Okra or a.k.a ladies’ fingers is an edible flowering plant with edible green seed pods and found in West Africa, Ethiopia and South East Asia. Okra in Melbourne is an exotic south eastern asian restaurant located in Hawthorn East and has been opened for 15 years and loved by many locals. So, on a dreary Melbourne night, I attended a Food Bloggers Event at Okra.
When you step inside, you’re greeted by Freddie, the floor manager of Okra and he is hilarious, upbeat, attentive and just lovely to be around. When everyone arrived, the food started to roll out. First up was an Indonesian cracker (I forgot what it was called) with sambal. The cracker was AMAZEBALL and the sambal had a real kick to it so check your spice before you throw the whole thing in your mouth. Absolutely LOVED this!!
The first dish came out it was lit up in the middle surrounded by clay lids. When we removed the lids – TADA, there were little oysters inside! It was not fishy at all and was cooked perfectly with a ginger taste to it. The oysters were so plump and so fresh. I absolutely ADORED this and if you end up coming to Okra, GET THIS DISH!
Tangy Oyster Shooters – $3 each
Next up, were grilled beef and chicken skewers with peanut sauce. WOWSAR! Both skewers were awesome. Loved the chicken. It was so moist and perfectly seasoned. The beef was pretty YUMMO too, and the peanut sauce, there were chunks of peanuts in there. LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Sate Sapi Dan Ayam (Grilled Beef & Chicken Skewers ) – $14
Before we could relax our tummies, we were presented with filo wrapped king prawns with wasabi mayonnaise This was so crispy on the outside and the prawn itself? Was so tender and full of flavour. The wasabi mayonnaise didn’t really give me a kick so it was very mild (don’t fear fellow non-spicy eaters!).
Filo Wrapped King Prawns with Wasabi Mayonnaise – $7 each
I’ve been hearing around the table that the spicy salt and pepper calamari was delish. When it came out, it came out in a mini fryer (how cutie patootie!). I found it to be quite salty with no other flavour which was quite disappointing.
Spicy Salt & Pepper Calamari – $14
The mains started to pour out and BAM the monthly special came out, Malaysian style chili swimmer crab. This was more sweet then it was spicy.I wasn’t a huge fan of the sauce and yes, you gotta get your hands dirty. Don’t worry, they provide some lemon water for you to wash your hands.
Malaysian Style Chili Swimmer Crab (June Monthly Special) – $40
The hommade roti channai came with the swimmer crab dish and it was quite heavy and wasn’t fluffy at all which was very disappointing because I love roti!
Homemade Roti Channai – $6 each
Another AMAZEBALL dish hit the table, the twice cooked black peppe duck with champignon. The duck was absolutely PERFECT! That flavour. That meat. That EVERYTHING! LOVED IT!!
Twice-cooked Black Pepper Duck with Champignon – $28.90
My favourite savoury dish of the night was the Indonesian style grilled chicken. This was perfectly grilled, with a slight char on the skin. The chicken was tender and so soft and did not need any extra seasoning at all. LOVED IT!!
Ayam Bakar Indonesian Style Grilled Chicken -$23.90
The creamy coconut lamb curry was being passed around the table and landed in front of me. I’m not a huge fan of lamb but this dish, the lamb did not have a lamb-y taste at all. I quite enjoyed it and it was REAL creamy just like it stated. BAM – correct marketing!
Gulai Kambing Creamy Coconut Lamb Curry -$23.90
Since we were at Okra, we had to try out, you guessed it, Okra. It was flavoured with chili shrimp paste and before tonight, I’ve never tried Okra before. The flavour was quite lovely but I wasn’t a fan of the texture. It gives a bit of a slimy texture on the inside.
Tumis Balachan Okra with Chili Shrimp Paste – $16.90
The final savoury dish of the night was the crispy whole snapper with tamarind, chili, onion and garlic. I wasn’t a fan of the flavours, it was too overpowering for me. The snapper was cooked perfectly though. The outside was super crispy, the inside was so tender.
Pla Sam Rod Crispy Whole Snapper with Tamarind, Chili, Onion & Garlic – $39.90
Finally, the desserts are HERE!! We had the dessert platter and their signature dish is the sticky black rice. I’m not a huge fan of asian desserts and I found that both the sticky black rice and sago pudding needed more sauce on them. It was quite bland and dry. However, I LOVED the three ice cream flavours. I’m a huge fan of durian and was super duper excited when I saw it came out. There were green tea, durian and coconut ice cream. All the ice cream flavours were very strong and not too bad. Of course there were also seasonal fruits but I only touch the naughty sweet stuff only!
Dessert Platter: Sticky black rice, sago pudding, seasonal fruits, durian ice cream, coconut ice cream and green tea ice cream – $30.90
Okra is a casual eatery and provides awesome south east asian dishes. The staff are friendly, very light hearted and makes everyone feel welcomed. Okra offers a hawker style dining on Sundays but you’ve got to make sure you book because seats run out FAST! Will have to come back and try out the rest of the menu!
Okra is part of the Entertainment book and you’ll received 25% off the bill when you dine at Okra. If you are interested in purchasing the Entertainment Book for loads (and I mean LOADS) of awesome sauce foodie discounts and 20% of memberships sold will go to Sane Australia, just click here.
Disclaimer: I was invited to dine by Okra and Your Social Chef and all opinions expressed are my own.