Indonesian with a twist – that’s probably the best way to describe Monggo restaurant in Mount Lawley. I’ve heard purists dismiss Monggo because they consider the food not authentic Indonesian, but for me it’s often the path less travelled that makes it more interesting. Think confit duck leg, deconstructed lumpiah and murtabak filo triangles and you have an idea of some of the fusion-type dishes available. This small family-run restaurant in Mount Lawley has been around for several years, and is always busy on the weekends with diners and take away orders.
With a party of four you can partake in a Rijsttafel Bagus for a total of $109 which enables sampling of a cross section of Indonesian dishes. This option was too good to pass up, and being the greedies we are, we also had to add a few entrees to the table. We started with the kwo tie – pumpkin and mushroom dumplings, followed by duck martabak and sea salt and pepper squid. The dumpling wrappers were a little chewy and perhaps could have been steamed a bit longer.
The duck martabak with its fried filo pastry and dipping sauce was crisp and delicious. Monggo offers several duck dishes, all of which are excellent, and not what you’d call typical Indonesian.
The squid served on a bed of salad was tender and lightly battered, with a good sprinkling of sea salt and pepper.
And then came the rijsttafel. Our first shared plate was piled with appetisers of hard boiled eggs with sweet tangy Balado sauce, vegetable spring rolls, kacang ikan teri (spiced peanuts with ikan bilis), and Jimbaran fish.
I loved the fish dish which I have ordered as a main dish several times, and the eggs were unusual and not something I would ordinarily choose. That’s the beauty of ordering food this way – trying dishes that aren’t on the a la carte menu and that you may not ordinarily consider.
Our next plate featured a massive portion of Balinese mie goreng and ayam bakar Taliwang (grilled half chicken with rujak sauce). You can’t tell from this photo, but the chicken was a huge serving that our token male deftly cut up, making it easier for us all to help ourselves. Both chicken and noodles were delicious. I’ve had the mie goreng here many times and it’s always reliably good.
Our final platter was filled with vegetable dishes: sayur arap (warm vegetables with coconut), tahu bacem (marinated tofu), acar (pickled cabbage and carrot) and tumis sayur (stir fried veggies with garlic). I completely forgot about taking a photo of this plate, but it was a generous serve and the dishes were flavourful and delicious. I’ve had the sayur arap before; it’s a veggie dish with a hint of sweetness from the coconut and sweet corn and is a good accompaniment to some of the spicy meat dishes. We each had our own bowl of steamed rice to eat with the rijsttafel dishes.
Monggo means “welcome” in Javanese and you certainly do feel welcome here. I’ve always been satisfied with their meals but I prefer to come mid-week when it’s not so busy. With people packed in here on weekends, the noise level is high which makes normal conversation challenging at times. With the benefit of BYO and a discount in the Entertainment Book, our meal cost us $30 each which is quite amazing considering the variety and volume we had.