620 Collins St
The Spencer St end of Collins st used to be completely void of any type of decent lunchtime eating spot, other than a couple of food courts which sold your standard 'lemon chicken' and 'tropical rice' dishes from a Bain Marie. These days it's a totally different part of town. There are creperies, fish n chip shops, fancy sandwich shops and now there is a Japanese place to tell your workmates about.
Purple Peanuts recently opened in the shop that used to house Boost Juice. But apparently not a lot of people were all that keen on Boost down that end of the city and they seemed to much prefer to line up for the Krispy Kremes Doughnuts across the road. So Boost juice lasted about a year or so to make way for a few other asian food stores that didn't seem to do much trade.
In it's most recent form, the store houses a top little Japaese joint - Purple Peanuts. It's primarily a take away place, but there are a few tables and chairs in case you would like to sit down and watch people lining up for their lunch. Purple peanuts seems to be following a very similar menu format to that of Don Don / Don Too. Basically keeping it simple with only a few menu items like Chicken Teriyaki and Chicken Curry. Also keeping it cheap is a priority too.
They also sell various forms of Inari, which all look delicious, different types of handrolls, as well as different types of Onigiri. The Onigiri they sell here is different to the type I tried in Japan. It appears to be deep fried and look more like an Arancini ball than the Japanese Rice Ball that I'm used to. I was keen to try one of these, but they were sitting right out on the counter, just at mouth height, and I'm not a fan of food that has, possibly been sneezed on or coughed on by someone waiting in line, so I passed on those. This time, anyway.
I went with the Chicken Teriyaki option ($8.50) and I got it to take away. Back at my office I opened up my container and was pleasantly surprised. The chicken looked great. Although, it didn't appear to have those little charcoalie / crispy type bits that I love so much about the Don Don version. But the chicken was tender, the sauce was a little sweet like Teriyaki should be. The salad that you get with your meal is better than the salads you would get a Don Don. I love the sesame dressing they use on it here and the nicely cooked beans. You also get a decent portion of rice with your meal.
Unfortunately, my office has moved across to Docklands now, but Purple Peanuts is still just close enough to Docklands for me to wander over now and then, for some pretty awesome Japanese Lunch treats. Considering the line out the door yesterday when I walked past, it seems that I'm not the only one who is a fan!
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