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Forest Hill

Vegie Bowl

There’s a place about 5 minutes up the road from my house called Vegie Bowl. It’s slightly off Springvale Road, only accessible via the service road to the side. For the longest time I paid absolutely no attention to it, despite going past it 5 days a week for the last 10 or so years. Mum always thought it was some kind of garden shop, probably due to the word ‘vegie’, and the fact that there’s an actual garden shop next door. We both eventually realised that Vegie Bowl was an Asian-styled vegetarian restaurant that enjoys a good reputation with the locals, and mum urged me to go try it out – not that she needed to! Situated in a…

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Overseas Seafood Restaurant

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…

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Persian Flavours

If you get a recommendation from an Iranian ex-coworker for a Persian restaurant, TAKE IT. Being entirely unfamiliar with the cuisine myself, I wouldn’t be able to tell it apart from any other Middle Eastern restaurant. But when I was recommended Persian Flavours as a pretty solid option, I was immediately convinced. Although this place is literally a 2 minute drive from my place, I’ve ignored it for a long time, as it seemed like one of those dodgy suburban shopping strip restaurants. But turns out business is booming, and the restaurant bustled with both diners and take-away orders. It even had groups of Asian families, which is saying something. From my experience, first generation Asians tend to avoid anything…

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Nishikian

When you’ve lived in the same suburb for half your life, even the smallest changes will be noticed. So when an old petrol station shut down, then was converted to a Japanese izakaya-style restaurant no less, more than one set of eyebrows were raised. Like many of my friends who live on the east side, we were all hesitant to give Nishikian a go. After all, this end of town isn’t known for much beyond Chinese and Malaysian food. One year down the track however, Nishikian is not only surviving, but thriving. When we rocked up on a Saturday night, not only was it a full house, but we actually had to wait a bit for seats. Luckily for us,…

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Penang Laksa House

Penang Laksa House and I got off on the wrong foot. Why? Because it sits on the grave of one of my favourite places for yum cha and Cantonese dinners – The Treasure. Still, it’s there, so I may as well make the most of it and give it a go. The feedback may be lukewarm but stranger things have happened. Though the outside is more or less the same, I could barely recognise the interior. The menu however is a bit too familiar for comfort. Despite there being classic Malaysian hawker dishes available, there is also a disconcerting amount of Cantonese dishes, and worse still, westernise Asian. It doesn’t come cheap either; at $26 for a prawn omelette, it’s…

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Huff Bagelry

No one likes exams, but for me, there was a silver lining. In my uni years, I would take my exams at Caulfield Racecourse, and I would use the excuse of needing extra sustenance to visit the myriad of restaurants in the nearby suburbs of Caulfield and Carnegie. I managed to check out a good few restaurants this way, but before I could try Huff Bagelry, I had completed 4 years worth of exams, and had neither reason nor time to go out to Carnegie on a weekday.

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