Other than my insane dining adventure at The Fat Duck, Lee Ho Fook was one of my most memorable dinner experiences in Melbourne. Exec Chef Victor Liong does Modern Chinese food that’s stylish and light-hearted all at the same time.
The tea egg with avruga and dill comes in two halves and is as unctuous as it is beautiful. Chongqing style chicken crackling from the specials menu is a salty, tasty little number. There’s something magical about crispy chicken skin. And when there’s this kind of savoriness involved, it’s almost criminal.
On the sweeter side, the crispy eggplant with spiced red vinegar smacks you with flavor. But for something quite un-Chinese in a lot of ways, the Lee Ho Fook spring onion fried pizza is a playful take on a Chinese pizza. The ‘chinizza’ has the gusto of a shallot pancake but is decked out with torn buffalo mozzarella. So, so clever and delicious.
But my favorite of the night is the Cone Bay barramundi from the specials menu. The barramundi is so ridiculously tender and complemented by the greatness of chilli, salted black beans, pickled mustard greens and Thai basil. With the fish we’re also given rice. Call me traditionalist, but I kind of wanted rice earlier. Perhaps it was also because we ordered such hyper-tasty starters. The menu is split into Small, Medium and Large, and I’m guessing that only the Large ones are served with rice.
The desserts are incredibly good value between 5 and 7 bucks. Mind you, they’re pretty small. But it’s perfect if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like sharing (I think you’re weird, but whatever).
My pick is the jasmine tea infused custard with burnt caramel – it seriously kicks ass. Bitter tea flavors. Sweetness. Smooth, silky custard. Please send over buckets of this stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I also enjoy the white peach granite with osmanthus cream and aiyu jelly because it’s all about that fruity freshness.
Lee Ho Fook
11-14 Duckboard Pl, Melbourne