Bringing traditional Indonesian comfort food is a family affair.
No matter where you go in the world, no matter how disparate the cultures and communities, there’s one truth that is universal: no one can make that dish like your mum can. You know the dish I’m talking about. It’s comforting, filling, and so very yummy, and no matter what’s wrong with you, it can fix it. For brothers Dion and Michael Sanusi, that hug-in-a-bowl is noodles with salted egg sauce. It’s the star of the show at Yoi!, the Indonesian fusion restaurant they’ve opened with their mum Lie Lie. Once you try it for yourself, you’ll understand why.
Melbourne diners have fared well when it comes to authentic pan-Asian cuisine. While the city can boast Chinese restaurants dating back to the 1850s and bustling Vietnamese and Thai communities that flourished, Indonesian cuisine has been a quiet achiever. The Sanusi brothers – with mum in tow – are here to change that by serving up their favourite Indonesian dishes, with a modern, Melbourne twist.
With floor to ceiling glass windows, the light filled venue is bright and airy. With a focus on family and community, the heart of Indonesian culture is the generous sharing of company and food. If the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach, then Indonesian cuisine sends out major comfort vibes.
The menu is flush with familiar favourites – think Nasi Goreng and Beef Rendang – as well as lesser knownvtraditional Indonesian dishes. If you’re looking to add a little heat to your day, the Ayam Penyet Kremes is a winner, with seasoned fried chicken served with crunch with a heaped helping of rice, and dolloped with a hot and spicy sambal. If you’re not someone who can handle spice, the team at Yoi! have a heat scale diners can select from.
Don’t go past the Gado Gado when visiting Yoi!. One of the five national dishes of Indonesia, gado gado is a delicious tumble of freshly steamed, seasonal veggies and fried tofu topped with an indulgently rich and creamy satay sauce, finished off with a handful of Indonesian prawn crackers for a savoury crunch, this dish would be great as a shared side – but also has the chops to stand alone as a main.
From the drinks list, you’ll be able to sample some of Indonesia’s favourite sweet beverages from Milo Dinosaur Milk Shakes, to avocado juice, and ice teler – a fruity cocktail with avocado, coconut, and condensed milk for a super sugar hit.
Speaking of sugar hits, Yoi!’s desserts are an absolute must when you visit. Martabak was Lie Lie’s recommendation – a crumpet stuffed with your choice of fillings and folded over like an omelet. This is every kid’s (and kidult’s) decadent dream!
Just a short walk from Queen Victoria Market, don’t sleep on Yoi! – get in before word gets out!