Tasia and Gracia Seger, the sisters who run one of the city’s most exciting Indonesian restaurants, Makan, say food has always been a big part of their lives.

“Our mother would always highlight how important it is to always have food at the table and to make sure that there is extra, just in case there are guests coming over,” they tell Broadsheet.

The duo, who spent their early days in Jakarta and moved to Melbourne when they were kids, ran a private catering company together before appearing on a cooking competition show together and eventually opening Makan, where they serve nourishing and celebratory dishes like Wagyu beef rendang, baby back ribs with a makrut lime soy glaze and twice-cooked cauliflower with lodeh (a coconut curry stew).

Never miss a Melbourne moment. Make sure you're subscribed to our newsletter today.


The sisters share their favourite spots in Melbourne for a big family dinner, pork crackling-topped banh mi and classic custard croissants.

What’s your go-to for a quick takeaway?
Lee Lee Hot Bread. When we are doing our market run on Victoria Street for special ingredients for Makan, we always make our way to Lee Lee for a quick stop. The order never changes: succulent grilled chicken, fresh veggies, extra chilli and shallots. The best part is adding extra pork crackling to top it off. And don’t forget to order the strong and sweet Vietnamese coffee.

How about lunch on the go?
On days when we need a break from cooking staff meals, our lunch on the go would definitely be Lulu’s Char Koay Teow

The classic char kway teow always hits the spot. Perfect wok hei takes us back to eating hawker food in Southeast Asia and we always ask for it extra, extra spicy.

And for a drink and snacks?
Carlton Wine Room. People go there for the drinks, but we definitely go for the food and the snacks – great unpretentious service and overall great ambience.

We always start with Baker Bleu sourdough with cultured butter and a few orders of the anchovy with fried bread, ricotta and pickled cucumber. We’re always dreaming of that anchovy and fried bread!

If it’s a special occasion where do you go?
Our special occasions are always celebrated with family, but we always had challenges finding a restaurant that can accommodate a group of us (Mum, Dad, five siblings and five partners and now nieces and nephews).

Ling Nan opposite QV is definitely a restaurant that hits the mark on where we celebrate our special occasions. Always on the table when we go are the XO pippies with extra servings of the fried Chinese doughnuts, sizzling Mongolian beef, salt and pepper tofu, deep-fried chicken ribs with spicy salt and chilli, mud crab in chilli sauce if it is in season and steamed fish with ginger and soy. It is always a feast, and we go home overfed and completely satisfied.

Best comfort food?
The best comfort food would always be at our mum’s house. The second-best location when we do seek it is probably Soi 38. The restaurant set-up feels like we’re back in Jakarta at hawker-style food stalls – there is something nostalgic about it. Our go-to if we stop in for lunch is the boat noodles, but for dinner it’s hard not to order the deep-fried pork knuckle and extra spicy papaya salad with dried shrimps, peanuts and salted egg.

Where do you go for a big meal?
Korean every time! Jang Gun is worth the wait time. When we go, we know it means going all-out. Our order is Korean fried chicken (half soy garlic and half fire-spicy), LA galbi ribs, army stew, kimchi pancake, seafood pancake chapcae, egg roll seafood tteokbokki and cheese buldak.

Go on an empty stomach and bring your friends! The more people, the more you get to order and the more you get to try.

If you have visitors from out of town?
We love Nomad! It’s seriously one of our favourite places! The service is always amazing, the menu is exciting, we love the ambience of the place and they make great mocktails, too.

Our go-to order is date-glazed Wagyu tongue (when it’s on the menu), burrata fennel jam, extra virgin olive oil, woodfired flatbread with Nomad za’atar. A main to try would be the dry-aged pork cutlet with golden raisins, capers and baby kipfler batata harra.

Where can you find your favourite dessert or sweet?
AM Bakehouse in Glen Iris, [co-owned by Tasia’s husband Matteo Veronese]. The triple chocolate croissant with a chocolate baton – caramel goodness on the inside and a dark chocolate dip and hazelnuts on the outside – is a must. And the dark horse is the classic custard croissants, they’re definitely worth the trip to the suburbs.

What’s your bucket list restaurant?
We want to visit the coolest lady chef out there; none other than Jay Fai. She’s a street food vendor in Thailand known for her award-winning crab omelette. She is also known for tom yum, another favourite of ours. Although we have only seen her cooking on the screen, it looks like she has a big appetite for life, something we aspire to and admire. And she has a Michelin star – what a legend.