MELBOURNE | Ah the joys of photographing food when the venue lighting evokes Blade Runner meets karaoke nightclub. Awesome for atmosphere, not such for food photography (actually pretty great for non-food shots). But… The show must go on!
I was invited to Chef David a few weeks back. It was the Elizabeth Street location of David’s Hot Pot, but after the popularity of their lockdown menu, which focused more on Sichuan BBQ and other bits and pieces, they decided to relaunch the venue with that focus.
The menu is quite extensive, and there was a lot that I wanted to try when I visited. The kitchen does use peanut oil, so with Lauren’s nut allergy that did reduce our options. No signature spicy Sichuan whole grilled barramundi or Murray cod for us unfortunately, but we certainly weren’t disappointed with what we were able to order.
Peking duck pancakes mightn’t be a Sichuan dish, but the version here is tasty. Succulent duck with a crispy skin served with the usual condiments. There’s a wide assortment of BBQ skewers on the menu, from tender fillet through to wonderfully textured offal. I went for the croaker and chicken wing tips, for something a bit different than my usual.
For a very moreish snack, there’s the Sichuan chilli powder dusted deep fried pork belly which I couldn’t stop eating despite being full. Fresh oysters from the raw bar, are good too, and the fried rice is nice and light.
For drinks, there’s an extensive alcoholic menu, ranging from affordable tipples to very expensive baller bottles of booze. There are about 15 cocktails and 10 mocktails on the list, including a tether tasty Strawberry Gum Collins.
From the neon and strobe lights, to the big screens, and loud (sometimes live) music, Chef David certainly has its own image that screams fun and party. Thankfully the food shows that the place is more than just style over substance.
Chef David 大味江湖
L1, 462 Elizabeth Street
Mon – Sun: 5:30pm to 12:00am