Don’t cry over spilt milk, enjoy dinner at Juno and May instead
It would be two cows who would inspire the naming of the restaurant Juno and May, which is owned by Henry Honner and Cathy Ciurlino and nestled on Camberwell’s Burke Road. This is how the story goes:
Henry was raised on a cattle farm in South Australia where he lived with his mum, dad and five siblings. Henry’s older brother struck a deal with their dad to buy two dairy cows, calculating that it would save them enough money in milk to eventually buy a TV. The dairy cows, Juno and May, arrived and generously supplied copious amounts of milk. Soon after, the Honners were transfixed by the newest member of their family; a 24-inch Rank Arena TV.
The legend of their dairy cows lives on in Camberwell where locals and newcomers enjoy modern Australian cuisine.
Henry Honner is head chef and owner. His impressive credentials include working at Michelin star and Bib gourmand restaurant Kensington Place in London under Rowley Leigh and Chez Bruce. Henry was also Head Chef across the road at Italy1 (14/20 in the Good Food Guide), as well as launching award winning Barrio in Ivanhoe. His love of food shines through with the use of fresh produce and innovative dishes at Juno & May
Juno and May caters for all with its friendly atmosphere and diverse menu. Look around and you’ll see couples, families and friends enjoying their meals. The space is inviting, with deep blue and white walls, sandy wood, warm lighting, splashes of greenery and chilled out tunes. The illuminated arch above the bar draws your eye to the array of libations on offer.
The menu comprises street food, small plates, large plates, sides, sweets and the chef’s tasting menu (six courses for $50). In fact, everything on offer is ideal for sharing and with so many permutations of dishes, you won’t be stuck for options. We decided upon a mix of small and large plates, and of course, dessert.
My salivary glands worked overtime as I eagerly awaited the arrival of Henry’s favourite dish from the menu, the 16-hour beef ribs with house mash and chimichurri. And boy, was it worth the wait! The beef fell right off the bone and each delectable mouthful was a taste to die for. Henry, this is now my favourite dish too!
A special on the night, the duck and shitake spring rolls with hoison dipping sauce was a winner. Stuffed full of duck and the perfect balance of flavours, I hope it makes an appearance on the menu again soon.
For street food fare, try the ‘Mini Mi’ comprising of a Bahn mi chicken slider, sriracha chilli mayo, spring onion, cucumber, pickled carrot and fresh herbs.
The light and creamy sand lobster, kafir lime and ginger butter, cauliflower puree and Asian herb salad reflects the fresh produce used at Juno & May.
An excellent vegetarian alternative is the Gado Gado. It combines seasonal vegetables with grilled roti bread, poached egg and coconut satay sauce. The satay had a nice kick to it and a pervasive aroma that can entice a hungry diner from a kilometre away. The mix of modern Australian with hints of Asian cuisine makes Juno and May more than just your standard local.
Other must-try dishes are the spaghettini of blue swimmer crab with lemon, chilli, garlic and parsley, and the crispy pork belly with sticky BBQ sauce, steamed greens and apple slaw.
For dessert you can’t go past Henry’s favourite chocolate soft-centred pudding, English toffee and vanilla bean ice-cream. The lyrics to Eric Carmen’s Hungry Eyes will be running through your head (don’t pretend you don’t know the Dirty Dancing soundtrack!) as you watch the chocolate ooze out of the pudding’s centre.
For something refreshing, try the brioche bread and butter pudding with citrus panna cotta, candied pecans and vanilla bean ice-cream.
The drinks list perfectly complements the menu. If you feel like imbibing the stalwarts, beer, white, red or sparkling are at your beck and call. For more exotic tastes, try a delicious Argentinian Terrazas Malbec.
Having devoured each of my dinner choices, I’ll definitely be back again to check out the breakfast and lunch menu at Juno and May.
If you’re like me, you’ll be curious about what happened to Henry’s older brother. When I enquired, I was told that his resourcefulness in procuring that Rank Arena TV forged his future career as an accountant. Well of course!
If you want to kick on at a local Camberwell bar, check out Bar None, where you have an entire book of beverages to choose from.
Juno and May
662 Burke Road, Camberwell
Tues – Sat 9am-10:30pm