An impromptu drop in for dinner at David's in Prahran was a mind blowing experience for me. I absolutely loved the decor. I've always been a fan of fairy lights and all the natural timber furniture and farmhouse look high timber ceilings just sealed it for me. I felt like I had entered a magical palace. Being in awe does not begin to cover how the place made me feel, and I had not even tasted the food yet.
The unassuming facade does not begin to convey the treasure trove inside
On an early autumn evening, with the light fading fast, walking towards the building down an empty looking street, but for a lit sign that said DAVID'S above, one might never have known it was there. Yet, it obviously needs no introduction and perhaps I'm one of the few that had never been there.
David's Restaurant has been at 4 Cecil Place since 1999, and in that time, it's had four renovations to keep up with the current day 'look' over the years. The latest look by interior designers Hecker and Guthrie was installed a year and a half ago.
Traditional countryside Shanghai inspired Chinese food
The food is traditional Chinese influenced by countryside Shanghai. It is fresh, the dumplings are to die for and the service was impeccable, with food arriving on the table, quick smart.
It turned out that it is not only my opinion that the food served at David's is exquisite; they have ten Chef's Hats awarded by The Age Good Food Guide to prove it. They have also been named recently as one of the top 50 best Chinese restaurants outside of China.
Check out their website, enjoy the stories and salivate over the menu. This restaurant is not David Zhou's only venture. With a background in Yum Cha and tea, David has spread his expertise over four other ventures known as the Oriental Teahouse. The four locations are at 455 Chapel Street in South Yarra; 378 Little Collins Street in the city; Shop GD 068/69 at Melbourne Central and Shop F015 at Chadstone Shopping Centre in Chadstone.
Gong Bo Chicken stir fry, sweet chunky eggplant, battered salt and pepper calamari and steamed veggie dumplings
Dinner was divine, however the sweets may not be everyone's cup of tea if one's palate is not familiar with Chinese desserts. It is not always as sweet as the regular Australian desserts and cakes one may be used to. The sweetness is subtle and some may not have much sweetness at all. Of the desserts we ordered, the one that came closest to being what one would expect dessert to be was the white chocolate dumplings made out of glutinous rice flour and accompanied by vanilla ice cream.
Apart from the various teas, there is also a huge range of alcohol, wines, champagne and signature alcoholic drinks.
Keep a close eye on David's Facebook page and website for special events and promotions, as I have no doubt you would go back time and again for his exquisite food. Bookings are filling fast for Mother's Day, but if you happen to be lucky enough to get a table, its 'unlimited yum cha' for $38 per person, with sittings from 10.30 am to 12 noon; 12.20 pm to 1.50 pm and 2.15 pm to 3.45pm. Book now on 03. 9529 5199.
Drop your business card in a jar to win a lunch for 4.
If you have a business card, the next time you're at David's drop it in a jar for a chance to win a lunch for four to the value of $150 or less. The balance must be paid for if it exceeds the said amount. A draw for the winner is made once a month towards the end of the month. Check the fine details with them when booking your table.
The operating hours are Monday to Thursday from 12 noon to 3 pm and from 6 pm to 10 pm and opening one hour later on a Friday till 11pm. Saturday from 11.30 am to 3 pm, and 6 pm to 11 pm, and Sunday the same, but closing one hour earlier at 10 pm. Call them on 9529 5199 to book.