Meetbowl, South Melbourne, Melbourne
Most of the office tended to give Meetbowl a miss, but I’m glad I checked out it with the food a nice change of pace from the usual. Offering authentic and possibly too authentic, Indonesian cuisine – it has a no frills feel with street food-styled offerings.
There’s a bit of a mixed rap around Meetbowl. But there is a crowd here, and it’s an odd mix. It certainly could have done with a lot more happening in the ambience (even noise). This was library like. My order was for the Nasi Campur, guided slightly by the reports of some of other offerings being MSG-heavy. I was all content with what I ended up getting, it’s a bits and bobs types lunch plate.
The menu options are vast and draws in inspiration from Malaysian, Vietnamese and general Asian cultures. Meat bowls are a speciality, like the name. Some of the most popular dishes at Meetbowl are the noodle soups, beef redang and Shumai Bandung (fish dumplings with peanut sauce). With saying it’s too much, it’s one of those “can-do-everything” types places.
The food takes no time to arrive at all. A lot of the components are already prepared and just waiting there. So something like the fried ball doesn’t taste it good as it could. True to the street styling in that sense, but doesn’t quite do the food complete justice here.
I enjoyed all the pieces on the plate, and it’s a good little mix of meat. It’s a triangulation of pork with BBQ pork, a fried pork ball, and a pork satay skewer. The food would have been top marks if it was hot. All the meat was decently good, and I wasn’t too thirsty afterwards (mainly from the sauce on the rice I think). Nothing groundbreaking but a fair option for something on the scale of more traditional Indonesian in South Melbs. Another suggestion might be to do Meetbowl for takeaway so you can at least blast in the ol’ microwave.