Iron Chef Shellie

Eating Out: Peko Peko

“A few of us, plus Vanessa and Sarah from Nuffnang headed down to Peko Peko, South Melbourne on a gorgeous sunny Saturday for lunch. Peko Peko brands it’s cuisine as modern Asian. With options of dining in, or take away, it seems to be a popular place with the locals. Jack, the owner is also...”

Dining | November 8, 2010
Eating Out: Peko Peko

Eating Out: Peko Peko

A few of us, plus Vanessa and Sarah from Nuffnang headed down to Peko Peko, South Melbourne on a gorgeous sunny Saturday for lunch.

Peko Peko brands it’s cuisine as modern Asian. With options of dining in, or take away, it seems to be a popular place with the locals.

Jack, the owner is also the artist behind the quirky artwork that covers the walls. Vanessa, who used to work at Peko Peko tells us Jack was a graphic designer, until 6 years ago when he opened the cafe/restaurant. Thanh and I looked at each other and wondered if I was to follow in the same footsteps one day.

I loved the relaxed atmosphere as soon as I walked in the door. There are clusters of random, quirky items everywhere. Vanessa would vanish, and return with something to play with, including a rather realistic moving wooden snake.

With Sarah running late, we opted to start on entrees (Sorry Sarah!)

What better than to start our feast with these gorgeous fried squid balls. They were so soft and juicy on the inside. Very light and delicious.

Not rubbery at all, which is always a risk with squid. Fantastic with the dipping sauce provided.

“WAIT FOR THE GARLIC!!” Vanessa exclaims after most of us have digested a piece. On their own, they are a bit sweet, and remind me a bit of lap cheong. But paired with a fine slice of fresh garlic it’s amazing. The heat of the fresh garlic is strong, but so perfect with the mild sweetness of the sausage.

It arrived to the table and smelt amazing. It didn’t dissapoint either; with the prawns cooked perfectly, smothered in this gorgeous creamy wasabi mayo…. wish we had more!!

After a small break from entrees, Sarah arrived to help us enjoy some mains.

I’d say this would be the most popular dish at Peko Peko. I’ve seen it on most blog reviews of the place, and I saw countless bento boxes of it come out of the kitchen. We were lucky enough to score two plates of it to demolish between us. Now, I haven’t tried popcorn chicken, but I’d say it would be a crime to compare this to KFC. I’d say they use chicken thigh cubes, then coat them in a gorgeous batter, and deep fry them. They were so juicy and full of flavour, great with the dipping mayo. It’s not hard to see why it’s a favorite.

Love the name. I’ll be honest, I didn’t try the eggs, I can’t eat eggs just like that. I’m sure they were good though, as the greens with mince was a great combo. Very warming and great comfort food.

You can’t go wrong with deep fried anything really can you? This was a tad too salty for me if I’m honest. But having it with the rice made it less salty. Still a very tasty dish.

I’ve never been one to order tofu. Somehow, meat or seafood always wins. This was soft and silky as the name suggests, with crispy tempura bits and delicious sauce.

I want to find a bottle of this dressing! If anyone knows where I can get one, please let me know. I’ve had it at other Japanese restaurants, and my mum tried to recreate it, but I just love it! It was gorgeous with broccoli, but then again, it would be gorgeous with anything!

A perfect combination of seafood and meat, with lovely vegetables and a gorgeous sauce.

Before too long, it was dessert time. Everyone ordered one dessert each, but Thanh and I ordered three between us. Pigs much? It’s not our fault we wanted to try everything! I’d say it was more a case of great minds think alike. Thanks Thanh for being a dessert whore like me!

My love of earl grey in dessert form. The earl grey taste was subtle, but it was there. At first I thought it wasn’t there at all, but the flavours develop slowly in your mouth. The black sesame ice-cream was just gorgeous! Never had anything like it, and yet want more.

Tristan got the duo, given it was just for him, that is understandable!

We just got the sponge cake. Vanessa had told us it was the best, and I totally knew what she was talking about after trying it. It was soft, creamy and so light. Like cheesecake meets sponge cake. I’ll be trying to make one at home soon.

“IT’S WARM! OMG IT’S WARM!!!” chirps Sarah. Motioning frantically for us to stop taking photos and try it before it cooled down!

It looked like one of those cakes I’ve been served at Flemington market but didn’t get to try. A cakey texture surrounds a warm custard centre. Perfect with ice-cream.

I forgot to try the green tea latte, that is seen on numerous blog posts. Also would have liked to have taste of the mango prawn spring roll. Well, looks like I’ll just have to go back doesn’t it!

Peko Peko is open:
Monday – Thursday 10:30am – 9:00pm
Friday 10:30am – 9:30pm
Saturday 12.00pm – 9:00pm
Function and catering available. Licensed and BYO (wine only).

