Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Dahon Tea Lounge, South Melbourne

It's a celebration of Filipino cuisine here at Dahon Tea Lounge!

Chicken Adobo Skewers - $2 each

The char and smokiness was unmistakeable as soon as it hit the table. Delicious flavour from it and also loved how chewy/bouncy the chicken bits were

BBQ Pork Baguette with Chips - $8.70

Deeelicious! Grilled perfectly and juicy as well. This whole thing was just effortless to eat. I wish I worked closer to South Melbourne so I could have this for lunch. $10 for the baguette with chips and drink is so affordable and complete.

Pancit Palabok - $11.80

Rice vermicilli noodles with prawn sauce topped with tofu, crushed pork crackling, smoked fish, fried garlic, spring onion and egg

Interesting! Gorgeous blend of flavours that are really new to me but thoroughly enjoyed. Definitely from the smoked fish. The texture of the noodles were great as it had a good bite and resistance. El dente and good to chew. Loved this a lot!!

Deep Fried Pork Belly (!!!!!!) with Fried Egg on Rice - $11.20

OUR MAIN REASON FOR COMING HERE DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Cannot begin to describe how much we enjoyed this. Crispy but juicy pork belly, dipped in sauce and eaten with the hoisin-like sauce. I was also impressed because everything was impeccable. The fried egg was perfect in every sense of the word and the quality of rice goes unnoticed. The kind of rice I'd eat at home as well.

Ube Macapuno Cake - $3.20

Purple yam with coconut cake

Looooove this Filipino dessert! Yam is one of my favourite flavours for anything, really and the slices of young, shredded coconut flesh in the middle was just ace. Good stuff

Original Hotcakes with Scoop of Ice Cream and Condensed Milk - $7.90

Friends and I went with the simplest/straight forward option for hotcake in the menu: plain with condensed milk. So glad we did! I like how the hotcakes were nice, crusty on the outside but soft on the inside and slightly salty too. This did not take us long to gobble up. Perfecto~

One of the main reasons why I've always enjoyed and been intrigued by Filipino cuisine is because it's familiar to my Chinese background, but it's not. It's got the trappings of flavours that hit home, but with lots of new ingredients that I've never tasted or know how to make at all. One good example is the Pancit Palabok (see above). Vermicilli with tofu I've had, but never with a flavour so distinct as the smoked fish. Like it so much.

Prior to this, I've been meaning to try my friend Cherrie's restaurant for the longest time but never really got around to it cause I was just so flat out in my final semester of Masters last year. Then one day, I saw a photo of the unveiling of the new addition to their menu on their Facebook page: DEEP FRIED PORK BELLY!!!!!! I immediately called my friend S to tell him about it but even before I finished asking, he just said, "YES!!!". My other mate C joined us as well and we had dinner at Dahon that very night.

I know I've barely scratched the surface of what Filipino cuisine has to offer, but I'm looking forward to coming back again and again to try more of it despite how hard it is to go past the deep fried pork belly. Thankfully, my buddy Adrian has been making a couple of delicious Filipino treats in our past few blogger potlucks. 

So, if you're just as curious about Filipino cuisine as I am, definitely head to Dahon for a meal and say hi to the lovely Cherrie. Place is close to the city and so affordably priced. 

Thank you again Cherrie for such a memorable meal. Everything was absolutely delicious! Look forward to catching you again at the next catchup meal/potluck!

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