7am-10:30pm, Tue-Fri

What’s on

Kata Kita Boozy Bottomless Lunch

  • Food and drink

Dreaming about a warm island holiday, but don't have the time or money to ship off just yet? For a fraction of the money, treat yourself to an Indonesian-inspired bottomless boozy brunch at Kata Kita. Every weekend of May, you can pop in to enjoy delicious Indonesian fare with cocktails, mocktails and Asian beer to match. The menu blends cross-regional Indonesian food with popular street-style eats; think whole-roasted Balinese-style pork, a vegan salad tossed with a peanut sauce dressing, Javanese fried chicken and a mix of punchy sambals. Pair the spicy, fragrant dishes with free-flowing Indonesian-inspired cocktails like the Bubble Gum Squash, which blends vodka, bubble gum syrup and lemonade, or the Aperol Jungle, a bitter and fruity mix of Aperol, orange juice and apple syrup.  The bottomless lunch is $60 per person, and bookings must be made in advance through the website. With your booking, you're entitled to one main, one dessert and bottomless drinks. Looking for more things to do? Check out our round-up of the best things happening in Melbourne this week.  

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