MELBOURNE | Dale La Pau is a small Camberwell cafe and restaurant run by Dale Putra, who moved to Australia to study in 2019, before pivoting to food delivery when the pandemic hit. Dale’s specialty? Rendang, which forms the basis of the menu.
The rendang here isn’t like the curry-like, Malaysian style that many in Melbourne are accustomed to. It’s a dry, dark, rich creation, made from scratch on site. Traditional processes are used, with a combination of spice, herbs, chili and coconut cream, cooked slowly for around six hours.
There’s nine kinds of rendang on the menu, served with rice and condiments. Meat and vegan options are offered. Things like gajeboh (fatty beef), kailo (creamy) beef, chicken, and jackfruit. The flavours are intense, aromatic, and very comforting.
Beyond rendang, you’ll also find several other dishes informed by Dale’s Minang heritage. Paru balado (fried beef lung), with red chilli sambal is a must try. Don’t let the beef lung bit dissuade you – it’s simply a crispy, airy cracker that you’d never know were lungs. Also try the fulai ikan – two pieces of fried catfish, braised in a yellow curry, served with snake beans and basil.
A great way to try a few things if you’re dining solo is to pop in for lunch. The nasi ramas gets you a combination of rice, eggplant, anchovies, green and red sambal, mixed vegetable curry, and your choice of a smaller serve of any two of a number of the mains.
For breakfast, it’s a selection of traditional Indonesian breakfast dishes, plus Melbourne breakfast favourites with an Indonesian twist. Nasi uduk is similar to nasi lemak, and gets you a whole lot of good stuff on a big plate. The bubur ayam (chicken congee) is a another winner. For one of the fusion breakfasts, try the ‘Rendang Shakshuka’. It gets you the familiar spiced baked eggs in a tomato based sauce, with shredded beef rendang and crispy fried roti in place of the more common bread options.
Before you leave, be sure to grab one of the frozen take-away packets of rendang for the freezer at home. It’s a great option when you’re at home and looking for a quick, delicious meal for dinner.
Dale La Pau
255 Camberwell Road
Telephone: (03) 8528 0821
E-mail: [email protected]
Wed – Mon: 11:00am to 9:00pm