Iron Chef Shellie attended Peko Peko thanks to Nuffnang as well as Jack and the staff at Peko Peko.

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Eating Out: Peko Peko

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23 comments on “Eating Out: Peko Peko
  1. Melbourne Mumma - November 8, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Wow, this place’s food looks fab. Not sure about the dressing on those veges, but I love Japanese mayo through salads. Japanese mayonnaise tastes so much better. Will have to remember the name of this place next time we go to South Melbourne for a meal, which has been a while. x

  2. Allan - November 8, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    i thought this place sounded familiar, and the dishes rather deja vu. When I saw the pictures it clicked haha – t’was at least 2-3yrs ago when i visited this place.
    They do have quite the quirky decor, with twists on simple varieties taiwanese food – particular emphasis on “fried” stuff =P.
    I can’t get my tastebuds around the taiwanese sausage + garlic… it just doesn’t do it for me.

  3. Sarah - November 8, 2010 at 10:05 pm

    Wow looks great! Spewing that I couldn’t make it.

    That yoyo pancake especially looks delicious!

    xox Sarah

  4. Michelle Ng - November 8, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    I super love the Wasabi Mayo Prawn and Peko Sausages! Absolutely LOVE! 😀 And oh you can get the roasted sesame dressing at Great Eastern grocery store in Chinatown. I got mine (Kewpie brand) for about $5, tasted almost as good. 😉

  5. michelle - November 9, 2010 at 5:10 am

    The lap cheong looks really tempting!

  6. liz ee - November 9, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Peko Peko is one of the best and most affordable things in South Melbourne. :) It’s a local’s fave hang out, and having been part of Peko a looooong time ago and now a regular patron (i eat there or buy takeaway once or twice a week, at least!), it’s great to see how the customer pool has grown trifold!!

  7. JanJan @ Cooking for My Love - November 9, 2010 at 11:06 am

    This place looks really interesting :)

  8. Hannah - November 9, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Love the idea of serving deep-fried food garnished with more deep-friedness 😛 But mostly… those desserts. SWOON.

  9. April @myfoodtrail - November 9, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    So disappointed I had to miss this & even more so looking at all the delicious food! I have to make the trip there!

    I can’t believe you haven’t tried KFC popcorn chicken! It’s like chicken nuggets but way better!

    I love Taiwanese sausage but can’t find it at many places!

  10. penny aka jeroxie - November 9, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Peko Peko is awesome. bad for us but awesome. chicken pops…. wish I could join but another time.

  11. ding - November 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Sauce is called goma-dare. Mmm… available at asian supermarkets

  12. Heidi - Apples Under My Bed - November 9, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    ok…ok, let me just catch my breath. the yoyo pancake and earl grey panna cotta were TOO MUCH to handle, Michele!
    Heidi xo

  13. GourmetGetaways - November 9, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I am so jealous!!! Every dish looks absolutely delicious and priced amazingly. I am going to have to make a trip to Melbourne! The dessert alone looked well worth the flight. Love the pics!

  14. Anna Johnston - November 10, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Lovely pics Shellie, every dish had me thinking…. ‘Oh yes, I’d have that one’…., but in the end I saw the Yoyo Pancake & ‘fraid it was love at first sight…, so that’s it for me.
    Thanks for sharing the review on Peko Peko.

  15. Conor @ HoldtheBeef - November 10, 2010 at 10:19 am

    A lot of fried delights! Why can’t we ever be served things like this for finger food at functions and conferences? WHY??

    That last food porn shot is gold!

  16. Susan - November 10, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    Those prawns look delicious. Wasabi Mayo is the best. Wasabi mashed potatoes are really good too. I am hungry now!

  17. Judy @ Foodie Dreams - November 10, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I live close to Peko Peko so it’s our go-to place for when we can’t be bothered cooking 😛

    Mr. Z loves the popcorn chicken, much like the rest of the clientele!

  18. Ashley Ng - November 12, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Omgosh, that earl gray pannacotta looks delicious! Quite different to what I would expect from a Japanese inspired place, but very exciting as well! Will have to drag the boy there when I get back! :)

  19. Adrian in Food Rehab - November 13, 2010 at 9:23 am

    I used to live 2 mins away from this place. SO addictive!!!

  20. Thanh - November 21, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    I was finally editing the photos from this and reminiscing about the great food, especially the desserts. I want to eat that yoyo and the earl grey pannacotta again.

Shellie Froidevaux

All content on this site by Shellie Froidevaux, otherwise known as Iron Chef Shellie. Her skills include food styling in her kitchen studio, lifestyle and travel photography across Australia, restaurant photography on location, styling and shooting social media for her clients, recipe development with love and photography workshops for people with discerning tastes :)

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