I first came across Pepper Lunch when I was on holiday in Singapore. They had one of these stores in a basement food court below a shopping mall. Pretty much what attracted me was the word pepper as I love pepper on nearly everything. Pepper Lunch is originally a Japanese “fast food like” restaurant chain, that is pretty common in South East Asia. Fast Japanese food that comes on a sizzling hot plate? What else could you ask for!
I saw something on the menu that seemed kinda interesting, Japanese Curry with Rice and Hamburger. Obviously, I had to order it and it came out pretty fast as expected. The curry bubbles away as it arrives on my table and looked delicious.
The curry comes with the standard potatoes and carrots, but on top of the rice we have steamed carrots, beans, corn and boiled egg. I quite liked the flavour of the curry, a tad spicy which isn’t something I ordinarily get with a Japanese curry but the hamburger that it comes doesn’t seem to mix all that well with the curry flavour. The hamburger patty is quite nice if it was on a burger bun but here it is from two different worlds. I think diced beef would have worked quite well here.
Pepper Lunch also have a small selection of rice dishes in bowls. We ordered the Salmon Teriyaki with rice. It’s a smaller serve compared with the hot plates but nonetheless tasty. The teriyaki flavour is sweet and different to the teriyaki flavours in other Japanese restaurants , it isn’t something I’ve had many times before but the interesting flavour is quite nice. The salmon is cooked well, not overcooked in the least. A bit of chilli oil on top just makes this dish better.
The Chicken Teriyaki is quite similar to the Salmon dish , with not much else to comment on. The chicken was cooked well and I quite liked the taste of it actually. I find it different to Hanaichi’s Teriyaki dishes but both are great in their own ways.
I wouldn’t say the food here is the most authentic Japanese food I’ve eaten but it’s delicious, great flavours and fast. Can’t go wrong with that in my book.
309-311 Elizabeth St
Melbourne VIC 3000
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