4 Acland Street, St Kilda (map)
So I went on a date on Tuesday night and he chose the venue: I was delighted to be taken to Lau's Family Kitchen. It had been nearly two years since my one and only visit to Lau's (in fact, it was one of the very first places I wrote about on the blog). I'm delighted to report that I loved the food there just as much this time, if not even more.
After an initial drink at the Prince, we walked round to Lau's. It was a lovely mild evening for May, so we were just fine seated outside under the heat lamp (but the starlit mood lighting meant that I was unable to take any photos of the food, sorry!). We started with the very good siew mai dumplings (prawn, pork and shiitake), served with soy and chilli sauce. A real cut above the average.
The two mains we shared were just exquisite. One was the crispy skin poussin, served with lemon wedges and five spice salt. The skin had been fried to perfection and the meat itself was wonderfully succulent (finger bowls were provided so we could dive in and eat with our fingers, mmmmmmm). The other dish we had was the steamed barramundi, served with steamed rice (which I'd had last time but couldn't resist ordering again). Many thanks to the lovely Cin from A Few of my Favourite Things for allowing me to use her photo of this dish from her last visit to Lau's.
The simple, clean flavours of the steamed barra, light soy, spring onions, ginger and coriander were so good that the first mouthful stopped both me and my date in our tracks, mid-conversation. I can't decided which was my favourite main dish, they were both amazing.
An assured wine list and top-notch service rounded off a brilliant restaurant experience. If you haven't been to Lau's, I really do urge you to do so ASAP. Take note however that there are generally two sittings (6pm and 8:30pm) so you might like to call first.