Dexter - American BBQ Meat & Buns

Dexter - American BBQ Meat & Buns

Naighbourhood non-traditonal American BBQ in Preston.


TUESDAY - FRIDAY 4pm - 9pm

SATURDAY - SUNDAY 12pm - 9.30pm


A talented trio of energetic young hospo pros Tom Adam and Sam have brought a non traditional meatery to Preston with a "meat first"philosophy and a no-rules approach to slow smoked barbecue. Here there are no rules in the kitchen. The team likes to experiment with flavours and the locals are loving it.

In fact the weirder the dishes the better. The pig's head buns and hot meat doughnuts have been hot favourites. As well as bar snacks and substantial meals the Dexter menu also covers quick lunches takeaway kids' and set-course dining. This quirky take on an eat-in butcher might just be the new King of The North. We said it.

Best dish: hot meat doughnuts - a fluffy batter stuffed with flavoursome burnt brisket ends deep-fried and dusted with paprika and sugar. - 2015

Highlights include the pig's head croquette and pickled pineapple bun caramel-basted beef short rib served with smoked dripping gravy and the hot meat doughnuts which see delightfully fluffy batter stuffed with flavoursome burnt brisket ends then deep-fried and dusted with paprika and sugar. In a word: compulsory.

As well as bar snacks and substantial meals the menu covers quick lunches takeaway kids' and set-course dining.

It's backed by a smart little drinks list that offers wine cocktails and Hawkers craft beers on tap as well as what the boys refer to as "the ultimate condiment": the Pickle Back - a bracing shot of house-made pickle juice and Maker's Mark bourbon. Pulled pork bun with slaw pickles and hot sauce.
Pulled pork bun with slaw pickles and hot sauce. - 2015

From the warm greeting through the offer to take the last cookie home is indicative of service the sharp side of casual that's unaffectedly engaging and welcoming. I shouldn't be surprised I've fallen for Dexter. But I have. It's one of the best surprises of the year. - 2015


Melbourne Takeaway Available
Melbourne Full Bar Available
Melbourne Vegetarian Friendly
Melbourne Dairy Free
Melbourne Serves Cocktails
Melbourne Gluten Free Options
Melbourne Outdoor Seating
Melbourne Craft Beer
Melbourne Wifi

Open Wed-Sun noon-3pm & 5pm-late.

Mikkayla reviews: Dexter - 'glorious slow-cooked meaty bliss'

"They have a meat doughnut."

This was all it took to convince me that I needed to check out a particular restaurant in Preston. No other information was required.

There are a few things you need to know about Dexter before you go: the first thing is that a booking is definitely required. Sorry Prestonians - but I'm blowing the lid on the best-kept local secret so that the rest of Melbourne can share in on the glorious slow-cooked meaty bliss you've been enjoying since 2015.

The second thing you need to know is that there is minimal signage out front - you'll get no bold neon name sign but rather a simple black and white box with an 'X' emblazoned in the centre. The shopfront isn't massive either - it's a grey nondescript building. But you'll get a whiff of the amazing aromas emanating from the kitchen well before you reach the front door.

The final tip - go with loose pants and an empty stomach. You're gonna want (and need) both to enjoy the full Dexter experience.

Inside Dexter is a simple warehouse-style split room with exposed beams and portable tables that move easily to cater for larger groups. The vibe is palpable - it is a truth universally acknowledged that well-fed people are the happiest of people - and every group in there is indeed smiling laughing and cheers-ing.

Start with a drink while you peruse the menu - there are 6 different Victorian-produced beers available on tap and another selection in cans plus a Brookvale Union alcoholic ginger beer and a Wayward hard seltzer (my choice!). Most of the wines are also Victorian-made and there is a fun selection of cocktails to choose from including a Blueberry GnT Choc Old Fashioned and Midori Sour Splice.

It's hard not to over-order. We start with the famous doughnut - soft sweet buns with a golden crust that shimmers under the light with its sugar and paprika dusting - and stuffed generously inside is smoked burnt-ends brisket jam ($6). Enjoy these piping hot balls of bliss with or without their signature capsicum hot sauce - they're fantastic either way.

This trendy meatery will not necessarily be a deliberate choice for vegetarians - but they do have a handful of offerings that even the most hardened of carnivores will be sneaking servings of. The sweet'n'sour cauliflower takes bite size florets and coats them in a sticky zesty caramelised glaze that is both crispy and crunchy and will have your taste buds singing ($16).

A king-brown mushroom burger $16) is a hearty meat-like alternative to their oozing pulled-pork extravaganza on sweet buttery brioche buns ($15) and the charred cabbage with kombu butter sauce ($16) may not necessarily get the Heart Foundation's tick but it's certainly a fun way to get in one of your five-a-day!

The meat plates are impressive enough with the mound of pull-apart tender short ribs of grain merchant beef ($38) - slow cooked to perfection and then caramelised over hot coals - or their 18-hour-smoked beef brisket that is later smothered in bone marrow-spiked beef demi glace ($36) - but their mash is also so ridiculously good you'll say au revoir to boring Paris mash for the rest of your life. Buttery red potato mash covered in bone marrow and then topped with their rich beef demi glace... it is the ultimate comfort food. A side of bread-and-butter pickles slaw and fried bread finishes the meal.

The staff whilst friendly and attentive are insistent that diners stick to their allotted seating times - and seeing how packed the restaurant was on a Tuesday night it was apparent why. This place really doesn't need any extra attention but it's well worth the early reservation and a trip from the other side of the city.

Dexter - you had me at doughnut.

Review by Mikkayla 3AW 05/02/2021

❊ Address ❊

 ⊜  456 High St  Preston 3072 View Map
 ✆ Telephone: (03) 9973 3577
456 High St PrestonVictoria(03) 9973 3577

❊ Web Links ❊

Dexter - American BBQ Meat & Buns

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Dexter - American BBQ Meat & Buns