As I get closer and closer to my long-anticipated holiday (though by the time this is published, I’ll be in Korea!), I can’t help but get excited over all the amazing and cheap food I’m going to get to eat. Not only will I be able to stuff my face full of ddukbokkie and soondubu jiggae in Korea, I’m also going to be inhaling all the delicious roast meats and street snacks Hong Kong has to offer. And because it never hurts to get some practice before the real deal, I decided to have my Sunday roast at Roast Duck Inn.
Remember Shanghai Street Dumpling? Well these days it’s so popular you can’t get into either location without an hour wait, and frankly I wasn’t keen on that given the recent blustery weather. Instead, I would much rather have dinner at Shanghai Street Noodle Wizard; not only are the two restaurants affiliated, the latter also has a much cooler name, am I right? Occupying a much larger than usual space compared to most cheap and cheerful Chinese restaurants, the proprietors had the chance to deck the restaurant out in something of an industrial-oriental style. The unusual combination works surprisingly well, and is much nicer and newer than I’m used to. Mind you, it’s still very cramped, so careful where you swing…
Din Tai Fung is widely accepted to be the home of the best Xiao Long Bao in Australia (and possibly the world, depending on who you ask). And although I’ve eaten at the Sydney branch, I felt like I owed it to Melbourne to visit the newly opened store in Emporium. Being one of the most highly anticipated restaurants in the last year, Din Tai Fung is outfitted with a large waiting area, but Tuesdays evenings are quiet, and we got a seat for 2 with no trouble at all.
Third time lucky, or that’s the hope. After the unfortunate closure of our local favourite, The Treasure, it was even more unfortunately replaced by the awful Penang Laksa House. Thankfully the latter didn’t stick around for too long, and soon we saw banners for the Overseas Seafood Restaurant being nailed up. As it turns out, Overseas actually does hail from overseas; Malaysia to be precise, and pretty soon they were doing a roaring trade of yum cha and dinner banquets. My parents aren’t too keen on Cantonese food, so instead we chose to check out Overseas on New Year’s Day for some yum cha. When we showed up, they were rather understaffed; the entire floor of the packed-out restaurant was…
Happy Holidays! Even though this post won’t actually get released until about mid-January, we are right in the silly season at the time of writing. So to all my beloved readers out there: thanks for sticking with me, have a good break, and eat lots of fantastic food! Speaking of eating fantastic food, I often find that easier said than done at this time of year. Although there are plenty of pot-lucks and family dinners to tighten that waistband, lots of restaurants are also taking a well-earned rest. This usually (but not always!) means that meals out are more or less restricted to the cheap and cheerful Asian restaurants, who tend to be keener on Chinese New Year than Christmas.
Strangely enough, Glen Waverley has slowly slipped into a dearth of good Chinese food. Now I don’t mean southern Chinese food – Dainty Sichuan and Chong Qing Hot Pot takes care of that. What I mean is good, hearty northern Chinese food. Whereas Glen Waverley used to have the legendary Bob’s Kitchen, now even the substitute of Raramen has closed down, in light of repeated food safety offences. So now whenever I feel the urge for some good dumplings, I have to head all the way out to Box Hill. Now imagine my surprise when on one visit to the local shopping centre, I found that the charcoal chicken shop has been replaced with Ramen and Dumpling House.