My friend Cherrie and her brother Ed own Dahon, a tea lounge in South Melbourne.
Yup – tea lounge. They serve tea and there’s no coffee, which is a bit unusual for an eatery in coffee obsessed Melbourne. Also unusual – the food there draws from Cherrie and Ed’s Filipino backgrounds.
As to be expected for a tea lounge, there’s many different options of teas available, including iced and ice blended ones, such as this coconut and pineapple tea.
(Why is it red? Because the colour of the tea they use for it brews red. I asked that question too!)
I liked the flavour, though it was too sweet for my tastes. They do also serve plain teas if you’re like me and don’t have a major sweet tooth.
As for the food, it ranges from baquettes to rice dishes to Filipino noodles, spring rolls and BBQ skewers.
When Alastair and I had lunch there recently, we were with several other food bloggers. That’s the only explanation for why we ordered two big share plates of deep fried pork belly ($17.20) in addition to other food.
The pork belly was good – each slice had been deep fried (!), but two serves was way too much because it was quite rich… and I’m sure that’s the only time you’ll ever hear me say that we had too much pork belly.
Apart from pork belly overload, Alastair and I also shared two empanadas. The pork and chicken fillings were encased in a lightish, flakey pastry.
I ordered us one of each of the BBQ skewers available: chicken inasal, chicken adobo, pork tocino and BBQ pork ($2 each or 2 for $3.80).
They were nicely tender and smokey. Definitely worth ordering.
Alastair also had one of the rice dishes: bistek – marinated seared steak with onion ($10.20).
And we finished with a slice of purple ube cake filled with fresh coconut. Purple cake is purple! I loved the soft, fluffy cake and the fresh coconut filling.
What’s not to like about Dahon? They make tasty, comforting food that’s inexpensive, and it’s owned by a really lovely person (yeah, yeah I’m totally biased). The skewers were particularly good, and purple cake is purple so get it in you.
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Dahon Tea Lounge
111 Cecil Street
South Melbourne VIC 3205
Phone: 03 9696 5704