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With so many Chinese eateries gracing Melbourne, to stand out from the pack you need to have that special something. And while that something may be intangible and elusive (just try asking an interior designer to include ’that special something’), you can find it in abundance at David’s. A quick glance at the menu and you know you’re in for some original and unusual dishes in the Shanghai and Sichuan styles, including traditional health tonics and an amazing range of herbal teas (a tip of the cap, for those in the know, to owner David Zhou’s former life as a traditional Chinese herbalist). The open restaurant isn’t crowded with tables and there are many options for vegetarians, but the thing that separates David’s from the pack most is the desserts. Most Chinese restaurants, it is fair to say, are notorious for having lacklustre dessert options - at David’s it is just the opposite. From the deep-fried, crispy parcels of banana wontons to the pre-cult status (it shouldn’t take long) almond pudding, the desserts at David’s are stellar, without exception. Most come liberally dusted with black sesame sugar, the ashen black-and-white speckle looking like the best possible outcome of a volcanic eruption.

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Asian
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Reviews we love (3)

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It was Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 1982, and for a kid on his first flight from the nest it left an impression. Eating roasted peanuts with chopsticks; drinking beer with salt-and-chilli calamari; and thinking I was in another

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3.5/5

David's old-school Shanghai diner has a new-look setting. This laneway favourite has embraced the trend for casual dining with a light-filled white-on-white interior seemingly plucked straight from the French Concession

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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

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3/5

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