An old tea warehouse transformed into what we think is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne.
David’s is a top-notch eatery nestled just off the bustling Chapel Street. This family owned restaurant was founded nearly 20 years ago by Shanghai born David Zhou and has remained under his ownership ever since.
The restaurant is inspired by David’s home town, Zhouzhuang, which is also known as the Oriental Venice. When you step inside it’s like you have been transported to an extremely cool boathouse. You’re surrounded by white-washed timber walls and high ceilings with the original ceiling beams and skylights that have been around since its inception. The walls are spotted with family photos, images of the canals and old fishing boats from the oriental Venice of David’s past, making it feel as though you’re really sitting in someone’s family home. David’s interior is extremely welcoming and provides for a very comfortable and relaxing meal.
David begun his journey as a Chinese herbalist with a strong passion for tea. His restaurant was originally his tea warehouse where he created and sold his own blends to the public. His passion for tea shows through the extensive drinks menu which complements the mouthwatering dishes on offer.
If you’re not a tea lover, the Jasmine Pearl Tea will definitely render you one afterwards. Baby Jasmine buds are hand rolled into pearls and infused with jasmine aroma which gives the tea a very sophisticated flavour. Another favourite is the Relaxing Tea, David’s very first blend, with a subtle and delicate taste it is absolutely perfect for a post dinner drink.
David’s encourages bringing people together through food in a tranquil and relaxing atmosphere. And it definitely does. Their food is truly traditional Shanghainese dishes which have been passed down from great grandmothers.The most popular dish is their signature Shanghai sticky pork belly & chat potatoes. Two words, mind blowing.
David’s was also the first restaurant to introduce xiao long baos in Melbourne which are definitely ones you cannot miss. David Zhou himself recommends trying the Shanghainese bamboo shoots which he fondly remembers as a staple when growing up.
A highlight of David’s is their weekend Yum Cha. Every Saturday and Sunday you can stuff yourself with all those delicious dumplings and Chinese goodies. For only $40 on Saturday and $45 on Sunday you could be feasting on Shanghai pork spring rolls, fried rice, prawn dumplings with ginger and vinegar sauce and plenty of xiao long baos. It gets better, dessert is also included. Expect white chocolate dumplings, fried banana fritters and sesame chocolate balls! Make sure you book in advance since their sessions are super popular.
If tea isn’t your thing, don’t stress, David’s has got a lot more to offer. With over 60 different types of wines from all over the world and an ongoing list of spirits you will definitely find something that tickles your fancy. They also have Asian inspired cocktails with some of the best being the Tychee Martini, a combination of Toji sake, Soho lychee, & lemon and the Rising Sun Spritz, an Asian take on an Aperol Spritz. If you’re more of a whiskey drinker, head over to David’s sister-venue, Zhou Zhou, where they have an extensive menu of Japanese and international whiskeys.
The restaurant also hosts events and celebrations. Whether you’re after a cocktail event with a Shanghai sparkle or a sit-down celebration, David’s has got you covered. They’ve got private and semi-private options with a total standing capacity of 120. If you’re looking to impress your guests with both quality food, drinks and a unique venue, David’s is the one for you.
A traditional family owned Chinese restaurant with some flair and lots of flavour, what more could you want?
By Boe Eyking