Shop 29-31 QV Square
Cnr Swanston and Lonsdale St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Friday nights are for noodles and an early bed time. So when the need to blog clashed with the necessity of a soothing bowl of noodles, we went to Shophouse Kitchen.
Located in QV Square, Shophouse Kitchen is one of the newer and shinier restaurants in the area. Decorated in the fashion of Asian street-side eateries, it felt peppy yet comfortable.
The menu was 35 pages long (not including drinks!) and a very eclectic affair, as Hong Kong food is prone to be. There were rice and noodles, but also cod roe spaghetti and macaroni soup with spam and egg.
My Hot Barley Drink ($3.5) was not barley at all, but sweet honey water with a handful of soaked barley kernels at the bottom. With that said, it was hot and sweet, and that was what I was ultimately after.
The BBQ Pork and Steamed Wonton Dry Noodle ($10.9) is my idea of comfort food to a tee. The noodles were thin and chewy with a distinct aroma of egg, whilst the slices of roast pork were dense and meaty, flavoured with honey and spices.
The wontons were large and chubby, and even though the centre was a little bit floury, the umami of minced prawn was lovely. On the side was a bowl of chicken soup tasting of nothing but MSG, and frankly, that was exactly what I wanted and expected.
Chris had the Signature Fried Pork Chop Fried Rice ($11.9). The fried rice was piled high and fragrant, the smokiness complemented with crunchy scallion pieces and sweet peas. The pork was a little less impressive, erring on the bland and boring side.
On that specific night, Shophouse Kitchen was exactly what I was after. If I were to be a little more unbiased however, I would say that it is average at best, with decent food and decent servings that won’t upset anyone. The variety is good, but if you’re not fussed about that or ambience, then I would suggest Hanaichi just across the square, which is a better choice in terms of both flavour and price.