If ever there’s an ideal spot for afternoon drinks in the sun and people watching it’s at Chapel Street, South Yarra. And a great spot to enable that is Peppan’s Bar & Cafe. Hear the roar of the Toorak tractors as you sip your drinks to food that comes in big serves with big flavours. Peppan’s comes to the scene with full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. We sampled a mix of the calamari, fries, zucchini flowers, lamb shoulder and pork belly. Portions across the board are generous, and we didn’t even make it to dessert! The hand cut fries are worth coming back for alone, and the drinks and great service keep the good times rolling.
My friend Ryan and I headed to Peppans on a Saturday evening, to catch up and check out the cuisine here. Lots of nostalgia for me, as South Yarra was my first suburb in Melbourne and where I spent most of my first year. A huge new Soda Rock, lots of more apartment blocks (sigh) and Peppan’s taking over from the former La Camera spot here. After a spot of cocktails (good!) we ordered some fried delights for appetisers. Ryan’s was the Crispy calamari ($15) served with chilli and lime salt, cumin and pepeta aioli. There was some trepidation towards the spices, but he reported it was a good mix with the right amount of kick. There’s a lot of calamari here as well.
I had the Zucchini flowers ($14) which are tempura fried with goats curd and harissa. I enjoyed the crunch of the batter and the creaminess of the curd with a lick of the harissa. I could have done without the leaf garnish but it was a more than satisfactory start to things.
We overestimated our appetites like we normally do and as such, ordered fries as well ($8). Staff were fine for us to substitute the usual spicy ketchup with normal ketchup and aioli. These are some fabulous fries, I probably haven’t had as big a serve anyway else. And to boot, they are the thick, hand cut style with a tasty, herby seasoning. A perfect side order for soaking up some drinks any good afternoon. So, we were feeling quite full at this point for sure.
First up for the mains was the Lamb shoulder ($25). This is 12 hour braised, with roast harissa potato and salsa verde. It was good, but wasn’t quite as standout for me – the lamb was a touch on the dry side. The salsa verde is nice and does help things. Again, the serve is huge and generous, so make sure you do bring your appetites.
I was quite a fan of the Crisp Roast Pork belly ($25). Parsnip puree, roast parsnip, cabbage and speck braise. Both of us were fans of the braise, which is interesting, and the sweetness of the puree was a tasty contrast to the saltiness of the pork. I would have preferred the roast parsnip a bit softer. The crackling was spot on and with two triangles of the pork, it makes for another substantial serving. We ended up having to pass on dessert (rare!). Service was with a smile, and we had a great time at Peppan’s. The drinks were solid and the food delivers a lot (figuratively and literally!). Check it out.
Note: author dined at invitation of the restaurant