Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dessert House Eastery, Melbourne CBD by Big Fil

Dessert House Eatery isn't really all about desserts. Sure there are a few on the menu, but if you are looking for something sweet its even busier sibling in Chinatown (Pancake Dessert House Eatery) is probably a better option. What it does provide is 'contemporary Asian fast food', mainly for students but office workers as well, at better than reasonable prices.

There are two small eating options (upstairs and downstairs naturally), with te downstairs quite white and bright, upstairs a more sedate brown colour. If not for the seating arrangements being overly cosy it would actually be quite a pleasant place to eat, but unless you are lucky enough to score one of the small individual tables you'll likely be bumping arms, legs, shoulders with a new friend.

To say the menu is extensive is an understatement. I think the first time we went it took longer for us to choose what we wanted to eat than it took for it to be cooked. First choices were the lemongrass pork with fried egg, and the omelette with bbq pork on rice. The omelette looked huge when it arrived and not very pretty. No points for the presentation but it's filling and would keep a hungry student fuelled up for an afternoon lecture session. My biggest issue was with the pork. While I wasn't expecting perfect, slightly fatty char siu with a hint of smokiness it didn't taste particularly fresh or like the best cuts.

I preferred the lemongrass pork, although Snooze found it a little plain. It was nicely cooked, with moist but not fatty pieces of pork chop and with the lemongrass flavours coming through nicely. Nothing special, but a perfectly acceptable lunchtime dish.

A couple of days later we returned to sample some more of the menu, the fried kway teoh and the crispy spicy chicken. The kway teoh was generous and scattered with fish cake and balls, prawns and calamari. Whoever cooked it didn't use too heavy a hand with the sauce - one of my pet hates with fried kway teoh - and there was even a touch of wok hei, something you don't always get in cheap cafes.

My crispy chicken wasn't overcooked and still moist, enclosed in a not too thick salty batter. It might have been well served with a few bok choy leaves to lighten the dish up a bit but again a nice, workmanlike fried chicken dish.

Cramped surroundings but respectable food which flies out of the kitchen and good prices means that you may well have to line up to get a workday lunch or dinner seat. Service is efficient and functional if a little impersonal, but that is what I want when sneaking out of the office for a quick lunch.

Food - 6.5
Service - 7
Ambience - 6
Price - 7.5

313 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: (03) 9663 2284

Dessert House Eatery on Urbanspoon

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