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Gastronomical ramblings

Zhou Zhou Bar Launch

From the man that brought night time yum cha dining to Melbourne comes a new venture of a different sort: a sophisticated and oriental-styled drinks lounge, situated on the upper floor of Chapel Street’s Oriental Teahouse. Competing against the abundance of drinking hubs in the same area, Zhou Zhou’s extensive beer list and delicious Oriental cocktail menu gives it some wow factor that allows it to stand out. Oh, and let’s not forget the pairing of their drinks with a satisfying and tasty selection of dumpling morsels among other small bites. I received an invitation to attend the launch of Zhou Zhou, and I would like to thank Zhou Zhou and Harvey Publicity for this opportunity. 

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The outfit and decor of the lounge was both charmingly trendy and chic, and laid back. 

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A room full of people, and merriment. 

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The man of the hour, David Zhou, captivated the audience with an amusing speech that covered everything from the concept behind Zhou Zhou, the players that made it happen and the amazing taste of Japanese black beer! 

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And now, for the food and drinks:

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Hello Vera - a ‘succulent’ mix of West Winds Gin, peach and aloe vera, with a minty twist. 

Mekong Hijinks - lychee, lemongrass and hibiscus tea do a bit of fooling around with West Winds Gin. 

As a big fan of aloe vera, my taste buds immediately fell for the refreshing taste of the aloe vera and mint in the Hello Vera, heightened by the zesty zing of the lime. The lychee and lemongrass proved to be a fragrant combination, but the gin came on a little more strongly in this drink. Which I suppose is a good thing if you’re a gin fan. 

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So many prawn dumplings… in a HUGE steamer basket! The delicate chewiness of the skin was perfection, while the amount of prawn in the filling was generous. 

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The spring onion pancakes sported a perfectly balanced ratio of crispiness to airy doughiness, and possessed enough spring onion to give it that aromatic flavouring. 

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Pan fried dumplings. 

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Dumplings and wine, great combination. 

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Steamed baos. 

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An airy-light, fluffy bun which housed a sweet and savoury mix of BBQ pork. 

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Chilli oil beef wontons. 

Ahhhh, an old familiar (and TASTY) friend from Oriental Teahouse

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Duck spring roll. 

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Not only was the shape different from the typical spring roll, but the skin was also crispier, in a flaky sort of way. That crunch that arose from biting into it was heaven for the taste buds. 

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The aromas wafting from the fried calamari were tempting, but we found ourselves quite full by this point… 

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BUT there’s always room for dessert! 

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Another old friend, these Chinese Wonka dumplings are a real big hit with Oriental Teahouse patrons, and with good reason! They’re small in size, but the blend of melted chocolate with the sesame fragrance ensures that these ‘amazeballs’ are BIG in flavour. 

If the launch party was anything to go by, then Zhou Zhou is definitely a place to visit if you find yourself in search of a drink and small bite on Chapel Street. Treated to a grand selection of drinks, and an equally extensive preview of the small bites on offer, it would be fair to say that Zhou Zhou delivers big time in both the drink and eat departments.  

Disclosure: the opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the time of my visit.

Zhou Zhou on Urbanspoon

Zhou Zhou Bar

455 Chapel St,

South Yarra, Victoria, 3141. 

03 9826 0168