From Bali to Melbourne: Naughty Nuri's @ Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tuesday 11th October
Charlie & co. dined as guests.

Hailing from Ubud, Bail, known for their 'killer ribs and wicked martinis' Naughty Nuri has come to Melbourne! Naughty Nuri's started out as a small warung (hut) in 1995 created by an expat American and Indo couple Brian & Nuri, it has since then has grown into a very well known restaurant; a tourist attraction and where all the Americans go for their ribs while in Bali!

Finally it has come to Melbourne, the first of many ribs & margarita restaurants bars we hope! Opening their first restaurant at Melbourne Central near the movies on Monday, we came dine for lunch on Tuesday!

But first, would a rose by any other name smell as sweet, or be as fun? The story behind the name, Nuri says the name was chosen because she was Nuri and her husband Brian was Naughty.

Nuri has an extensive drinks menu with something for everyone, our favourite section was the 'Indo Specialties' all fun non-alcoholic drinks, like lemonade/cola with sweetened milk, 3 layer coffee/teas (like in Malaysia) and young coconut flesh in orange juice! The mocktails also sound divine! And for milkshake lovers there's even avocado!

Growing up in Malaysia, Alice's an expert on the local cuisine and studied culinary, and is our plus one for today. She decided to bring a plus one of her own, her husband the Mad Hatter (because they need to spend as much time together as possible), he's a nice guy and all, but you can see why I don't have a designated +1 since Boston Boy went home.

Denpasar Raya - Soda Gembria - Seminyak Sunset

Soda Gembria - Rose syrup, sweetened milk, soda water. Being a sugar addict (me not her) Alice recommended this drink for me as it's syrupy sweet, back home (for her, Malaysia). I love sugar, being American I can not get a sugar high. The soda was sweet though not too sweet, just right. It was sort of like a milk drink, and I found it similar to the dessert we'd have later on. Which was a pimped up version of the drink.

Denpasar Raya - Orange, lychee and grenadine. Alice order this and said it was too sweet and thick, lacked soda. Hatter liked it. I didn't it was too sweet, but you have to consider if you're a sugar addict or not. The lack of a soda base was odd though.

Seminyak Sunset - Red sala*, orange, soda, lychee. Sounds like an exciting combo, Hatter's choice was a well balanced drink with sweet and citrus notes. Perfectly refreshing for any sunny day. *The sala fruit is an exotic fruit in Thailand. 

The martini comes with the 'Shake Shake Dance'! The perfect surprise for your unsuspecting friend who wanted to go out for quiet pre-dinner drinks. :P   

There's booths, fun barrel seats as well as chairs to promote sitting up straight. Where would we like to sit? Anywhere with good lighting, though by night the table by the window would be ideal for a view of city lights.

Where would you like to sit? There's also a bar area out front. 

Monster Bakso (Meatball) Soup & Prawn Crackers (Background) 

As drinks arrived we were served prawn cracker with a peanut dipping sauce. A fun spicy kick, the cracker had more spices than the sauce. Alice loved it for someone who doesn't like peanuts. If you can convert a dislike you know you've done well.

Then menu is divided up into sections, with the naughty grills being the American-Mex style featuring ribs, and the Balinese menu. There's also salads and plenty of snacks/tapas.

If you like it hot Nuri's is the place to be, with four different sambal hot sauces, with Hijau being the hottest and Sambal Nuri being a crowd pleasing BBQ sauce, that would add life to any of my mains! (I don't cook by the way, I bake).

Crispy Pork Ear - Pig ear marinated with spices, slow cooked 
then deep fried until crispy served with lime and sriracha mayo.

Alice's favourite meat is pork, and she can consume any part of it from ear to hock, and so she had to order the pork ears. Well spiced served with a mayo based dip. Deep fried and the perfect beer snack it was nostalgic of her childhood (with Indo maids).

Lemongrass Spiced Calamari - Deep fried fresh calamari tossed with fried lemongrass, 
fried garlic, topped with fresh chili and spring onion. Served with Special Seafood Sauce.

An asian twist on the classic calamari, full of flavour. This is next level up calamari, with a chili dip Alice loved (and would add to the other dishes).

