Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Modu, Clayton by Bureaucrat

We've all heard of Mod Oz but have you heard of Modern Shanghainese?  The Lawyer and I, along with Boy Chick, were introduced to the very tasty and very cosmopolitan cuisine that is modern Shanghainese.  Situated right in the middle of bustling Clayton Road, Modu (which is a colloquial name for Shanghai, meaning 'magical city') offers a perfectly balanced range of dishes in a contemporary Melbourne cafe surrounds.

The menu is at Modu is commendable in that it hits the right price point for all budgets and dining preferences.  There are dumplings and small plates for around a tenner (e.g., fish and seafood dumplings, steamed scallops); a good range of mid-range rice and noodle dishes (e.g., Shanghai chilli noodles, soup noodles with tomato and oxtail - great if you're the type to order one main dish per person); and for those wanting to eat 'family style' or indulge in a tapas-style graze, then there are larger plates and and a couple luxe dishes that are suited for sharing (e.g., Bi Feng Tang style meat crab, ginger and shredded pork wrap platter).

Modu, Clayton, king prawn
We were guided by the recommendations of general manager Julian Zhu when it came to deciding what to order for our Sunday lunch.  This finger-licking dish was the crispy king prawn.  A meaty, succulent prawn that was smothered in that oh-so-delicious Singaporean mud-crab chilli-tomato sauce.  The prawn had a lovely pan-seared smokiness and it had plentiful amounts of that love-it-or-hate-it 'head goo' (I'm in the former camp).  It was served with garlic bread, which the Lawyer used to mop up the juices. A very delectable start to our meal.

Modu, Clayton, crab pork xiao long bao
One of the popular dishes at Modu is the crab and pork xiao long bao.  These were delicate and perfectly executed.  Paper-thin pastry with piping hot soup inside.  I especially liked the fact that the soup and the filling had a natural sweetness from the crab and pork.  Even better was that I couldn't detect any MSG.

Modu, Clayton
The sleek interior

Modu, Clayton, golden prawns
The golden prawns were a trio of tiger prawns that were encased with rich mayo and crispy pastry.  The prawns were quite meaty and were served with lemon and sweet chilli sauce.  I think these might have been baked as they weren't greasy or oily to eat.  I also liked the colourful garnish.

Modu, Clayton, Wagyu beef
One of the recommended main dishes was the flavour-packed Wagyu beef.  This is definitely one of the luxe dishes - 250 grams of grade 8+ marble Wagyu beef.  This was a first for me - I've never had Wagyu stir-fried.  I've only had Wagyu as a plain pan-fried steak or as a carpaccio.  This was very moreish and we savoured every piece.  We loved the buttery cubes of Wagyu which were stir fried with cubes of squidgy, meaty oyster mushrooms and black garlic - great complementing textures.  Wonderful!

Modu, Clayton, fried rice
To go with the beef, we ordered Modu's signature fried rice, which had Chinese sausage, egg, Asian greens and prawns.  A simple dish that was done perfectly - piping hot with lots of wok hei and we just loved the aromatic fried rice.  Modu's fried rice distinctly encapsulates the flavour of homely, comforting soul-food (after all, fried rice is a peasant dish) but you can just tell by looking at it and tasting the first bite that this was done by a skilled chef.  More please!

Modu, Clayton, tea
We also shared a pot of Oolong tea, which came in this rather pretty tea set.

Modu, Clayton

Modu, Clayton


We loved it
We loved it.
Mid value
Mid value.


Wow - Modu redefines what a dumpling-noodle house is.  The menu deftly blends a range of Asian cuisines (there's Chinese dumplings, Singaporean influences, sashimi style dishes) and gives everything a judicious modern twist to it.  Julian advised that they change their menu every few months to keep things interesting.

We absolutely loved the fact that this was a very classy yet relaxed restaurant.  The interior is spacious, it's light and service is friendly; and the piano music in the background makes a very welcomed change to the jarring pop music that you'd usually find in a cafe.  If you're hankering for dumplings but do not want the too-close-for-comfort rickety tables with waiters that bark at you, then head to Modu!

We were also impressed with the very family friendly service.  Boy Chick got child-friendly plates and cutlery and some crayons and colouring sheets to keep him happy.

The Eat and Be Merry Crew were guests of Modu.

Find it at

318A/320 Clayton Road
Clayton VIC 3168
Phone: (03) 9548 8695

MODU Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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