Shanghai Street is famously known for their Xiao Long Bao. It’s one of the very popular eateries in Chinatown. While Shanghai Street is known for their Xiao Long Bao, their menu is extensive with a variety of Dim Sum offerings, dumplings, wontons, noodles, rice dishes and soups as well.
Their Xiao Long Bao has an incredibly tasty filling. It’s similar to that off a traditional Chinese dumpling, with the subtle taste of ginger. However, the bun is likened to that of a BBQ Pork Bun, which is light and fluffy. The combination is great, juicy pork filling with the fluffy exterior. Winner.
Shanghai Street’s fried rice is also very good. It has this very salty taste to but it’s very flavourful.
The Pork & Prawn Dumplings with a peanut and sesame sauce is quite interesting. A different combination that I’m used to and not entirely sure I like the mix of peanut sauce with dumplings. To be honest, I’d just have the dumplings with the standard vinegar/chilli oil instead. The filling was pretty good though, as it usually is with pork and prawns.
Shanghai Street excel in dumplings and they’ll have me as a returning customer.
146 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Getting in on the Soft Serve ice cream popularity is Tsujiri on Swanston Street in the Melbourne CBD. Tsujiri is a tea brand originating from Japan that excels in all things Matcha/Green Tea. With locations in UK, Canada and Asia, it has now opened in Australia. Tsujiri’s menu offers a wide range of Matcha and Houjicha flavoured drinks, as well as snacks such as cream puffs, swiss rolls and glutinous rice balls.
Tsujiri’s signature sundae you can order mixed (Matcha and Vanilla), Matcha or just Vanilla and it comes with the glutinous rice ball and sweet potato ball on top, Sakura flavoured wafer, red beans and roasted rice. Tsujiri certainly doesn’t skimp on the flavour of the green tea as it’s stronger than you would have at Rice Workshop or Nene’s Chicken. I also loved the subtle floral notes of the wafer, and the roasted rice for a lovely crunchy texture. The only thing I didn’t like was the price where it’s leaning towards $10 and especially for the price.
While Tsujiri excels in green tea, its pricing is on the higher end and I question whether it’s worth it even if it’s good.
146 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ikkoryu Fukuoka is located underground on Russell St in Melbourne’s CBD. Close to Flinders St station, it is one of the many Japanese ramen restaurants around Melbourne so certainly each ramen store has to entice diners somehow. Its menu offerings are similar to Hakata Gensuke and Ramen Bankara where you select your variation of the Tonkotsu broth, and choose from add ons such as sliced pork, seaweed and eggs and you are able to choose how you want your noodles to be cooked, whether that’d be soft, hard or in between . What makes this place a bit more special is that each diner has their own menu to write their choices and you include your name on this as well. So when your meal comes to you it’s on a name basis which I find to be a nice change to what is normally a very methodical ordering process.
Ikkoryu Fukuoka’s Chef selection is their Yuzu Tonkotsu which is green in colour. It’s an interesting broth, you can definitely taste the citric flavour of the Yuzu. I find it quite different to the usual more meatier broths like the standard Tonkotsu or the Miso Tonkotsu and I’m not entirely sure I’d choose it again but I’m glad I tried it anyway.
Warning though, if you do choose the Spicy Tobanjan Tonkotsu and pick level 3, it’s ridiculously spicy and I actually couldn’t eat it all because it was that spicy and I can usually take heat relatively well.
Their Chips and Wasabi is like those wonton wrappers deep fried with a creamy wasabi dipping on the side. It’s nice and crunchy, and the wasabi taste comes through well so it’s great for wasabi fans.
Ikkoryu Fukuoka has a premium feel to it, and it is certainly reflected in the pricing as well. Their ramen is decent, but I would have liked a few more broth choices instead of just Tonkotsu.
Basement of 27 Russell Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Melbourne is abuzz for ChangGo, one of the many Korean BBQ restaurants that have appeared in our city in recent years. The waits can be excruciatingly long and the waiting system is basically taking a ticket and writing your name down on the list and you just wait around the venue listening for your name to be called out. I guess you must suffer a bit to be able to enjoy their food.
One of ChangGo’s specialties on their menu is their 8 ways marinated Pork Belly which consist of wine, original, ginseng, garlic, herb, curry, miso paste and hot flavoured Pork Belly. For a group of two to three, the amount of pork on offer here seems to suffice. With the Pork Belly, they provide Kim Chi, an assortment of vegetables, and a spicy Seafood soup.
At night, the place can be packed and the staff are definitely challenged in assisting everyone with their cooking. So basically, it’s DIY BBQ.
The Pork Belly they provide you is on the fattier side of pork that I’ve come across but nonetheless the flavours offered are varied. The Garlic, Herb and Hot marinated Pork Belly’s were probably my favourite ones because they were flavourful but let the pork shine too.
The Spicy Seafood soup here is wonderfully tasty and best on a cold winter’s day. Not too spicy but enough to tingle your tastebuds and the soup base is exceptionally satisfying.
ChangGo does Korean barbeque well, apart from the overly fatty Pork Belly that is. Flavours are overall tasty and for $60 (for the 8 Ways Pork Belly), I find it great value for money. Once you dine here you can see why the waits during peak times can exceed 30 mins. I’d definitely recommend dining here if you feel like some charred meats.
70 Little La Trobe St
Melbourne VIC 3000
Passionflower is one of those places you come across and ask why is this place so popular. Located on Bourke Street, this little store has quite a following serving Melburnians with sugary Asian influenced delights. Most of their menu is at least $12+ but I guess that is the price you pay for in these dessert boutiques.
Pictured above is Passionflower’s Chocolate Waffles. The waffles are sweet and crunchy. The thickness of the waffles creates this airiness within the waffles and complements the outer crunchiness. With the waffles it comes with two scoops of ice cream (vanilla and chocolate) along with a warm and rich chocolate sauce. The ice cream is nothing to write home about and the chocolate sauce is almost tooth numbingly sweet but you really can’t go wrong with chocolate waffles. Well, apart from the ice cream which was oddly lacking in creaminess.
This dessert (the name forgets me) is one of their iced desserts with sweet red beans, black jelly, strawberries, ice cream and this ridiculously sweet red sugar syrup. I would say this dessert was a letdown, nothing out of the ordinary and for the price (which I believe was like $18) is quite frankly poor value for money. The sugar syrup is unnecessary and the shaved ice isn’t fine enough. It feels like all these separate ingredients are just thrown into this one dessert but nothing tying them together. Disappointment
While the waffles were nice, I really can’t say I would ever come back for them. You can easily find better
waffles desserts elsewhere in Melbourne. The exorbitant prices are the killer here and without great tasting desserts to back it up, I really can’t see how it’s justified.
Shop 2, 168 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000