It’s hard to go past the togarashi fried chicken at Lagoon Dining, a modern Asian island in the sea of Italian restaurants that is Lygon Street, Carlton. But everything else on the menu (which reflects the Chinese, Thai, and Malaysian heritage of the owners) is just as loaded with umami and spice. Think kang kong (water spinach) stir-fried in chicken fat, or egg custard with mushroom mapo and pork floss. Cinema Nova is right across the street, so it’s a great spot for a dinner-and-a-movie date night.
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