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Tuesday 28 March 2023

Punchy Asian flavours shine in Melbourne

Asian restaurant Salted Egg has a couple of strikes against it from the start.

First it is in a hotel, which will dissuade some potential patrons, and secondly it is on level one with zero street visibility, meaning some diners might well walk past without even knowing it exists.

Which would be a mistake on their part.

Not only does Salted Egg offer Thai-accented food that is delicious and well priced, it is also obviously on the radar of quite a number of food savvy Melbourne folk.

I'm in house on a Thursday night and even though the weather is not particularly appealing (it's Melbourne folks), the pace is buzzing with a number of large groups clearly enjoying themselves immensely.

The vibe is helped by a helpful and efficient young service team - a welcome rarity in these times of staff shortages.

Salted Egg is located in the Quincy Hotel Melbourne (review later this week), which is also home to The Q rooftop bar - a great spot for a post-work drink, and with spectacular views from above the CBD.

The food in Salted Egg is vibrant and flavoursome - it turns out executive chef Adam Woodfield has worked at both Chin Chin and Jimmy Liks, two of Melbourne's star Asian eateries.

So think Thai-accented, hawker food market-inspired south-east Asian cuisine that rewards those with a an adventurous palate. Pungent and punchy. 

There is even a Thai-inspired breakfast menu - the chilli scrambled eggs on sourdough with crab meat, Sichuan oil and crispy salt bush are exceptional.

For dinner, you can choose from a degustation menu - ideal for groups - or order al a carte.

For fresh, tangy palate cleanser start with a pomelo betel leaf with caramelised coconut, chilli and mint (above). It is delightfully crunchy.

Next up I opted for prawn and ginger dumplings with Sichuan oil and prickly ash salt (second image): funky and filling.

My main course (top image) was a huge and satisfying stir-fried roast duck with crispy egg noodle, yellow bean sauce and pickled chilli Probably not the sort of dish you'd cook at home, but perfect for sharing with friends.

I was urged to try a dessert and the colourful pandan and white chocolate mousse with ube ganache, coconut jelly and coconut crumble (below) transported me to Malaysia, gastronomically speaking.

There is a huge selection of cocktails - as befits the party vibe - but local craft brewers like Moondog, Stomping Ground and Hop Nation are well represented on the drinks list. 

There is also a short, but well curated, selection of wines by the glass with the In Dreams 2021 Pinot Noir a particularly good match for the duck dish.

Salted Egg is on Level one at The Quincy Hotel Melbourne, 509 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, VIC 3000. Breakfast 7am-11am daily; lunch noon-3pm Tuesday to Saturday; dinner from 5pm Monday to Saturday.

For full details see

The writer was a guest of The Quincy Melbourme

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