David's RestaurantTo eat like the locals in Shanghai, you have to be a local. You have to know which crooked alleyway to walk down and which riverside home cooks the best congee. Similarly, in Prahran, the streets are heaving with hustle and bustle. But down quite, one-way Cecil Place, you can forget the noise and city lights while feasting at an established hidden gem, the same way you can lose yourself sitting beside the water in the Chinese countryside, munching on prawns from the morning's catch.
David's was born 15 years ago from a small tea store on Chapel Street, founded by Shanghai-born David Zhou. Word of David's tea talents spread quickly, and he soon opened David's so he could share Shanghai cuisine with Melbourne. At David's, we put tradition on the table, offering casual cuisine inspired by countryside Shanghai. Our wholesome fare combines traditional dishes with contemporary tastes. Many of our recipes have been passed down from great grandmothers and are perfect to share with family, friends and colleagues.
At David's, we want you to feel at home in a casual environment. Our menu isn't bound by 'mains' and 'starters'; dishes come out of the kitchen as soon as they're ready. This means you don't have to wait with grumbling stomachs and your food is as fresh as it can possibly be. We're here to serve you, but that doesn't mean you can't help yourself to water or a little more sauce.
David's brings people together through food in an informal but tranquil atmosphere. We believe there is beauty in simplicity. Our aim is to introduce you to another culture through unfussy food bursting with tastes of the real Shanghai. Whether you have an hour to kill and feel like dropping in or a special occasion worth celebrating, you are always welcome at David's.
David Zhou founded David's in 2000 and has designed a menu that takes guests on a genuine gastronomic journey through the traditional tastes of Shanghai.
In Cecil Place Prahran lives David's Restaurant, the place to feed your mind, body and soul. Chinese herbalist and tea merchant restaurateur David Zhou together with chef Jeffery Xiao opened a restaurant that responded to customer's demands - serving authentic Shanghai cuisine coupled with nourishing herbal ingredients.
Inside, the split-level restaurant is spacious and modern, delivering a warm and intimate ambience, waiters are smartly dressed in dark attire, and tables are widely spaced representing anything but a crowded Chinese eatery.
A regular recipient of the One Chef's Hat by the Age Good Food Guide since 2000, David's authentic and innovative Chinese cuisine is every bit deserving of this reward as shown in its anything but brief menu. A range of three banquets are available for a minimum of two people ($39-$59 per head), serving tasty delicacies including Lobster San Choi Bao, Peking Duck served in a homemade pancake and Golden Almond Pudding.
There is a selection of eight traditional tonic soups that not only nourish the system, but with each one serving a unique purpose - the Double Boiled Pigeon Soup ($11.50) alleviating dry skin; the Double Boiled Duck Meat Soup ($11.50) enhancing vitality and libido; and a traditional Shanghai Hot and Sour Seafood Soup ($8.50) to stimulate digestion.
It is mandatory to try both the Peking Duck Supreme and the Shanghai 'Eight Treasure' Duck - this is the Chinese equivalent of Japanese Wagyu. If you don't have the opportunity of eating the renowned Peking Duck at Melbourne's Flower Drum as the restaurant is almost always booked out, David's Restaurant is (if I dare not say) on par. You may not have your waiter carving the specialty duck at your table and serving it with white gloves, but David's Peking Duck Supreme comes already beautifully presented in six or 12 pieces ($30; $57) with the option of ordering additional pieces for $5. The duck is carefully sliced and wrapped in a homemade pancake with cucumber, spring onion and their special plum sauce - superbly delicious!
As for the Shanghai 'Eight Treasure' Duck ($78) an advance order is required and is a generous serve for four people. A steamed whole duck is stuffed with sticky rice, lotus seed, straw mushroom, shitake mushroom, smoked ham, Chinese sausage, red date and dried shrimps. The ingredients are definitely impressive and far from overpowering; providing the right balance for a delectable dish that is truly representative of Shanghai cuisine.
With over 27 entree's and a wide selection of fresh homemade dim sim, as well as in excess of dozens of seafood, fish, red meat, poultry, vegetarian and noodle and rice dishes to choose from, David's will please even the most discerning. Wine connoisseurs will be far from disappointed with a comprehensive wine list available by the glass and bottle. Yum Cha is also an institution at David's and is served daily!
Review by Monica | OnlyMelbourne Review Team
-:- Monday-Friday 12-3pm; Saturday-Sunday 11.30am-3pm
-:- Sunday-Thursday 6-10.30pm; Friday-Saturday 6-11.30pm
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ 4 Cecil Place, Prahran | Map
✆ 9529 5199
❊ Web Links ❊
→ David's Restaurant
→ Review by Monica | OnlyMelbourne Review Team
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