Karina and Clinton Serex are the owners of a humble little spot on the corner of a somewhat busy intersection, in the quieter part of an already sleepy suburb. At Tuck Shop Take Away, burgers are flipped, chips are hand-cut and magic is made every Tuesday through to Saturday. It may be cosy, but don’t be fooled by this little burger shop; Karina brings her experienced sweet tooth after working as a pastry chef for Heston Blumenthal at the Fat Duck in London, and Clinton brings his charm and warming smile from his time as front-of-house for Attica and Vue De Monde. Lucky for us (and you), this lovable duo have recommended their most-loved Asian treats and feasts.

Roasted Pork Bánh Mì
from Bun Bun Bakery

“We've been going here for years and the one to order is the roasted pork belly topped with crispy crackling. We find with bánh mì elsewhere generally something falls short, whether it's the bread roll, salads, pate or protein but Bun Bun hits every mark and not just hits it, smashes it. Balance of ingredients, perfect smear of pate and margarine (one of very few occasions it's condoned) and a delicious brown sauce ladled over the caramelised onions.... you'll be dreaming of it, craving it and going back again and again. Hands down, there is no competition here, life is better with this bánh mì in it.”

Hōjicha Soft Serve with Genmai Topping

“As a lover of hōjicha tea, basically anything Japan produces and ice cream, this is heaven in a cone. Hōjicha is roasted Japanese green tea. Genmai is roasted brown rice. Some might be more familiar with genmaicha which is green tea mixed with these roasted rice gems throughout it. As a lover of anything smoked, toasted or roasted this combination of crispy rice with rich roasted tea in a dessert is a match made in heaven. The hōjicha flavour in the soft serve is bang on, the addition of the genmai is a textural sensation and it's creamy AF.  It takes me right back to my soft serve adventures in Japan every time I eat it and this is a GOOD thing.”

Panko Pork Teishoku
from Kyodai Katsu

“Tonkatsu is a crumbed and fried piece of pork, which in Japan is offered in various cuts of pork ranging in weight and price. Here in Melbourne there are few dedicated tonkatsu restaurants and while Kyodai Katsu does offer other menu items we go for the killer teishoku which means "pre-arranged meal" in Japanese and the panko pork set is the go to. A generous amount of crunchy pork is served with miso soup, pickled veg, rice and bottomless finely shredded cabbage (yes all you can eat which is a tradition for this meal) topped with toasted sesame dressing and delivers big bang for your buck at only $16.50. The vegetable tempura set is no second fiddle for vegetarians or those wanting to cross off their flexitarian day for the week. We have family dinner here regularly where the kids show off their Japanese skills, whirling around chopsticks like pros and reading us Japanese books.”

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