A venture from internationally-renowned Vue de monde owner and chef Shannon Bennett, Jardin Tan boasts a serene canvas of the blissful Royal Botanic Gardens as a backdrop. The kitchen offers dynamic and vibrant flavours of French-Indochina in a warm and welcoming space perfect for a quick bite with friends, a lingering lunch, or a formal event
The kitchen garden blends into a comfy beer garden destined to host lively music during summer. Taking cues from its idyllic milieu, the space is bright, vibrant and defined by the naturescapes that pour through the sea of windows.
We loved eating our way through the delicious menu.
To start the Milawa chicken salad was wonderful – a stunning amalgamation of tender pulled chicken, fresh snow peas and green beans, all brought together by a creamy coconut and chilli lime dressing.
The Ginger-soy barramundi en papillote was similarly delightful. The quality of the Mark Eather wild barramundi was exemplary. The flesh was delicate and moist. This was a dish that allowed the natural subtle sweetness of the fish to be enjoyed. The ginger soy sauce was the perfect accompaniment to the fish and the crisp Asian herb salad.
For something heartier, the Blackmore Wagyu curry certainly hits the spot. The perfectly seasoned spicy coconut and fresh turmeric curry broth possessed the customary punchy flavours exhibited by South East Asian curries and was a great match for the melt in your mouth texture of the wagyu.
Whatever your do, do not leave without trying the Banh Xeo. In our view it is one of Melbourne’s best renditions of this classic dish – Crispy Saigon turmeric coconut pancake encases pork and prawn salad and bean sprouts is served alongside fragrant herbs and lettuce wraps. This was truly a thing of beauty. Every element was prepared with the utmost care and tasted wonderful.
Dessert time showcased the kitchen’s versatility. We tried the kem chiên - a house speciality and it is easy to understand why. Luxurious flaky caramelised croissant was the perfect canvas for the creamy ice cream and gooey salted caramel sauce. Just yum!
Jardin Tan is a longstanding Melbourne favourite and continues to deliver high quality modern interpretations of French-Indochinese cuisine. In a market where casual dining is in vogue, Jardin Tan assimilates perfectly. Fortunately, unlike some other restaurants which implement a casual approach to the detriment of the food that they produce, Jardin Tan adheres to a very high standard – we simply cannot wait to return.
Location: Royal Botanic Gardens/Birdwood Ave, South Yarra
Phone: 03 9691 3878