It’s no surprise this place is so busy when they’re serving classic Asian dishes alongside some creative little twists at very affordable prices.
Food: Tater Tots, Caramel Ribs, Greens, Chicken Mee Noodles, Fried Chicken Bao, Ferrero Bao.
Situated over on Queen Street, you’d think Homi would be a little quieter than the more central noodle places closer to Swanston, but it was just short of fighting-over-tables busy, even mid week. It was smaller than I expected, but with a seating bar around the main service area and a large communal table, they manage to fit in a decent number of people while still feeling rather spacious. I enjoyed its chilled out vibe, with fairly low lighting and toned down background music. It was vibrant, but a much more enjoyable experience than the Chin-Chin-esque big music, bright lights, cram as many people in as possible philosophy of some similar places.
The food is affordable too, and the We Hungry Menu at just $40 per person is hard to look past, but I needed to avoid the shellfish so we tried a few different items from the menu to share instead. I’m not sure if this is how it’s meant to be, but I would say left side of the menu share, right side eat by yourself. From the left, we tried the caramel ribs, greens and the tater tots. From the right, the chicken mee noodle and the fried chicken bao.
You’ve probably already seen this on my insta, but whoever decided that Asian inspired tater tots were a thing – I think I love you! These were so good – loved the idea, and loved that the flavours really worked well, it wasn’t just a gimmick. The caramel ribs were succulent with a generous amount of meat. I found them a little sweet, and I couldn’t really taste the coffee, so I was glad we were sharing them and had other dishes to balance out the flavour, but the technique cooking the meat was flawless.
The greens were probably my favourite dish of the night – which isn’t meant to negate the quality of the other dishes I just really enjoyed the garlic soy sauce, the veggies were very much my thing, and the crushed nuts on top added both flavour and texture. I loved it so much I’ve been unsuccessfully trying to recreate it for my lunch all week!
The fried chicken bao was a good size with plenty of juicy, crispy chicken. The bao was light and soft, but it was the coleslaw that really brought the whole thing together. Reading it on the menu didn’t make me go wow, there sounded too much going on – but I’m so glad I ordered it, as the flavours are much more snappy and simple than they sound.
We spent most of our time fighting over the chicken mee noodles, which was served with a flavoursome broth. I loved the addition of coriander, brocollini and bean sprouts, and how these are balanced out the chicken – where as M.B. the cave man, just wanted the chicken and noodles and kept pushing everything else to my side, leaving me without any tasty chicken! However, in our own ways, we both really enjoyed this dish – it was a wholesome, simple and filling meal (just don’t share it)!
Finally we had the Ferrero Bao for dessert. It looked amazing but it didn’t really have that hit of Ferrero flavour, it was mostly bao and icecream – which only had a mild hazelnut flavour. I enjoyed it as a dessert but I wouldn’t have realised it was Ferrero flavoured without the help of the menu. Needed more chocolate and hazelnuts for me! However, at $8 it’s about as cheap as a coffee at some places now so it’s worth buying just for the insta photo and to enjoy the creamy icecream.
Overall, we had to keep reminding ourselves just what good value Homi was. The food is great quality and the plating is excellent so you almost feel as if you’re in some fine dining establishment, set up to look like a noodle bar. They do some gorgeous cocktails too and really hit what Melbourne’s cheap eats should be about!
Address: Shop 2, 190 Queen Street, CBD,
Mon 11am to 4pm
Tue 11am to 4pm
Wed 11am to 10pm
Thu 11am to 10pm
Fri 11am to 10pm
Sat 11am to 10pm
Parking: There’s plenty of carparks in easy reach of Homi’s City Centre location – affordability might be an issue, but finding a park isn’t
Getting here on PT: Homi is about an 8 minute walk from Melbourne Central Station, or your closest tram route is the 86 where you can alight at Queen Street and it’s a 2 minute walk up to the corner of Little Bourke.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Homi Noodle Bar, CBD. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a restaurant won’t change (including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting)