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D House Cafe & Pancake Dessert House Eatery

Home > Melbourne > Cafes | Frugal Friday | Fun Things To Do
by TheOnlyFiona (subscribe)
In real life, I do discuss food exactly like how I write in my food review articles. As always my food reviews are scored only on what I've tried and the service expected of that type of establishment.
Published February 1st 2014
Update September 21st 2016
Pancake Dessert House Eatery is permanently closed

Decent Chinese diner style eateries
'Dip tou fan' (literally one plate rice/meal) and Cha Chaan Teng (Hong Kong Chinese diners) or two distinct types of eateries which I like to place under the umbrella term Chinese diner style eating. Casual dining akin to a bistro but without fancy interiors.

The menu consists manly of Dip Tou Fan fair which is essentially a meal on one plate where you dig in with a spoon, fork or knife. While chopsticks for noodles only. D House Cafe and Pancake Dessert House Eatery have the same menu, and likely the same owner who didn't quite think through brand recognition.

I have frequented both eateries and found it pleasantly packed with diners. The menu features many dishes that are found in Cha Chaan Teng eateries in Hong Kong. Although not every item that those familiar with diner style cuisine could hope for, the menu is diverse enough for a temporary 'fix'.

D House Cafe has slightly better decor, with a wall graphic yet the furniture comprises the same rectangular tables. Those looking for the authentic atmosphere will be slightly disappointed with the decor, which is unlike the standard booth seating common to Cha Chaan Tengs.

A selection of the menu tasted are as follows:

Beef noodles
Beef noodles

Beef noodles: to standard. Not exceptionally good, but standard beef ball noodles with a fragrant aroma.

Grill platter
Grill platter

Grill platters are a favourite of mine in Cha Chaan Ting dining. It usually comes out steaming hot, preferably where you have to hold a little towel in front of your face while you wait for the steam to subside.

Although I didn't need to use a towel the platter did come out steaming hot, I was not disappointed with how it tasted. I chose the mixed grill which had chicken, pork and beef with some vegetables and chips. I even received a complimentary bowl of rice.

Choose your own sauce and pasta:

Here they have combined a few usual menu items and given the consumer the choice to mix and match. A choice of four sauces, I have tried two: the mushroom and the Portuguese sauce.

Mushroom sauce
Mushroom sauce

The mushroom sauce was decent. Nice and creamy with mushrooms that did have a mushroom taste to it or should I say umami instead? I paired it with a fried rice, which was not anything special to write to about.

Portuguese sauce spaghetti
Portuguese sauce spaghetti

The Portuguese sauce spaghetti was fantastic. The best Portuguese sauce I've tasted in Australia. Portuguese sauce comes from Macau (Asia's Las Vegas) where a Chinese maid invented a dish called Portuguese Chicken for her colonial Portuguese employers.

Although not as jam packed with pieces of chicken and melt in your mouth vegetables as usually it would be, the sauce is enjoyable and has the basic flavours you would expect. I accompanied my meal with some soy milk which was disappointing, not freshly made in store as I had hoped.

Experience Summary:

Service - 3 stars. Service is acceptable.

Atmosphere - 4 stars. Although not the decor I was expecting, it has a nice atmosphere. Casual and filled with customers.

Food - 3.5 stars. Not the variety I am used to but nice for a temporary fix. A nice variety in the menu.

Uniqueness factor - Decent Portuguese sauce. There are many cafes and restaurants that go overboard with the cream where it ends up tasting like carbonara. Although not perfectly authentic, it still has the basic flavours that those who have tried Portuguese sauce before will recognise it.

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Where: Pancake Dessert House: Melbourne CBD Mid-City Arcade 18/200 Bourke St, Melbourne
D House Cafe: 313 Swanston St Melbourne
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