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Ela Carte reviews Tenpin in Port Melbourne

MML

Tenpin ? 67 Beach Street Port Melbourne ? www.tenpinkitchen.com.au

I might be being harsh, but it just feels like there aren’t a myriad of decent places to eat in bayside Melbourne that boast a seaview. But that might have changed.

The owners of Tenpin have already done great things at the London Hotel just down the road, where Mr Lawrence churns out good quality Middle Eastern share plates. Here, they’ve headed to South East Asia with the help of former Chin Chin chef Ashley Richey.

It’s colourful and pretty laid-back inside, with a seriously decent choice of interesting sounding dishes.

The Oriental Spritz was the perfect option on a steaming hot day.

The Oriental Spritz was the perfect option on a steaming hot day.

The smallest dish we ordered was our favourite – sticky sweet pork, prawn and peanut relish with pineapple and prawn crackers. Minced pork and prawns are cooked with palm sugar, coriander root and fish sauce, finished with loads of crispy shallots and peanuts to form a nutty relish. It’s topping with fresh diced pineapple and served with crispy prawn crackers to scoop it up with. I just loved it ? sweet and chewy.

Dumplings have a Korean bent, the pork filling livened up with some kimchi. They’re steamed and served with black vinegar and chilli sambal.

I love South East Asian salads, and there are a few on offer here. The Duck larb is the spicier of the two we ordered. Seriously spicy! It’s authentic though, which you’ll like if you’re into hot food. It definitely tested my limits.

The tea smoked ocean trout salad was a stunner though. Much subtler in flavour, the fish is tea smoked then crisp fried to order. It’s flaked apart and tossed through a salad of green mango, coriander, dried chilli, fried shallots, and dressed with nahm jim. A lovely combination.

I just loved the sweet and chewy minced pork and prawns.

I just loved the sweet and chewy minced pork and prawns.

We had room to share dessert. It wasn’t the prettiest panacotta I ever did see, but it tasted good ? white choc chai panacotta with pineapple and seriously good cardamom shortbread.

So the food was bright and tasty, but the cocktails were nearly the main attraction. Absolutely loved my Oriental Spritz ? citrusy gin with peppered cucumber, fresh coriander and coriander seeds and a soda top up, it was the perfect option on a steaming hot day.

It was pretty quiet on this Monday lunch time, but can imagine this place would be pumping by the weekend. The good news is you can book a table, and it’s open Monday to Sunday for lunch and dinner. 

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