Pacific BBQ Cafe

213 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9663 9288

Adam and I had been keen on trying Pacific BBQ Cafe on Lonsdale St, the newest addition to the popular Pacific House franchise that started in Richmond, for quite a while now. Having been to the South Yarra restaurant in October last year and deciding that the food was okay, we were somewhat excited when they started building the city establishment earlier this year. Plus, seeing Jan’s review on PBBQC a while ago made me even more keen to try it out. After a good 5km stroll from the city to East Melbourne library and back, Adam had a major case of the tummy rumbles so we decided that a meal at PBBQH would be great.

We arrived at just after 6pm and saw that the restaurant was quite full already but they managed to sit us right next to two ladies. Ads and I noticed that unlike the South Yarra branch, there was no live seafood tanks and the ambiance was more suited to your typical trendy[sic] Honky teenybopper rather than families. The roasted ducks and pork were all there, as was the attentive service but what disappointed me the most was the menu. It was very limited and there was hardly anything I particularly liked. There may have been about 10 mains that PBBQH replicated from the other Pacific restaurant menus but everything else was completely different and nothing that I’d order such as those stupid instant noodle with spam and “spaghetti” with black bean, corned beef and gummy bears. Okay, I may have been kidding about the last one but I’m just trying to illustrate the wtf ingredient combinations that some of the “soups” consisted of. You know that the menu especially sucked when Adam ordered the exact same thing that he ordered at our last visit to Pacific (South Yarra) and when I ordered rice with vegies and tofu…

We ordered “fried fish” as an entree to share ($9.50). The entree menu was especially disappointing as there was nothing like char siu baw or anything remotely “Chinese” on it – a few fried dumplings would’ve done the job, I reckon. All the entrees were pretty much fried gui lao stuff like chicken wings and the like. The fish (they used hoki fillets) weren’t too bad… for frozen Birdseye fare.Oh, by the way, sorry for the dodgy photos. I actually didn’t have a camera on me (shock horror!) so I had to make do with my crappy phone camera…

My vegetables and beancurd on rice ($8.50). I suppose this wasn’t bad but it would’ve been nice if the “vegetables” consisted of more than a mountain of boy chok and only 2-3 mushrooms. I suppose 1-2 more beancurd pieces would have been nice too but that would’ve probably been pushing it…

Adam’s crocodile with vegetables in XO sauce ($12.80). For some reason, Adam loves to order the weirdest item off the menu at any given Asian place. I didn’t get to try his dish as I don’t particularly get excited over XO sauce and plus I wasn’t in the mood for crocodile (it tastes a bit like cheap beef and the texture is halfway between chicken and fish, in case you’re wondering). I’m sure it was okay as Adam did finish it and didn’t say anything bad about it but then again, he’s more easy-going when it comes to food…
In hindsight, I guess we should have ordered half a duck to share as many tables seemed to be ordering it… after all, Pacific House in Richmond is quite famous for its duck (though I doubt that it’d reach Flower Drum or even Old Kingdom standards…). The problem was that I didn’t feel like eating duck this evening so maybe I’ll go there again next time just for the duck. But as for anything else, mehhh… even York Cafe on Little Lonsdale St where I had lunch with some workmates a few weeks back made better beancurd and vegies on rice. And given that this place is on the foodie arse end of Melbourne (i.e. near William St), that’s saying something.
I eat too much.


  1. icesabre
    July 4, 2008


    You just got me started on Honkie Cafes… Watch for my next couple of posts.


    Bye bye Alcohol.

  2. peach_water
    July 5, 2008

    Im sorry your experience wasn’t as good as mine!
    But then again I only had the roast pork/roast duck so I guess next time I will steer clear from the other menu items haha.
    Yes, their menu isn’t all that good.


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