From the moment you walk inside David’s it’s clear that it’s not your ordinary local Shanghainese restaurant. Instead, the restaurant evokes a contemporary feel with its minimalist, white wooden decor which is accentuated by soft lighting from the lantern shaped light shades. It’s incredibly beautiful in a simple, but down to earth way.
David’s specialises in ‘country Shanghai’ cuisine, so whilst the usual suspects such as dumplings are available (David’s offers ‘all you can eat yumcha’ on weekends), these are offered as entree servings. There’s a great variety of dishes available which heavily focus on home-style dishes and serve as fantastic comfort foods.
The portions are quite generous so I was glad that the waiter helped tailor the dishes to our part of 4 when we arrived – otherwise we would have seriously over ordered because the baos are massive!
‘One bite’ soft shell river prawns ($25)
When it comes to crustaceans that you can eat as a whole, you would generally think of soft shell crab or school prawns. The river prawns here were certainly larger than your regular school prawns however despite the size, they were crispy enough to be eaten in their entirety. Overall – the flavours were great with a sweet aftertaste however some of the heads of the prawns were a bit sharp so ‘one bite’ may not suffice. Best to eat the bigger ones two bites!
Steamed pork dumplings aka Xiaolongbao ($9)
Taste wise, the filling was fantastic and exactly what I had expected. However, the dumpling skins were a bit inconsistent as the texture was a tad soft and didn’t manage to hold the soup inside the dumplings.
‘Bao’ – Shredded peking duck (top), The original spicy pork belly (bottom) ($11 for a pair)
The bao’s were soft and filled with four fillings of your choice. Whilst the original spicy pork belly is the most popular, we all preferred the shredded peking duck as this was juicer and delicious served with the sautéed bean sprouts.
Slow-cooked 5 spice beef brisket with pumpkin ($25)
5 spice powder is commonly found in many Chinese dishes (particularly slow-cooked dishes and dry marinade) is generally a combination of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel and sichuan pepper. I love the flavour it adds to beef dishes, especially brisket and this particular dish was no exception.
Mixed Chinese green veggies, stir-fried with a hint of chilli ($16)
There was a good variety of greens here – baby bok choy, snow peas, snake beans, zucchini and sweet potato. Overall, the flavours were more on the sweeter side but very tasty (with a lot of sauce too!).
4 Cecil Place
Prahran, VIC 3181