Disclosure: I was invited to dine as a guest of the restaurant
I love a good neighbourhood restaurant. The atmosphere is usually a lot cosier, pace relaxed, friendly and smilier than CBD outlets…and the parking is super easy.
Juno & May, located in Camberwell on Burke Road is all of the above plus some wicked good modern Australian grub. The restaurant is actually named after two cows that chef Henry Honner and his brother would milk, before and after school, to save enough money for a TV back in the day! The place definitely doesn’t look anything like a farm, but the food does focus on quality local produce.
Daisy and I visited on a cold night in August (in this extended Melbourne winter!) and got cosy in a couple of booths. The dim lit yet contemporary space was very soothing - especially after a long day at the office!
We started, on their recommendation, with their version of the Dim Sim with chicken and shiitake mushroom, ginger, garlic, kaffir lime, sriracha chilli and crushed peanuts on lettuce cups. These come as plump individual servings, and I was surprised with how full of flavour and texture these were. I’m not a big dim sim eater myself, but if they all tasted like this, I might be! Meaty and nutty, I loved the kick of heat and the crispness of the lettuce.
When it came to ordering the buttermilk fried chicken with chipotle mayo, Daisy and I pretty much looked at each other and nodded at each other in sync. Hard to go wrong is it? Served in nice little mouthful portions, like popcorn chicken, the chicken was juicy with gorgeously crisp batter. And is there anything better than chipotle mayo with a kick? Moreish stuff.
The ceviche with citrus, avocado, tomato, coriander, chilli and shallots also had a nice kick of heat - this one was a nice dish, but not super memorable out of everything we had…but that’s because all the other dishes were pretty darned delicious.
I loved the roasted cauliflower and green wheat salad with almonds, barberries, fresh mint and yoghurt - all of my favourite things! Earthy, loads of texture and I loved the sweetness of the barberries with the crunch of the almonds. A good balance to our other main which was a big ol’ hunk of meat….
We absolutely had to order the chargrilled 16 hour beef short ribs with house mash and chimmichurri. Goodness, the meat just fell off the bone and was so tender. Perfectly comforting wintery food…which is still pretty good for this weather!
At this point Daisy and I were stuffed. But whenever there’s two of us…there’s always got to be two desserts!
We went for a light and fresh dessert option and a rich one to balance it out. The Eton mess with fresh seasonal fruit, meringue and cream was exactly as you would hope for it to be.
But really, the star tonight was Henry’s favourite chocolate soft-centered pudding with English toffee and vanilla bean ice-cream. Oh lord have mercy! There are soft-centered puddings…and then there’s this. Perfectly baked, but it just overflows with chocolatey fudgey goodness when broken over. Gorgeous rich and dark, and not too sweet, we couldn’t get enough.
Juno & May also opens for breakfast and lunch, with a coffee window that also opens at the back of the store and into the giant carpark in front of the Woolworths and Target there.
I didn’t have expectations going into Juno & May, which is often the best, as I was delighted with the friendly and attentive service - even by the waitress who was working her first service (good job!), and the food was vibrant, but comforting and familiar at the same time.
And man that chocolate pudding….
662 Burke Street