If you work anywhere near the domain interchange, you probably already know about Peko Peko, and if you don’t, you should. This place is always, always packed (the only busier place in the area is possibly Don Don’s) and this includes in the evenings on weekdays when all the office types have gone home, so it’s popular with South Melbourne locals as well.
A sort of Australianised Taiwanese fusion, the highlight is the Peko box (expect to spend a while struggling to decide what to choose, as everything sounds delicious and several dishes have entertaining names like Pork Chop Addiction) a sort of Taiwanese bento of rice, your chosen dish, and two sides which are either a triangle of fried tofu or a spring roll with sweet chilli sauce, and whatever the vegetable side of the day is. This time it was tofu and steamed brocolli with a peanut and sesame oil flavoured creamy sauce, which was new and quite tasty. Let’s face it, sesame oil is one of those things that just make other things taste fantastic.
Having decided on a sort of rotation between my half dozen or so favourite dishes there, I was back up to the top of the list with Pop Chicken this time. Small bite sized pieces of chicken in a spicy salt and pepper batter. The crispiness varies but it’s usually pretty good. Better if you eat in – the takeout tends to sweat a little.
The only problem with Peko Peko – oh but wait! I totally forgot about the entree! We tried the Peko sausage, which I’ve never had before (usually get dumplings or spring rolls) and I didn’t have high expectations but oh my god it was delicious. Looking like a kransky but tasting like a sort of… taiwanese jerky cross BBQ pork cross asian chorizo, with a crispy fried outside. YOU NEED TO BUY THIS SAUSAGE.
Ahem… anyway. The only problem with Peko Peko really is that most of their dishes tend to be a bit much. Not in volume, but in same-ness of strong flavour. I find I get a bit over the flavour of fried by about 3/4 through the Pop Chicken, similarly if you order one of the dishes with sauce, the sauce will start to get a bit overbearing before you’re actually full. Most of the sauces seem to have a lot of sugar in them.
Having said that, doesn’t seem to stop me going back over and over and over and over and over.
The vegetarian dishes and the satay beef fried rice seem to avoid this cumulative intensity issue.
If you order takeout prepare to wait 20-30 minutes to pick it up. Seems to only be about 10 minutes if you actually walk in there to order and wait in the store. If you want to sit at a table in the restaurant, make sure you make a booking.