So Saturday’s surprise date night turned out to be quite something.
I’d walked pass Grand Eastern Food Bar (above Service Station in the Bamboo Centre, Melville) plenty, sometime curiously but never curiously enough to check it out I guess. I expected it to be ok, but nothing special so forgive the sparse, fuzzy pics but I only realised as we settled into starters that I definitely needed to do a review…
Vietnamese mussels & the ginger & lemongrass cordial
Rice cakes, but not your average ones. These came grilled & topped with dragon sauce & topped with pickled ginger shiitake mushrooms
Rice paper rolls
Mains: clockwise from bottom centre (pad thai, coconut rice, grilled trout fillet & ebi tori prawns)
The 1st thing you need to know if that the menus is very slim (7 starters, 4 mains & 2 sides) so check I’d definitely recommend you have a peak before you book. We arrived hungry and made the rookie mistake of ordering 2 starters each (more like tacos really) followed by mains and the chef personally brought over a small side salad “to round off our meal”.
- Starters: the Vietnamese mussels – good starter portion ( I think there were about 8-10 large mussels). They come in coconut cream, with lemongrass & coriander. I stopped short of asking for bread to soak up the leftover sauce
- Mains: the ebi tori prawns (8 queens) – words cannot explain. They were perfectly cooked, a good size, came out of the shell easily and basted in Asian style Chimichuri.
- they were not particularly busy and we had great service from a waitress that was totally on top of her game with great recommendations and suggestions since we said it was our 1st time. We tipped her well! 🙂
- we both ordered (different) cordials on arrival & they were both missing something – still can’t quite put my finger on it. Just skip right to the ice tea (at R45 it’s steep but so delicious!) instead!
PS I’d ordered the prawn pad Thai which incidentally is the same dish I had at Koi Rosebank exactly a week earlier on date night & totally lacked flavour even though I asked for more of their sauce on the side.
We couldn’t possibly fit in dessert so lucky they don’t really do dessert anyway. I was so curious nonetheless to see for myself what these ‘sweet jars” were be about. They come in 3 options: chocolate mousse, boozy pineapple pavlova & custard jars. Next time! We did share a cappuccino though & as beautifully presented as it was – it’s understandably not their strength.
We’re told that the menu changes regularly & on the night we visited, there was no chicken, red meat or pork (it’s like they knew we were coming). Heaps of seafood and vegetarian options worked out well and we were left wanting for nothing. their Sunday lunch (or was it brunch?) sounded pretty delicious too. If you go during the day, sit out on the covered balcony if the weather allows – should be a killer view over Melville Koppies I imagine…
Great Eastern Food Bar
The Bamboo Centre, 53 Rustenburg Road, Melville
011 482 2910