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JAMU Malaysian Restaurant in Richmond

JAMU Malaysian restaurant in Richmond excites with a fusion of Malaysian and Australian flavours and it's Winter menu is impressive. We were invited along to experience the new dishes on a weekday evening at this modern restaurant on Palmer Street Richmond. Located at the bottom of a fashionable apartment building JAMU is designed for shared dining and the word JAMU means "feasting" in Malaysian. We can relate to that!

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Owned by Hawthorn AFL players James Frawley (who just re-signed) and Isaac Smith (quintessential modern wingman) and Evelyn Lau (A Thousand Blessings owner just down the road), JAMU has launched its Winter menu with notable dishes. There's a playful and innovative touch to the dishes here and dining is a joyful experience. The fit out is modern in line with the trendy precinct with both high and low ceiling sections, modern light fittings, use of copper and mesh, as well as a compelling outside area.

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Excellent wine list including this Tim Adams 2013 Shiraz.

We were able to order highlights from the menu but it was a case of what not to order, as the selection was evoking serious FOMO. We were impressed by Head Chef, Duc Dang, who we met, who has a reputation for bringing a refinement to Malaysian cuisine. We have included JAMU in our Best Malaysian restaurants in Melbourne.

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The Cheeseburger Spring Rolls are a must order with all the flavours of a cheeseburger in the spring roll (even the pickles it seems?) - a brilliant fusion of Malaysian and Australian flavours. Interestingly the spring rolls were also juicy like a burger, just how we like it.

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Pulled Pork Bao featured large soft pillow like bao and a generous serving of pulled pork with hoisin and soy sauce, and a welcome surprise of a decent amount of crackling with pickled cucumber to complement. A delightful dish although I would like a hit of chilli in the bao but that's just my personal taste.

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House made Baked Roti was a top notch dish with texture of a baked roti rather than the soft and fluffy I was used to but a wonderful base for the generous amount of Asian mushrooms and perfectly cooked panko egg. Just cut into the panko egg (light panko covering the egg) and watch it ooze down the mushrooms to the roti. 

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For steak lovers and rendang lovers the Bumbu Rendang Steak was a hit. The flavours of a traditional beef rendang dish were there but not presented as a curry with meat covered in sauce but hanger steak resting on a bed of rendang sauce. Excellent steak cut with flavoursome rendang sauce. Sometimes with rendang you could argue cheap steak cuts are masked by the curry but here the steak is able to shine on its own and then is set off once you dip it into the sauce. For a touch of theatre and complementing the dish is turmeric-battered beans. I felt this was a wonderful and innovative interpretation of beef rendang and an innovative dish.

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We ramped up the meat choices (although we were tempted by the Garfish Fish of the Day) in also ordering the Pork Hock with Tamarind Caramel sauce. A showstopper dish the Pork Hock was fabulous, with crispy exterior lathered with delicious sticky Tamarind caramel sauce and tender meat inside, complemented by refreshing cos and apple salad. To be honest this was quite a lot of meat for 2 people. Up there with the great pork hock dishes of Melbourne.

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Dessert also hit the high notes with refined and rewarding options. Milk Donuts were comfort food heaven served with orange and caramelised chocolate mousse and exceptional black sesame ice-cream. Coconut and Lime Ice-Cream Sandwich was a smart dessert and I was impressed by the brownie slices holding the ice-cream and the pineapples soaked in rum and the candied almonds on the side.

JAMU boasts an impressive drinks menu including wine, beer and excellent cocktails to choose from. Our choice of Tim Adams 2013 Shiraz was a winner, perfect with all the dishes.

JAMU lives up to its name of "feasting" and the fusion shows off the best of Malaysian cuisine with an Aussie twist. Everyone I've spoken to that has visited JAMU has spoken highly of the experience and my own experience affirms that. Highly recommended.