Shanghai food is all about slow cooking, so the facelift at Melbourne restaurant David’s is perfectly in keeping with the cuisine being created, laid-back, mellow and traditional, but with a modern twist.
David’s has been delighting diners with its country-inspired meals, such as the soft-shell river prawns and drunken rice wine dishes, since 1999, but the titular restauranteur David Zhou decided it was time for a make-over – perhaps given the restful atmosphere we should call it a make-under – carried out by Hecker Guthrie. A wave of China white extends beyond the crockery and gently floods the room, pale and weather-beaten wooden furniture and shelving washes up on the shores of the walls, along with assorted bottles and cannisters.
Rustic, and sometimes even rusty, the restaurant is all about the unashamedly old-fashioned, although the classic Chinese lanterns have been given an industrial tweak with metal frames and exposed wiring. In David’s, the designers have achieved the kind of cobbled-together charm that only a great deal of talent can realise.