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Grain Asian, Hong Kong Cafe in Box Hill Round 2 {Melbourne Review}

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I previously wrote about Grain Asian in the Box Hill Central shopping centre. Not much has changed rather than the updated funky dining room with vintage Chinese theme and a very minor price increase on some of the menu items.

For those who haven’t read my old post about Grain Asian, it is a Hong Kong style cafe that serves the typical drinks associated with Hong Kong cafes: Hong Kong tea and coffee, lemon tea, soy milk and their all-day dishes which include fried rice, noodles, Hong Kong style roast meats (duck, char siu, crispy pork belly, soy sauce chickens), won tons and yong tau fu.

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(Tables outside in the food court area)

Be warned that most of the staff speak very little or no English at all (when I try to order something complicated, I usually flag one of the guys there whom I know speaks English well) so you will need to be pointing to the Chinese version of the menu. If I’m there with lots of people, I always make sure that they repeat the menu back to me.

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(Newly-ish renovated dining room)

I will concentrate on their breakfast menu in this post as I wrote about their all-day menu in my last post. Grain Asian has ‘breakfast sets’ – usually a selection of congee with a breakfast dim sum side dish.

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(Dried shrimp rice vermicelli rolls – around $5.XX)

My favourite breakfast dish at Grain Asian is their freshly made rice noodle rolls with fillings of choice. This is only available during breakfast hours (until 10:30am everyday except Sunday 11:00am) – they call this ‘vermicelli rolls’ even though there is nothing vermicelli like about it. The filling choices include prawns, shrimp (dried shrimps), beef, barbecued pork (char siu), vegetarian, and more.

Pictured above are dried shrimp vermicelli rolls as a result of ordering a vegetarian vermicelli rolls (!) But they were delicious nonetheless. Luckily, I’m not a vegetarian.

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(Combination congee – $5)

Their congees are alright. To be perfectly honest, it’s nothing like the beautiful, thick congee with quality meats that you get in Hong Kong. They even tasted burnt a couple of times. But as they work really well as a part of the set breakfast, I always end up ordering them. In fact, if you really want congee, Mr Kitchen up a bit does better congee (though still not great.)

My favourite congee is the combination congee which has fish cake strips, tiny beef meat balls, preserved squid and peanuts. This is also known as sampan congee. I am going to guess that it’s the Chinese sailor’s version of  pantry dishes like pasta alla puttanesca. Their pork and century egg congee seriously could do with more eggs.

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(Braised beef brisket $5)

One of the highlights I mentioned in the previous post was the beef brisket noodles. I am happy to say that they do a side dish version of this for $5. So I have been getting this as an additional side. I never finish it all at the same time, of course, but the leftover makes a great take away to have with rice and greens for lunch later. It’s a gift that keeps on giving!

instagram-grain-asian(See my Instagram feed)

A few other things that I have ordered and enjoyed: sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf (lo mai gai), barbecued pork buns, Spam & egg sandwich (Mini’s favourite), iced Ovaltine, corned beef and egg sandwich and their whole fish dishes which gives you a whole fish with rice and soup for $13. Ridiculously cheap feed!

As I’ve visited a few times, my Instagram feed has a bigger collection of photos from there.

Grain Asian (in Box Hill Central)
Address: Cnr Main & Market Streets, Box Hill VIC 3128 (opposite to Platform 3 cafe)
Phone: 03 9899 6533
Getting there by Public Transport: Train to Box Hill Station (Belgrave/Lilydale line). The cafe is in the same building as the train station.

 
Grain Asian Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Melbourne Food Review: Simon’s Peiking Duck Chinese Restaurant, Box Hill 14

It was our 2nd wedding anniversary and since I was off work, I was tasked with choosing a place to dine to celebrate such momentous occasion (I mean, deary me, we must celebrate! It’s not like we have an anniversary every year!)

(menu)

Being heavily pregnant, I was too tired to basically bother to stick with my original intention of putting together a really lovely meal. And I didn’t really want to book somewhere really expensive and really special because a) I couldn’t eat much and b) I didn’t want to go into labour half way through a, say, Jacques Reymond dinner.

(steamed pancakes for Peking duck)

So Simon’s Peiking Duck Chinese Restaurant it was. It wasn’t far from home and it was more interesting than dumplings. The restaurant was supposed to be newly opened but I made a booking anyway just in case as the Age recently had a write up on them. Simon is, of course, the famous duck nazi (err… not sure why he’s called that, he’s not exactly one but someone has to sell the story) from Old Kingdom in Fitzroy who came out of retirement to open his own restaurant in good old Box Hill.

The place was already almost packed by the time we rocked up at 7pm and as they only took cash, we had to go back out to hunt around the neighbourhood for an ATM. There wasn’t one. But there was an Australia Post outlet at the bottle shop nearby who gave us a withdrawal from our NAB account. Phew!

The menu consisted of your typical suburban Chinese restaurant populars with a slight Malaysian slant but we weren’t there for lemon chicken or hor fun, oh no, we were there for the duck! We ordered the duck course (option 1 – $55) which is exactly what is served at Old Kingdom. Option 2 consisted of additional noodle course (or in place of beansprouts, I’m not too sure) and was slightly more expensive. (more…)


Random Stuffs I Eated #2 6

I’m beginning to think these random posts are a really good way to use up all these photos I would never otherwise make a blog post about. Let me know if you think they’re insubstantial. Not that I would stop. I love to show off what I ate. Hehe.

This was a random beetroot and fetta salad at some launch/opening party I crashed. No I wasn’t invited. I was just there for the food. This beetroot thing wasn’t bad. Or was it the beers I had before it?

Tuna sashimi, cucumber and black caviar. Didn’t taste like much to be perfectly honest. Yes, the same picture as the one on my Twitter page.


Crispy banh xeo (Vietnamese-style crepe with prawns, beansprouts and all the yummy things) from Tien Dat. So good. Does anyone have a recommendation for banh xeo? I love the dish and would like to try other restaurants. (more…)


Melbourne Food Review: Korean BBQ, Box Hill 10

rice, fried egg, various toppings

(My ‘main’ – which was rice, fried egg, various other side dishes  and beef)

We ended up in Box Hill one night since I felt like lots of meat. I’m really not a big meat eater generally and I tend to stay away from all-you-can-eat because I have this bad habit of killing myself at all-you-can-eat. It’s a serious bravado thing. It is fortunate that Josh is not competitive (I can out-eat him by about three times) when it comes to eating otherwise I would probably be dead by now. Anyway, on the night I figured we should try the all-you-can-eat deal, just because.

barbecued pork belly slices

(grilling pork belly slices)

We got there at about 7.30 on a Thursday night and the place was absolutely packed. It seemed like the all-you-can-eat barbecue ($27.50 per person) was very popular! We previously visited one late Saturday afternoon and we were the only people there so we didn’t think to make a booking. Because we weren’t that hungry, we left our name as a reservation and they promised to call us when the table became available. So we went and did some grocery shopping in the mean time. I suspected we went behind a queue of other reservations because we didn’t get a table until 8.15!

the all-you-can-eat menu

Since we already decided on the all-you-can-eat, we quickly ordered that. The all-you-can-eat menu consisted off various meats, side dishes and a ‘main’ meal.

mixed green salad leaves

Our side dishes arrived. First up was mixed green salad leaves. The salad was nice and fresh with a touch of dressing. The sides were complimentary even if you don’t order the all-you-can-eat. (more…)

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