Cam and I had our two year anniversary recently, and while we celebrated early by taking a trip to Daylesford, we still wanted to do something on the actual evening of our anniversary. I had heard mixed reviews on Cafe de Kikaku, however their menu really intrigued me and seemed like a nice low-key place to go for dinner (not to mention just down the road from Cam’s work). Cafe de Kikaku is a pan-Asian restaurant located in a side street in Docklands.
The interior of the restaurant was actually really nice. Simple, but thought out.
Cute tables and chairs.
The heater right next to our table was well appreciated (being in the middle of Winter and all)!
The lighting in the restuarant, however, was so dim! It made taking photos almost impossible. You can see what I mean in this photo – the lighting was pretty much spot on here.
First we decided to order some drinks while we went through the rather extensive menu.
Iced Passion Fruit Spritzer, $6.50
Hot/iced Honey Lemon, $3.80
I opted for the passion fruit spritzer while Cam ordered the Hot/iced honey lemon drink. The passion fruit spritzer was pretty amazing – I had no idea what to expect, but they really did a great job of making it! I couldn’t really figure out what was in it, nor can I remember what it tasted like now – but I remember I really liked it (you would hope so for $6.50)! Cam’s Honey Lemon drink was really interesting, too. I’m guessing they put some hot water into the glass and melt the honey into it, then fill it up with a cold lemon-y drink. I loved how parts of it were hot and other parts were cold, it was pretty cool! Obviously you wouldn’t stir it unless you like room temperature drinks hehe.
Hakka Hakka, $12.00
For an entree, we shared the Hakka Hakka. The menu described them as “Ball shaped fried chewy chicken dim sims with a chilli garlic pickles dipping sauce”. They were exactly that! They look a little underwhelming, but they were pretty tasty and had an interesting chewy (but not soggy) texture on the outside. I wouldn’t rush back here for these, but we did enjoy them. The dipping sauce was pretty damn good, though! You could clearly taste the pickled flavours, along with a nice bite of garlic and chilli! Mmm. To me, this is what made the dish interesting – without it the dim sims would’ve been quite bland.
Crab Spider, $13.80
We ordered our own mains as Cam was feeling like seafood (I’m allergic boo). He got the Crab Spider, a “shichimi salt seasoned tempura soft shell crab with jalapeño chilli jam and sour cream”. The dish was quite nicely presented, keeping true to it’s ‘crab spider‘ name. It came with a pickled salad on the side, which reminded me of the taste of the seaweed salad you get at sushi bars! As far as the chilli jam was concerned, there was almost none, which was a bit disappointing as I think it would’ve added a lot more flavour to the dish. Cam said he enjoyed this dish, but it was nothing to rave about.
One of the reasons I picked Cafe de Kikaku for dinner was that I had heard good things about their Korean fried chicken (and I was craving some badly!). The menu described the dish as “Cafe de Kikaku special Korean fried chicken with sticky spicy sweet sour kochujang glaze”. This was good, but I felt that something was missing.. The chicken was seasoned well, and the glaze was delicious – it definitely gave the dish another dimension.
La Cacao Nut
For desert we initially ordered the “Cookiez Brownie – Baked oreo n brownie cheesecake + black pepper dark chocolate sorbet”, however we were informed that they had run out! We were very dissapointed, and I was rather annoyed as I knew this happened quite frequently (almost all blog posts I read on it said that the desert they wanted had run out!). After agreeing on another desert, we ordered the ‘La Cacao Nut – Warm sticky dark chocolate brownie with ice cream (we chose Milo-flavoured ice cream)’. Unfortunately I can’t remember the price of this, but the Cookiez Brownie that we wished to have was $12.50 so I would assume this desert was around the same price. I was assuming that the desert would be bigger, I could have easily eaten this by myself. The brownie was tasty, nice and warm, with a dense and sticky middle. The milo ice cream was really nice as well, however could have been a bit colder as it melted almost instentaneously. The cornflakes and wafer were a cute addition, and actually went really well with the dish! There was also a small line of a cherry/raspberry-jam-like liquid on the plate – not necessary but added a bit more colour and an interesting flavour.
All in all I would probably return to Cafe de Kikaku, however I would definately order more food next time as I was still hungry at the end of the night! In saying that, I felt that the food was rather expensive for the small portion size – perhaps I would dine there at lunch time instead. The staff were friendly and attentive, although had that almost awkward/intimidated vibe about them. One thing to mention as well is that they do NOT take EFTPOS. Poor Cam had to run off while waiting for our meal to find the nearest ATM.
Cafe de Kikaku
20 Waterview Walk,
(03) 9670 6828