Melbourne has so much to offer. I love experiencing new places and events and sharing them with you.
I have an interest in gluten free, vegan and vegetarian diets so I will let you know if you these can be catered for in my reviews.
Published July 20th 2013
Award winning restaurant
They are the winners!
Awarded metropolitan Asian Restaurant of the Year at the Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering awards for Victoria, you'll feel like a winner too when you visit.
There is an interesting array of cocktails on the menu, so, as you do, we started with a couple of those. We had a martini and a pomegranate cocktail, both of which were delightful.
If we didn't have our eyes on the banquet menus, it's probable that we also would have ordered some of the tempting nibbles on the menu such as crispy sesame and coconut rice papers with Noosa spanner crab dressed with coconut, chilli and lime ($18) or green rice fried tiger prawns ($5 each). Although we all shied away from the Hunter Valley snails stuffed with mushroom, pork and prawn pandan, kaffir lime and lemongrass ($5 each).
We decided on the buddha banquet, described as Dồ chay in Vietnamese, inspired by Buddhist cuisine of Hue, a vegetarian menu, in keeping with the general Buddhist precept of ahimsa (non-violence) and the meat eaters also had to try the BBQ pork spare ribs with a refreshing lychee and mint salad ($41) - which is also award winning The Age Good Food Guide Dish of the Year.
There are a lot of choices on the menu. Individual dishes include various choices of pho, salads, wraps, curries, claypots or items from the grill. Vegan options are notes on the menu, and there is a wide range of dishes available. If it's all too much to think about there is also the themed feed me options which includes Dandelion Signature Tasting Menu; personalised Dandelion experience with menu designed by Chef Geoff Lindsay, wines by Sommelier Grant Van Every for $95. The menu changes seasonally, you can drool over it here.
Buddha rolls, zucchini flower stuffed with tofu, jimica and tuong, a spicy sauce of mungbean, coconut water chilli and sticky rice
The food is Vietnamese inspired, but with an elegant twist. Flavours are intricately designed and beautifully presented. Yes, it's more expensive than your average Vietnamese, but what you get in the quality of the food, choices on the menu, the flavours and service are superior to your average Asian restaurant.
Lotus stem, Vietnamese squash, crispy tofu, fragrant herbs, snow pea shoots and mulberry vinegar dressing
The meal was most enjoyable, with more than enough food on offer and so much to explore for our tastebuds. Perhaps the most awesome dish though came last, dessert. It was unlike anything any of us had ever had before. The photo (below) really doesn't do it justice. The combination of textures in this dish alone, makes it just so interesting. Just check out the description!
Dragon eye 'che,' longan stuffed with lotus seed, coconut jell, snow fungus, pomegranate, green tea icecream, rice flour tuille