Time Out Melbourne

David's Restaurant has been reinvented - can this old dog learn new tricks?

David Zhou’s formal Chinese restaurant has had a 2012 make-under. Gone are the plush banquettes and novelty lamps, replaced with distressed school chairs, share tables, and a pristine white wash paint-job. Your placemat is the menu, and it’s spruiking regional-style share dishes. Tick, tick, tick. Our waiter even has an asymmetrical flop of hair.

There are some great dishes: braised eggplant, spicy, soft and tangy with garlic, chilli and black vinegar; a bowl of chilled, hard-boiled quail eggs, steeped in oolong tea with fragrant wolf berries giving them a slight aniseed kick, and little school prawns, flash fried for crunching down whole. But what’s with the rush? There’s no angry mob waiting for our seats, and yet everything hits the table instantly, out of order and with no explanation.

Mains arrive immediately, while run-of-the-mill dumplings and (better) stuff-’em-yourself pork buns (sweet steamed bread with a spoonable cube of gelatinous pork belly) bring up the rear. A worrying indication that they’re the only dishes cooked to order. Speed doesn’t do favours for chewy pork ribs, or for the sections of sake-poached chicken, which are strangely clammy, ice-cold from the fridge.

But then, it’s a great room, wine starts at $35 and the menu steers creative over classic. If you’re in the ’hood and in a hurry, it’s not a bad option.

Updated on 7 Aug 2012.

David's details

4 Cecil Pl, Prahran 3181

Telephone 03 9529 5199

Nearby Stations: Prahran; Windsor

Open Mon-Fri 12 noon-3pm; Sat-Sun 11.30am-3pm; Sun-Thu 6-10.30pm; Fri-Sat 6-11pm

David's website

David's map

Report a problem with this page

Restaurants and bars nearby


47m - The newest kid on the Prahran block to swing open the doors and start...

La Svolta

65m - Melbourne is awash with places to grab a pizza, so how do you know where to...

Colonel Tan's

84m - When the head chef from Cookie and the Toff in Town throws Thai food with a...

Huxtaburger: Prahran

85m - More Huxtaburgers!!! Team Huxtable are bringing their brand of hot beef,...

More restaurants and bars nearby

Other venues nearby

White Suede: Prahran

58m - Photos: Sean Fennessy Melbourne based label White Suede offers you modern...

Humming Puppy

60m - The first yoga studio to vibrate as you invert is based in Prahran and now...

Olga de Polga

61m - Colourful clothing dominates Olga de Polga, so give yourself some time to...

Revolver Upstairs

72m - Revolver is a sprawlingly decadent venue half way between scummy and...

More venues nearby


Got an itch for short films? Flickerfest is here to scratch it

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus

Get the Time Out weekend planner. Straight to your inbox, every Thursday.
Read more