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{Ain’t No MEAT-tain High Enough} Filipino Grilled Meat & Seafood Platter at Jasmine’s, Deer Park

Submitted by on June 10, 2015 – 8:48 pm6 Comments

When Filipino’s are tasked with grilling meat and seafood, we take it on like POTUS had appointed us with this all important duty – we do it with honour. We go all out and prepare a BBQ feast like it’s our last meal and no, there will be no simple sprinkling of salt and pepper then chucking it all on the barbie, nope; there will be an all out war on ‘secret’ family marinades, stuffing squid and fish with various traditional ingredients, pickling, curing and luckily for us, you can gorge on all this MUUURRRT at Jasmine’s.

Jasmine’s has literally brought the Philippines to Melbourne where their passion for Filipino cooking and culture comes to life with their “Kamayan” style grilled platters during their Ihaw Ihaw (grilled) Nights (Thurs- Sun, call first). “Kamayan” pretty much means eating with your hands. They serve the platters so beautifully just like they do back home – on sheets of banana leaves where a plethora of dishes are served on top of an endless bed of rice. The idea is to do away with pesky items that get in the way of enjoying and sharing the food with your friends, like cutlery. I have a pet peeve for people who spend  ten minutes peeling prawns with a spoon and fork or worst yet, using them to eat meat on skewers. WTF?! Stop it. Stop that crap right now.

jasmines platters filipino food melbourne

If the platters weren’t gigantic enough, you also get two starters to ramp up that burning appetite from tangy soup filled with mussels and vegetables to  Lumpiang Prito (fried spring rolls). The latter are incredibly tasty, filled with sauteed veggies and a good way to line the stomachs before the meaty onslaught. The dipping sauce, made with soy and calamansi juice (toyomansi) was a the perfect accompaniment.

lumpia filipino food Jasmines

mussel soup Filipino

When the platters come out, it’s a spectacle as the kitchen doors are held wide open to make way, tables roar with cheer and everyone gets off their chairs to make room for ‘platter touchdown’ pulling out their phones for that infamous #aerial photo shot. Though, even when you do stand up on top of the chairs, it ain’t high enough to capture the enormity of it all!

jasmines restaurant melbourne

If you’re extremely polite, you will starve. Fact. Don’t sacrifice your BBQ Pork Skewers for nobody because believe me, someone i.e. ME, won’t even hesitate. A generous amount of of charred fatty bits and that sweet and smokey flavour that only comes through a great marinade. Oh and the generously sized BBQ Chicken Inasal, had a good consistency of sticky, sweet and salty ensuring you lick your fingers as you make your way through that piece of thigh you had first dibs on. Add on some of that Atchara (picked green papaya, pictured to the left of the chicken) – you’ll see why.

chicken inasal jasmines

A highlight at any Filipino BBQ is Inihaw na Pusit (Grilled Squid) and that remained in check at Jasmine’s. Marinated in vinegar, garlic, salt then stuffed with chopped onions and tomatoes, it’s rotated over the grill and matched with a bowl of that drool inducing tangy soy (toyomansi). Total match.

ihaw pusit filipino recipe

Inihaw na Pusit or Grilled Squid Filipino food

Eggplant lovers delight in a traditional favouriteTortang Talong (eggplant omelette) and the Tilapia (milkfish) filled with diced onions, tomatoes, seasoned with pepper and lemon scorched over the grill added texture to the zingy flesh.


Continuing on with the seafood mountain (Note: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough is a complete lie) there are plenty of prawns and mussels for all and yes, there are vegetables and fruit – Okra, grilled peppers, Atcahara (picked green papaya), ripened papaya and pineapple on skewers!

pineapple ihaw filipinopapaya jasmines melbourne

TIP: pack on the pickled green papaya (below) – with the fried chicken, BBQ Pork, fish and the chicken.

atchara jasmines

The first time I went, Inihaw na Liempo (Grilled Pork Belly) and Longanisa (cured pork sausages) were in the mix, but they were missing this time round (as pictured on my Instgram feed) replaced with other dishes (just as gewd!) like fried chicken (pictured below) and Crispy Pata (Deep Fried Pork) served alongside a Mang Tomas, a sweet and peppery sauce usually reserved for Lechon. As expected, the skin was crispy and the juiciness of the meat didn’t hold back.

fried chicken jasmines

Granted you still have room after the above, you also get dessert! Halo Halo, a signature colorful Filipino dessert I used to make when I was a kid during the summer months, made up of shaved ice, evaporated milk, leche flan (crème caramel), ube (purple yam), mung beans, jackfruit, ice cream and jelly. Halo Halo means ‘mix-mix’ so the idea is to mix it all together until combined and then you can get into it real quick.

halo halo

halo halo filipino recipe

Did I mention that they’re also a bakery?! Baked on premises are ensaymada (brioche topped with margarine and sugar), kalihim (filled with ube/purple yam) mamon, pan de coco, orange chiffon cake and more.

pandecocobreadkalihim bread

There were seven of us, so we ordered two platters thinking we’d be able to demolish it…WRONG! I swear, by the time we got to dessert, I gave birth. I named my food baby Lechon. The ‘Kamayan’ style of eating grilled food presented on banana leaves is already a hit in the US with several Food Trucks even adopting the tradition, so I’m seriously over the moon that Jasmine’s Restaurant has finally ignited this trend in Melbourne. Did I also mention how fun the whole experience is? Do it. Note: make sure you call at least 24 hours ahead in order to book a platter. Don’t just rock up yo.

Zee Details

Jasmine’s Cafe and Resturant
Shop 2 / 85 Mt. Derimmut Road, Deer Park
Phone: (03) 8358 4834

Jasmine’s Cafe and Resturant

Thursday to Sunday night (dinner) Starts at 7 pm (call at least 24 hours to book) This is subject to change so call them first! Costs: $132 per platter, feeds four adults and comes with Sago Gulaman drinks.

Shop 2 / 85 Mt. Derimmut Road, Deer Park (MAP HERE) Phone: (03) 8358 4834

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