JAMU, Australian-Asian restaurant, Richmond

Eat, Melbourne, Restaurants / 13 February 2018

Feast with the Thousand Blessings crew from dawn ’til dusk with new venture JAMU

From the team that brought us A Thousand Blessings cafe comes JAMU, a modern Australian-Asian restaurant tucked away behind Bridge Road, Richmond. Joining them is unlikely fellows Isaac Smith and James Frawley of Hawthorn FC – both regulars at the cafe and now part owners of JAMU. It was a local effort to pull the space together in just a few months, and since its opening in spring last year it has certainly gained new friends.

JAMU Cloudy Apple Sour mocktail

The multi-height ceilinged space uses black and wooden furnishings and copper finishes that result in a warm, minimalistic atmosphere. A small outdoor area is dog-friendly and has blankets available for those cooler evenings. JAMU benefits from its corner location with tree-lined Palmer street flanking it.

What was originally a fine dining menu is now a (still incredible) menu that delivers relaxed dining to suit the local, friendly vibe that the cafe crew do best.

JAMU comes from the Malay word meaning ‘to feast’; and feast we did. Head Chef Kha Nguyen of Masterchef season seven (2015) has curated a menu for sharing, with small to medium dishes, and a few big dishes on offer. The Hiramasa King Fish Ceviche was a refreshing way to start with its tamarind, pineapple and herb combo, plus some juicy Char Siu Pork that is first cooked using the sous vide technique.

JAMU char siu pork

My highlight of the night was the pork hock. ‘Magnificent’ is an accurate description of it as the whole hock arrived in all its glory at our table. A chilli caramel vinegar glaze encases the hock in crackling (yes, crackling!) and my significant other said it was the best thing he’d ever tasted; I didn’t disagree with him.

The Roast Bendigo Chook, JAMU’s take on roti bread, soft shell crab with Mantou buns, and the charred corn and popcorn grits created a large banquet for two. The chicken was too garlicky for me however the accompanying pickled carrots provided a nice balance. My other highlight was the charred corn and popcorn grits that had a hidden puree designed for stirring in and a good hit of chilli.

The two mains were one too many, yet JAMU happily provides a doggy bag for extras; this is a feast after all.

JAMU Roast Bendigo Chook

Adventurous diners are directed to JAMU’s take on tiramisu: Taromisu, which arrives as a purple concoction. With full stomachs already we opted for the Milo sorbet and the ‘busted pavlova’. The Milo dish is JAMU’s interpretation of a Milo dinosaur (read: Milo with milk). With chocolate sorbet, milk granita and hidden chocolate custard, this dish is designed to send you straight back to your childhood days.

JAMU pavlova with strawberry sorbet

If you’re planning to order alcoholic drinks, hold off a couple of months for the liquor licence to come. However, mocktails are available, and the strawberry fizz and apple sour need little imagination for their futures of added vodka and whisky respectively.

JAMU Milo dessert

Nonetheless, it’s the food that truly sings here, so there’s really no need for you to deprive yourself any longer. I would return for the pork hock and charred corn alone. I’m not sure that one person should consume that much food, however, I heard day two pulled pork sandwiches are the go. 

2 Dyer Street, Richmond, Victoria 3121
0431 261 221
Tue – Thu 5.30pm – 10pm
Fri – Sat 12pm – 3pm | 5.30pm – 11pm
Sun 12pm – 3pm | 5.30pm – 10pm