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A piece of Bali in West Melbourne? That could only mean one thing: Warung Agus, the Balinese restaurant on Victoria Street that’s been pleasing its patrons for many, many years now. A warung is a casual, public place where people in Bali come to eat and catch up with friends. Owners Agus and Mary Ida Bagus have created such a place on one of Melbourne’s busiest streets yet somehow the ambience is festive and fun with colourful surroundings that’s more Bali than inner city.
Agus is in the kitchen and every day makes offerings, or sesajens, of freshly cooked rice, incense and coffee. Start your Balinese experience with an entree of krupuk udang (a basket of giant Indonesian crackers with peanut sauce), or a soup of sayur tahu (bean curd, mung bean, corn and spring onions with rice noodles in a lemongrass broth). Follow with a traditional Balinese gado gado toge (a mountain of steamed vegetables and bean curd with peanut sauce and cassava crackers), or the babi guling (traditional Balinese roasted pork served with crackling and a lemongrass, chilli and ginger sauce). Finish with a dessert of kue lapis (fine layered Indonesian spice cake), or the bubuh injin (traditional Balinese black rice pudding/porridge). The reasonably priced wine list also offers Balinese beer and arak (rice whisky).