As David’s confidently enters its third decade, the restaurant is shaking things up with the introduction of 30 new dishes that aim to revolutionise Chinese food as we know it.
An interior refresh will soften the venue’s features and the kitchen will receive a major upgrade, ensuring Melburnians get their fix of fresh and simple Shanghainese comfort food that David’s is famous for. The new menu enhances the quality of local seasonal ingredients while unlocking nostalgic food memories shared by the Zhou family. Diners can expect a melting pot of street food flavours that underpin the tastes, smells and cultural diversity of Nanjing Road where David Zhou grew up.
Reminiscent of Zhou’s adolescent years, the seasoned oysters flavoured in a “drunken” granita is made up of a marinated shaoxing wine served atop freshly shucked oysters and pickled goji berries. This starter delicately combines fresh local seafood with traditional Shanghai flavours.
Yet another menu highlight, David’s claypot roasted king prawns are infused in a homemade fermented chilli and fragrant rice. Known as ‘jiu niang’, the shelled prawns are served atop a bed of cauliflower, then topped off with finger lime – this dish is a favourite of David’s sister.
Named after the bustling hawker stall found underneath where Zhou grew up, taste the rich black bean flavours of the hawker style lamb that is cooked slowly with onion and tomatoes like a ragu, the dish is served with shaobing flat bread to hold the tender meat and topped off with fresh lime, the perfect evening snack after a long night out.
Other family favourites grace the menu like the half chicken and chestnuts which is a classic home-cooked recipe that uses Bannockburn chicken stewed with flavoured shallots, red cooked chestnuts and soy bean paste. Most popular during the height of chestnut season in Shanghai, the dish is perfectly slow cooked for over three hours and made perfect with a crispy skin that diners will love.
Dessert at David’s continues to blur the line between eastern and western cuisine. Chinese flavours are given a modern twist to create contemporary sweets that are refined and fragrant. The jasmine tea infused chocolate fudge cake (pictured left) offers a layer of subtle flavour, aroma and colour to the menu. In keeping with David’s signature tea-infused cuisine, taste the tannins of the jasmine tea on first bite, balancing the sweetness. The tofu cream is infused with oolong tea and lime, decorated with strawberries marinated in silver needles tea.
Locals will be excited to hear that David’s classic traditional sticky pork belly (pictured right) that was first made famous when they first opened over 20 years ago, will not be going off the menu anytime soon. There is also an option to experience three different banquets – Zhou’s Family Banquet, a Celebration Banquet and the Suckling Pig Banquet for special occasions or to treat your tastebuds to the ultimate flavour journey.
4 Cecil Place, Prahran VIC, 3181
Image credits: Griffin Simm