I'm torn with Lee Ho Fook - the venue was Melbourne hip but still elegantly classy, the staff friendly and incredibly attentive, and the Asian inspired menu looked mouth-wateringly delicious - however, the food was a mixed bag to review.
On one hand there was the crispy eggplant with spiced red vinegar - goldenly crunchy on the outside, soft and flavoursome on the inside - these little morsels are so utterly delicious it's easy to say why it's Lee Ho Fook's signature dish.
The soy glazed Wagyu short ribs were another highlight. Coming out deboned in a nest of onion and spices, they are designed to be eaten San choy bow style. Not at all fatty and fragrantly seasoned, they were paired beautifully with the crunchy lettuce and mix of tangy and creamy sauce.
Unfortunately it all started to go a bit downhill from here. The wok fried cabbage with purple kale and cured pork was okay - but was definitely mono tone in its dreary flavours and could have done with a lift in flavour
Whilst usually a huge fan of tofu, the tofu with onion and garlic crumb was the biggest disappointment of the night. None of the flavours clung to the morsels of tofu and the deep fried chunks just tasted like oil.
So there were some high lights and there were low lights. Whilst not making the cut for my list of recommendations, for the eggplant alone I wouldn't protest if someone invited me to dine here.
Verdict: like - get around to trying the fried eggplant at some point
11-15 Duckboard Place, CBD