Kekou, Richmond

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MELBOURNE | Kekou is a restaurant on Bridge Road, Richmond, that puts the focus on contemporary East Asian eats and craft beer. I was recently invited to take a look and, being a fan of both of the things they focus on, I was happy to say accept.

The space is small and narrow, with polished floors and exposed concrete and brick walls. Timber furniture and greenery softens the room to make for a modern ,welcoming area. The long bar extends along the left side of the venue, and behind it the beer focus is apparent. A chalk board shows diners what beers are on offer – there’s 18 rotating taps of independent Australian craft beer, ranging from the accessible to the craftier end of the scale. If you want a core range lager or pale ale you’re well catered to, but if it’s a seasonal sour with an experimental yeast or a barrel aged stout you’re after you’re sorted too.

It’s not just beer either. Kekou offers an extensive selection of spirits, wines, and cocktails. The cocktails, inspired by the Asian flavours of the food the menu, are well worth checking out. Take, for example, the Yuzu Sour, a twist on the classic which uses house infused yuzu vodka, and house lemongrass syrup. Or the Cassia Bark Old Fashioned, another twist on a classic that uses cassia bark infused Makers Mark.

Share plates are the focus of the food menu, and Thai chef Oak (Chittrawat) Kunnalok brings the influences of his homeland and mother’s cooking to the menu, along with flavours from across the region. We opted for the $79.00 per person set menu, and were impressed with everything that came out. Lobster betel leaf with toasted coconut, finger lime and chilli caramel is a must order starter, with zingy flavours and textural variety. The cured Hiramasa kingfish sashimi with red nahm jim, coconut gel, lime pearl, and toasted rice powder is another winner from the starters.

Moving on to larger dishes, and the pandan smoked duck leg with mandarin hoisin, ginger spring onion salsa, and DIY seasonal herbs is a delight. The smoked duck is revealed theatrically on the table as the lid is lifted off the plate and the smoke dissipates to reveal the duck. The smoke flavour is strong, but not so strong that it overpowers everything else when you make your own wrap. Also worth trying from the larger dishes is the wok fried eggplant with tofu, fermented chilli, black bean, saltbush. This umami laden vegetarian dish was actually one of our favourite dishes of the night.

Casual, contemporary East Asian isn’t a new concept in Melbourne’s dining scene but Kekou is proof that there’s definitely life in the concept. The bright, tasty food, combined with a craft beer list that you don’t normally find in Australian restaurants makes it a place well worth considering.

Kekou

396 Bridge Road
Richmond
Victoria 3121
Australia

Telephone: (03) 9089 7299
E-mail: [email protected]
Website

Open
Tue – Thu: 5:00pm to 11:00pm
Fri – Sat: 12:00pm to 1:00am
Sun: 12:00pm to 11:00pm

Kekou Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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