Purple Peanuts, Melbourne CBD
March 13, 2012 § 2 Comments
The south-west corner of the Melbourne CBD is still a cultural and culinary wasteland. I work here three days a week, I know.
But Purple Peanuts makes it all ok. An adorable and efficient café, they pump out tasty Japanese lunch food that costs the same as the terrible focaccias in the food hall up the road. There is almost nothing not good about Purple Peanuts.
You know how you go to Don Don sometimes because it’s so cheap and isn’t dumplings? Purple Peanuts is the higher-quality, cuter, less gross, more varied, and doesn’t-serve-water-in-polystyrene-cups version of Don Don. So, I guess what I’m saying is you should eat here.
I don’t even know how to write about it, because I can recommend almost every dish they offer. The only thing I’ve ever not enjoyed was the kakuni pork with rice, which was too fatty for lunch. I would also like to see them offer some shichimi to sprinkle on curries and things. Maybe I’ll start bringing my own. Or, you know, I could just ask them.
They also sell good-quality handrolls, which is a rare thing, with a brown rice option. I don’t think any dish costs more than $10, and you can easily eat a small lunch for around $6. Try the japanese curries (chicken or tofu), the salmon sashimi, the spicy salmon handroll, and the incredibly yum and healthful miso soup. I’ve never had the tofu veggie burger, but I hear good things and there are several really excellent vegetarian options.
Everything on the butchers paper behind the counter can be take-away, and there are some pre-packaged take-away options such as the salmon tataki pictured above. There is limited seating inside and a bit more outside, though I’d recommend getting a table inside if you can as the street is pretty hectic, or get take-away and sit in the sun on the grass outside the Fairfax building opposite Spencer Street Station. They are open for early dinner as well as lunch, but it has such a lunch vibe, I think dinner might be a bit weird. I will update this if that changes. And make sure to bring your cash, as they do not take card.
620 Collins St
(near Spencer Street Station)
03 9620 9548
Open Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. till 8 p.m.