Franklin street welcomes a much-needed injection of freshness and spice: Yoi! The new Indonesian-fusion restaurant has only been open three months and is already making waves in the foodie scene.
The family-run business tells a beautiful story of strength and new beginnings. Mamma Lie Lie and her two sons, Michael (19) and Dion (20), left behind their first restaurant on Swanston street—a 22-year stint—to say a resounding Yoi! (meaning yes in Indonesian) to a new chapter in their lives. Lie Lie and Michael run the business and front of house while Dion is the creative mind behind the menu. Remarkably, the boys are also studying full-time at University while working hard in the busy restaurant.
The menu features traditional Indonesian delicacies with a modern twist, using both imported and house-made ingredients—like their house-made spices and peanut satay. Their signature dish is the salted egg fried noodles with special salted egg sauce and fried salted egg chicken. Did I also mention the salt?
Salted egg is a staple condiment in many different Asian cuisines, particularly Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian. The eggs are preserved and packed in salt charcoal paste or soaked in brine, creating a rich flavour and thick syrupy yolk; a salty dance with every mouthful. We also recommend the chicken satay skewers; the tender 36-hour stewed beef rendang with coconut rice and spicy gravy; and, for those who are a little more adventurous, try Lucy’s Oxtail: oxtail soup with rice, crackers and chilli sauce.
Indonesians are crazy sweet-tooths and love decadent desserts with double, even triple toppings. The Roti Bakar, a street-food favourite, is a fluffy pancake sandwich with toppings such as chocolate, oreos, and peanuts smooshed in between. The top choice—and most curious—is the Nutella and cheese bakar. Yep, Nutella melted with shredded Tasty cheese. As a Nutella aficionada myself, I was very sceptical (it felt almost sacrilegious), but trust me, it’s yummy—the sharpness and salt balance out the sweetness. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!