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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shalom, Broadway Ultimo

fried chicken
Fried chicken with fresh chilli sauce $9
Ayam goreng shalom

"What about that one?" asks A, as we stare slack-jawed at the pictorial menu above our heads.

"But that's grilled chicken, not fried..." I reply, in confusion.

A look of panic flashes across his face. "Oh no, we don't want grilled. We only want fried."

I nod, and silently breathe a sigh of relief.

fried tofu
Deep fried tofu $4

Because really, who doesn't love fried? I know I do.

We're at Shalom on Broadway, serving cheap and cheerful Indonesian fare to homesick university students and a handful of curious passersby. More cafeteria than restaurant, the emphasis is on value, not decor.

Orders are placed at the counter, using the pictorial menu above the kitchen. Help yourself to cutlery, serviettes and a range of chilli sauces and condiments.

We start with a plate of deep-fried tofu that is delivered to our table in a cereal-sized bowl. The fat cubes of tofu, crispy, golden and chewy on the outside, have been drenched with a thick peanut sauce and sweet kecap manis. For a dish that only costs $4, the serving is huge and seemingly never-ending.

Fried chicken with Balinese sauce $9

There are plenty of non-chilli options on the menu -- beef rendang, chicken steak and fried steak with rojak sauce -- but today we're after a chilli-induced endorphin rush. We share two plates of chicken - both fried. The fried chicken with Balinese sauce has been marked with four chillis; the fried chicken with fresh chilli (top photo) has five. The Balinese sauce is salty and spicy, pungent with garlic and shrimp paste, the chicken pieces accompanied by a hard boiled egg sliced in two.

I'm pleased with my chilli tolerance until I dig my fork into the fried chicken with fresh chilli. After two mouthfuls, my tongue is on fire. It is burning hot, a kind of pain I haven't felt since I was a non-chilli-eating child.

"We need ice kacang, " I intone, with all seriousness.

Durian Ice $5
Es Duren

Durian ice is half-drink and half-dessert, a mountain of shaved ice drizzled with sweet condensed milk. Shovel your way beneath the icy terrain to find plump segments of durian, although really, your nose would have already alerted you to its existence.

Admittedly durian is an acquired taste, but I've never quite understood the comparisons between durian and the smell of rubbish. It has a strong smell, but it's more of a floral, over-ripe tropical fruit aroma.

The plump pods are a pale yellow colour and slightly fibrous. It tastes like a mixture of lychee, pineapple and jackfruit intensified to the power of ten, and then mixed with avocado.

We find a generous amount of durian hidden beneath, and relish its fatty richness.

Combination Ice with Durian $5
Es Campur Duren

Combination ice with durian comes with a mixture of jellies, cool and slippery. Other drinks include coconut ice, grass jelly, selasi ice (pomegranate and basil seeds) and cendol.

I can almost hear a sizzle as the ice melts on my chilli-ravaged tongue. Lips burning, nose-running and tongue pulsating, we temporarily extinguish the pain with ice, and then keep on eating. And happily so.

View Larger Map
Shalom on Urbanspoon

Shalom Restaurant
155 Broadway, Ultimo, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9211 2353

Opening hours:
Monday to Sunday 11am-9pm

Also at
Shop 2/458 Anzac Parade, Kingsford, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9662 4455

3/299 Sussex Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9264 1144

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Indonesian - 1945, Pyrmont
Indonesian - Ayam Goreng 99, Kingsford
Indonesian - ATL Maranatha, Kensington
Indonesian - Cafe Joy, Haymarket
Indonesian - Immanuel Cafe Restaurant, Ultimo
15 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/16/2010 02:07:00 am


  • At 9/16/2010 9:20 am, Blogger Sara @ Belly Rumbles said…

    I love chili, but that fried chicken with fresh chili just looks evil, I can feel my mouth burning just looking at the picture. Saying that it all sounds delicious.

