In the mood for just a quick nibble, we decided to make a stop at Lucky Bean Restaurant in Melville. Arriving rather early on a Sunday for a brunch it was still quiet with just two other people there, but it was not long until more people started arriving.
Apricot and Orange Caipirinha in hand I started planning my meal. Because it was a relatively humid day I decided to order some starters instead of a larger main meal. The one thing I found somewhat disappointing is the lack of salads on the menu. I am not usually a salad eater but I would really have loved to tackle a salad.
After a lot of going back and forth I settled for three starters, basically to get an idea of their food and ingredients. I ordered the Salt & Pepper Calamari, the Pea & Halloumi Fritters and the Slow Cooked Pork Belly with Star Anise Sauce. The boyfriend ordered the lucky Bean Beef Burger.
Off goes the waiter to place the order and we continue to enjoy our cocktails, the chilled atmosphere and the cool jazzy tunes.
Not a long wait and I spotted the waiter bringing our food. Ok, let me just say that the starters are bigger than I thought and I soon regretted ordering three instead of two. Short summary of my plates of food:
Pea & Halloumi Fritters
I did not enjoy this starter at all. The fritters were a bit doughy and I could not really taste anything else except for the dough. The mint coulis that was mentioned on the menu clearly decided that it would play hide and seek so I could not find it to enjoy the taste. I could not help but feel sorry for vegetarians while eating this dish.
Salt & Pepper Calamari
As far as calamari goes, this was tasty. It wasn’t swimming in a pool of oil, there was just the right amount of salt and pepper and just the right amount of calamari. I would take off the gigantic lettuce leaves and replace it with watercress perhaps.
Slow Cooked Pork Belly and Star Anise Sauce
The deliciousness of this dish surprised me. I love pork but in the same breath I hate star anise. But the star anise was not overwhelming and the pork was incredibly juicy. The calamari stuffed with chilli, lime and coconut milk jam that topped the pork brought everything together and not only did I salivate, my boyfriend kept eyeing the plate with the hope that I’d share (needless to say, he had his fair share).
I can’t comment on the burger as I did not taste it, but I will admit that the looks of it did not appeal to me at all. And seemingly the taste did not completely satisfy him either. His comments were basically that the burger was bland and none of the toppings mentioned on the menu could be tasted.
Overall I was impressed by the creativity of their menu items, the laid back vibe and I would still like to go back and try their Cajun Style Garlic & Chilli Rump Steak.
But for now I am holding on to the taste of that pork belly that still lingers in my mouth.
Lucky Bean Restaurant
16 Seventh Street, Melville, Johannesburg