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Modern Menus and a Sweet Story at Juno and May

Even on a weeknight, Camberwell’s Burke Road is bustling with life. Right in the middle of the activity is a cafe and restaurant that is quickly becoming known as a local hot spot for its take on unique and modern Australian cuisine. With a name inspired by fond childhood memories, Juno and May offers classy yet comforting fare created by Head Chef and Owner, Henry Honner. The World Loves Melbourne was recently invited to sample some of their delicious dishes. 

Juno and May is spacious and inviting. Though the restaurant fills quickly with eager patrons, the atmosphere remains relaxed, allowing a conversational ease. The extensively appetising menu leaves us stumped for choice, so we go with the Chef’s Tasting Menu; 6  courses carefully selected by the chef.

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A soft chicken and shiitake mushroom dim sim is brought out to begin. The sweet and sour juice drips down our fingers, while the mild heat of sriracha chilli warms us after each bite. 

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One of this week’s dinner specials is a pan seared scallop with cauliflower purée and apple nam jim. The velvety purée finds it’s perfect match in the crispy apple pieces and saliferous sea flavour of scallop. Layers of tastes collaborate to create the apple nam jim, with sweet and zesty notes bringing freshness and fragrance. 

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Tender and juicy char grilled lamb follows, served with a five vegetable burghal and smoked yogurt. Another meal from the specials menu is crispy rockling and Balinese prawns with steamed Asian vegetables and jasmine rice. Its a textural dance between the creamy sauce, smooth rockling and crunchy greens. 

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The final savoury dish is generous and decadent roast duck with five spice money dumplings and Asian greens. The crispy skin and tender duck meat are wonderfully enhanced by the warm, aromatic spices and salty dressing. 

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Though our minds are quietly reminding us that we are full, there’s always room for something sweet. Dessert selection is in the hands of the diner for the Chef’s Tasting Menu, and it’s a battle between Henry’s favourite chocolate soft-centred pudding with English toffee and vanilla bean ice-cream, and the Brioche bread and butter pudding with citrus panna cotta, candied pecans & vanilla bean ice-cream. We’re feeling citrusy tonight, so we decide on the bread and butter pudding. The crunchy top and soft centre of the pudding, paired with silky, zingy panna cotta and crunchy pecans definitely do not disappoint. 

A dedication to fresh and seasonal produce is completely evident at Juno and May. As is the sweet story behind this place, with images and symbols that call back to Henry’s childhood appearing on the walls and on the menus. 

To try some of their mouthwatering meals and read the story for yourself, take a little trip to Juno and May.  

- Rachel Mason