  • At 9/16/2010 10:23 am, Anonymous Hannah said…

    I honestly can't decide what I think looks most delicious. I adore tofu and peanut sauce, but that chilli sauce is so vibrantly red, and the ice desserts are something I've never tried before...

  • At 9/16/2010 11:49 am, Anonymous mel said…

    mmm... deep fried tofu!

    As for the durian- well I wanted to love it but on a recent trip to Malaysia my first try of the fruit had an unpleasant burning bitter rotten onion taste/smell that continued to repeat on me for hours, was so disappointed because I really like durian icecream and cake!?

  • At 9/16/2010 2:52 pm, Blogger Rita (mademoiselle délicieuse) said…

    I quite like chilli, but not so much if if means I can't feel my lips, tongue or mouth! Yikes.

  • At 9/16/2010 4:27 pm, Blogger Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said…

    I think i've walked past that place like a hundred times! Looks great and as much as I love chilli I think I would have to be cautious going by your account!

  • At 9/16/2010 8:33 pm, Blogger Brenda said…

    Mmmmm deep fried tofu, gimme gimme!
    I can't handle chilli very well so I don't think I'd be able to have the chicken there, must be for very serious chilli eaters if it put you on fire ; )

  • At 9/16/2010 10:30 pm, Anonymous Julie said…

    Been looking for a good indo place close to city! This place looks great. I think I will die from the fried chicken but oh nooo

  • At 9/17/2010 10:44 am, Anonymous J2Kfm (Malaysian Food Blog) said…

    Haha, if only the detractors can accept the fact that the aroma is fragrant and delish instead of pungent and repulsive.

  • At 9/17/2010 5:43 pm, Anonymous A said…

    That A sure sounds amazing!
    ps. yeah i regretted having all that chilli the next morning!
    Thank goodness we had those desserts :)

  • At 9/18/2010 4:26 pm, Blogger Simon Leong said…

    that Fried chicken with fresh chilli sauce looks pretty good but what were you actually thinking it would be like when you put a whole mouth of fresh chilli with seeds?

  • At 9/18/2010 4:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I might have been to the branch in Broadway a while back but I went to the one in Kingsford recently and was disappointed. Not with the food but with the two things that stood out like sore thumbs.

    First, they refused to serve tap water. Isn't this practice illegal in Sydney? They were selling bottles of Shalom branded water for $1 a pop, which is a nominal fee, but surely this adds an unnecessary burden to the environmental.

    Second, they served the noodles and soups in disposable plastic containers. Unbelievable. For a restaurant to be serving food to dine in patrons in those containers is the height of environmental irresponsibility to me.

  • At 9/19/2010 8:24 pm, Anonymous Elaine @ Three Wise Pigs said…

    I walked past this place all the time, but at the one on Sussex St in the CBD. Never been but I think I will give this place a try soon after reading your post!

  • At 9/29/2010 11:03 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Sara - Not everything is drowned in chilli - we just chose the hottest things on the menu!

    Hannah - Ah another thing to add to your Sydney eats list :)

    Mel - I find durian desserts are usually milder in flavour. Soon, too, you'll be craving the king of fruits in its purest form!

    Peter G - Go check it out. Lots of things (not all chilli) to try.

    Brenda and Julie - You can get fried chicken without the chilli. We're just suckers for punishment. lol

    J2Kfm - It's definitely an acquired taste :)

    A - lol. Desserts were essential and btw, TMI!

    Simon - I actually scraped off the chilli but the heat was definitely present throughout the entire dish.

    Anon - I think tap water must only be free in licensed premises, where alcoholic sales must be accompanied by tap water. And yes, disposable containers for eat-in is a concern.

  • At 12/12/2010 8:43 pm, Anonymous babbibelle said…

    I love it there & used to get it for lunch when working at Glebe.
    They used to take my orders for pickup & were quick.
    My fave is the satay lamb/beef both here & the sussex st store, im craving it now!

  • At 7/18/2013 3:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    it's closed, but there is another Indo around the corner, Indo Rasa, in the courtyard between Broadway and Mountain St


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