Hunter McGregor (instagram.com/nzhunt3r) has been watching an exciting development with Melbourne Restaurant in Shanghai. Venison is used as the signature item in Melbourne Restaurant. And this has proven popular with young and casual dinners with six venison dishes now available. The menu also features the Mountain River brand.
Here's Aussie Frank introducing the restaurant:
Frank and Jun (Frank's wife) have a background of running bars and coffee shops in Melbourne, Australia, or as Frank jokes "The big west island of New Zealand". In Shanghai, they have chosen a good location just 5-minutes walk to Jing'an Temple, downtown Shanghai.
From February to around May this year business was slow, and it was necessary for Frank and Jun to close for 6 weeks. But since May, their business has been busy. They started with the venison burger first, then added rump steak. About 3 months ago they added ribs. Then with the new menu, they added a couple more venison dishes:
The restaurant has 75 seats and is an upmarket coffee shop. They have great quality food at a good price. A business call by Frank and Jun is not to run promotional discounts like everyone else. And this is working with their customers, being 99.9% Chinese. Melbourne Restaurant is now super busy every weekend and on public holidays. If you don’t book early you don’t get a seat. In fact, new customers often ask if it’s "the venison place"!! So venison as a point of difference and not relying on discounting to attract customers is working.
Franks says that customers are always surprised at the quality and taste of the venison.
Last weekend a couple with a 5-year-old child ordered the venison rump steak. The parents did not get a chance to eat it as the child ate the lot! The parents were so surprised as she doesn’t often enjoy food like that. Frank told them to tell their friends ... they said they will be back!!
Another very common story is that if one person has ordered venison dishes, when it arrives at the table, everyone nearby looks at the dish and usually orders it themselves. This is especially the case with burgers and rump steak.
Sales to China have been good in recent months due to the continued and consistently high quality product from Mountain River’s suppliers. This will continue to open up new opportunities, such as this one.
It's great to see Melbourne Restaurant in Shanghai is proving popular for Frank and Jun.