SPAM Fries - Deep fried luncheon meat served with sweet chili mayo

For SPAM lovers takes it a level up, as anything deep fried is delicious and a sweet chili mayo dip is our favourite! For those who don't know what SPAM is, it's a canned precooked (pork shoulder) meat  first introduced in 1937 and gained popularity worldwide after its use during World War II. An American bomb/hurricane shelter staple. Due to the war and occupations (of the islands in the Pacific) SPAM has become a unique part of the history and effects of U.S. influence in the Pacific. 

Ikan bakar jimbaran - Grilled Barramundi fillet marinated in coconut oil,
served with Plecing Kangkung and a choice of 3 sambal sauces. 

With plenty of flavours on its own from being marinated in spices the grilled baramundi also came with dipping hot sauces (sambal). It was absolutely delicious and a dish to order again! I paired with the with BBQ sauce sambal, and all that's missing is rice. A winner at the table. Should note it's bigger than it appears in the photo.

Nuri's Bebek Goreng (Half Duck) - Nuri's signature duck simmered in traditional Balinese spice, deep fried until crispy, served with rice, authentic Bertutu sauce, Balinese Lawar and 3 sambal sauces.

A tender duck, not as spicy as back home says Alice, it paled in comparison to the other dishes we sampled, like the barramundi, though can be spiced up with the sambals. 

Indonesian Mie Goreng - Stir fried noodles with egg, chicken, 
squid, prawn, cabbage, choy sum, onion and carrot.

They forgot to mention it had quite a spicy kick! Too spicy for me *cue coughing fit* though works well with that BBQ sauce sambal I'll drizzling over everything. The noodles on this occasion were a bit soft, and I would have liked to see more egg, slices rather than tiny bits.

Rendang Sapi - Tender slow braised beef with mixed herb and spices, cooked in thick coconut milk, served with coconut rice, Plecing Kangkung (water spinach) and 3 sambal sauces. 

Light on spices, the beef itself relies on a flavour boost from the sambal hot sauces, much like a couple of the other mains. That or we're used to everything being much more intensely flavoured. That red sambal there is hot!! 

1995 Signature BBQ Pork Ribs (Full) - Nuri's signature marinated pork ribs with Balinese spice, grilled to perfection and served with sambal nuri's sauce. And a side of truffle fries or mixed salad.

Tender ribs, sweet bbq sauce (sambal nuri). This is what brings everyone to Nuri's, sweet and delicious it's all about the sauce, anything would go well with that sauce. 

Lunch for Four

Es Campur - A fruit medley dessert of avocado, coconut, palm sugar, nata de coco, grass jelly, cendol and jackfruit, served with sweetened milk and coconut pandan syrup. This is one hell of a desserty drink!

As it was day two we had a slight variation of this dessert with no avocado and jackfruit. We had the version with: palm sugar, coconut milk, rose syrup, pandan syrup, grass jelly black, green jelly and nata de coco - white beads reminds me of tapioca. 

Indeed a medley, it was delicious! A pimped up version of the rose drink I had, I love it! It's everything I want in a dessert, the textures, flavours, coconut milk base soup. It's all under a pile of ice, you'll need to mix it up. Here's Alice doing a demo.

Customized for clientele everything is less hot than traditional, though the basis of the food is still from thr original Nuri in Bali, as the chefs were trained over there. Naturally being different Nuri will be compared to the original and seen as a less authentic/spiced down version. Though one many of us who haven't been to Bali will appreciate. These days Japan is the new Bali,(the holiday place where all Australians go).

The Hatter has been to Bali himself and says the two can't be compared as the clientele is different, with Bali being a top tourist destination whereas in Melbourne it's for the locals. 

With the American influence there's rock in roll music in the background, which I love (I dance rock and roll, latin and ballroom), though it also creates an atmosphere that it's a modern hip trendy restaurant with a similar feel to TGIF next door, to create familiarity, rather than authenticity which you may seek in a Balinese restaurant.

Overall a great lunch with the highlights being the grilled barramundi, the signature bbq pork ribs with that sauce that goes with everything! Oh and of course dessert which I can never say no to. It's light and refreshing!

Have you been to Naught Nuri's? Do you have a go-to sauce for everything?

Naughty Nuri's Melbourne Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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