Pran Central is your one stop shop for flavour and variety. Located at the corner of Chapel Street and Commercial Road at 325 Chapel Street, Prahran, it has a dining gallery and cafe precinct flanking lots of seating in the adjacent area. Aside from food outlets, you'll find a host of other retail outlets, health and wellness services, fashion, the post office and more.
The food hall area caters to the relaxing habits of the general public. With a charging station for your phones and computers, it's not unusual to find people working on their laptops as if they were home. A large screen TV runs continuously for entertainment, while a couple of massage chairs will give you a 4-minute relaxing shiatsu massage for $2 a pop
Spelling it like it sounds, Pran is the perfect way to say Prahran for those who are not familiar with its pronunciation. Its location is perfect for lunch-time stopovers for employees of adjacent supermarket giants and other workplaces who can get great meals packed with flavour without breaking the budget. There are special offers running all the time.
With the Cato street carpark undergoing a 60 plus million dollar transformation, the food gallery is a stones throw for the tradies to grab some food when they're taking a break from turning the old car park into Cato Square, a multifunctional urban parkland with underground car parking.
The international flavours of the food hall meals border on being classed as cheap eats, but doesn't compromise on value for flavour. Depending on your personal preference, one or the other eatery will be your favourite. I gave Sandwich Chefs, O-Bun, and Sugar Bowl Cafe a twirl and was more than pleasantly surprised.
My personal favourite for lunch has to be O-Bun with their To Bun ($4.50 of fried silken tofu with pickled mustard, coriander, crushed peanuts and hoisin sauce) and Creeper Bun ($5.20 of soft shell crab with spicy cabbage slaw and sriracha mayo). I'd go so far as to say their Buns rivalled the quality, freshness and flavour of the more expensive restaurants that served the same.
Guess I'm going to have to go back and try out the rest like the Brekkie Bun, Hen's Bun, Kimchi Bun, Char-Siu Bun, Hog Bun, F-O-F Bun, and The Sweet BJ which is a deep-fried bun with Ben & Jerry's flavour of the day ice cream. There are also other food combo options, including having some of the fillings on rice instead of a bun.
If a roast is what you're after, you don't have to wait for a Sunday roast. Sandwich Chefs have got you covered with their delicious looking roasts covered in crackling on top. Pretty generous with their serves, you can get a roast dinner for under $14 with all the trimmings of roast potato, roast pumpkin, peas and more. If you're after a pre-made or freshly made, roll or wrap, they cater to that as well.
After all that eating, Sugar Bowl was the perfect last stop to wash it all down with some really good coffee, a green juice and a slice of cheesecake. Being the only cafe in the vicinity of the food hall, they're always busy serving up to Chapel Street's coffee/cafe culture. I was pleasantly surprised at how good the coffee was outside the fancier establishments I frequent on Chapel Street.
This dining gallery and cafe precinct is definitely one to put on the list when you need a little break from all that walking and shopping. You'll always find options of something delicious that'll give you change from a ten dollar note. Follow their Facebook page and subscribe to the website for updates on special offers and more. If you spend $75 at any Pran Central Store, hand your receipt over to U Pharmacy to receive a deluxe soy candle by Bramble Bay Candle Co. This offer ends on Sat 8 Dec 2018. With Christmas around the corner, Bakers Delight has Christmas favourite baked treats like fruit mince tarts, zingy lemon tarts and tasty Christmas cake. They also make a thoughtful last-minute gift. They now have an artisan range baked fresh every day, so take it for a whirl.