RaRamen Box Hill

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RaRamen is probably my favourite dumpling place in Box Hill. I have tried the popular ones like DC Dumpling, David & Camy and Luyang but RaRamen trumps them all. Their other dishes aren’t too bad too actually, and RaRamen in Box Hill Central also offer free slushies if you so fancy.

Their Shanghai Fried Noodles, like most other restaurants, are on the oilier side of things but flavour-wise it’s pretty tasty.

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RaRamen’s Mixed Pork & Vegetable Fried Dumplings were on this occasion fried very crispy but the filling is the one to beat. The Pork Dumplings have that lovely pork flavour and the hint of ginger that complements the pork. The Vegetarian option has become my favourite dumpling (of all time), it has this incredible combination of glass noodles, egg and I believe, chives.

Luckily, you don’t have to dine there to get your dumplings fix. You can also buy frozen dumplings and fry or steam them at home at your own convenience!

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RaRamen Box Hill
Box Hill Central
1 Main Street
Box Hill VIC 3128

Gangnam Station

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Gangnam Station is one of the few Korean restaurants in Box Hill. Located on Carrington Street, it’s just across the road from Box Hill Central and from the notorious parking lot. They serve your Korean resaurant staples such as Bibimbap, Bulgogi, Korean Pancakes, and of course KFC (Korean Fried Chicken), however most dishes do lean towards the pricier side of things but I believe they also offer a few special dishes for lunch on weekdays.

Gangnam’s Stone Bowl Bibimbap, has all the ingredients for a tasty Bibimbap. I love the stone pot cooked rice, with it’s crispy and crunchy exterior. Flavourwise, it was severely lacking and the chilli sauce accompaniment was much needed to bring it all together. Don-Udon’s Stone Pot Bibimbap is excellent in comparison, with just enough seasoning and flavour.

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I haven’t found a Korean restaurant that can do a Jap Chae like Don-Udon, or even close. Here it lacks the that certain “wok flavour” that is much needed for the potato noodles, otherwise it tastes just like a simple soy sauce stir fry. This was probably one of the more disappointing versions (the overpriced Guhng is another) I’ve tried.

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Their Spicy Chicken Broth  was probably one of the better soups I’ve had. However, haven’t come across a bad one yet! On a cold winters day, this will be very satisfying.

Impressions
Gangnam Station is probably not one of the best Korean restaurants but I’ve had a few decent meals here apart from their Jap Chae and Bibimbap. However, there are a few other Korean restaurants in Box Hill that are more bang for the buck and tastier like Don-Udon and Yami Yami.

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Gangnam Station
5 Carrington Road
Box Hill VIC 3128

Irodori House

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Irodori House on Station Street, Box Hill serves Japanese style cuisine with an a la carte menu as well as set lunch boxes. The food here is surprisingly decent hidden in an area with a wealth of Chinese eateries.  What I like about Irodori House is the flavours of their dishes.

Their Beef Sukiyaki has tender beef with a pleasant tasting light ginger taste. I’m not a big fan of ginger (although I love gingerbread) but here all the ingredients make for a pretty tasty dish.

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Japanese Egg Custard’s are some of the good things in life. A savoury custard that is so silky smooth, with just enough saltiness to bring out the egg flavour and served warm.

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Their tapas menu has an array of choices, Irodori’s Crumbed Fish with the mayonnaise had a good balance of crispiness and still moist on the inside. It goes really well with the mayonnaise served with it as it need a dipping sauce of sorts to complement the slight dryness of a fried fish.

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The Oyako Don comes with salad, miso soup and two sides. The Oyako Don wasn’t particularly memorable but the chicken was tender but lacking in a bit of flavour.

Impressions

Overall, I found Irodori House to excel in most of their dishes and it’s the reason why I would return. It may not be the most authentic Japanese restaurant or the most amazing dishes but it still provides a tasty meal and that’s all I would want.

Irodori House on Urbanspoon

Platform 3

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Finding a good cafe in Box Hill can be quite a challenge. You have the incredibly popular Red Cup Cafe towards the Middleborough Rd end of Whitehorse Rd but if you’ve read my review, you’ll know I was not overly impressed by it. Platform 3 complements the transport hub of central Box Hill, by stylising the place with some train station like aesthetics. What I like about Platform 3 is that although its located in the old Box Hill Central, it’s still far away enough from the bustling noises of the market and food court that you can relax in a quieter atmosphere with a coffee in hand.

Platform 3’s Corn Fritters were favourable in my eyes mouth. The corn flavour comes through the fritter quite well, it’s not dry and fried just enough. The addition of salmon and the poached eggs with hollandaise sauce give it that extra punch. I love a poached egg done well, and here it’s how you’d want it. Would definitely order again.

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Platform 3’s Big Breakfast can certainly be for two, but for one on a healthy appetite this meal can go down well. Comes with bacon, spinach, tomatoes, sausages, mushrooms and your choice of how the eggs are cooked. It really has everything you’d want and cooked well too. Enough seasoning to go round, it’s happy days for me with this one.

Impressions

While I’m quite fond of their breakfast menu, I haven’t yet delved into their lunch menu. Platform 3 not only do breakfast and lunch but they also have a lively night scene, with a bar for the evenings and serving for dinner. I believe it’s the only bar in Box Hill so you may understand the exorbitant prices for some of their drinks. Though it may just be worth it.

Platform 3 on Urbanspoon

Pho Huong Viet

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Pho Huong Viet is one of the few Vietnamese restaurants in the heart of Box Hill and while it may not stand tall against the top Vietnamese restaurants in Springvale or Richmond, for a decent Vietnamese meal around the Eastern Suburbs it’s one of the tastier options.

Their Pho soup base isn’t as strong as I would have liked, milder but I’d definitely prefer this as compared with Indochine, where I can’t understand it’s popularity. It’s not as clean tasting as some other Pho’s I’ve had either overall I’d say it’s above average.

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Their Bun Thit Nuong (Vietnamese Grilled Pork over Vermicelli Noodles), is quite fresh and tasty with the sauce poured all over it. I loved the tender pork and the crispy spring rolls that come with it. It isn’t a cold dish as you might think, as the vermicelli here has been just cooked along with the pork and spring rolls, so you get this mix of cold ingredients such as the sauce and fresh vegetables with the hot ingredients. I’d probably go back for this one actually.

Impressions

While Pho Huong Viet doesn’t reach the highs of other Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne, it’s also a bit difficult to find a great one around these parts of town. Though, I would say Pho 888 is the one to beat in Box Hill.

Pho Huong Viet on Urbanspoon

Straits of Malacca – Box Hill

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Straits of Malacca opened last year in Box Hill, in a place I never knew could even house another restaurant. Situated on the far eastern side of Box Hill Central, close to Station St and with entrances from Main St and Station St, it’s easily accessible. Straits of Malacca in Glen Waverley, didn’t overly impress me on my initial visit but you can definitely find a pretty good meal there.

The Box Hill outlet may not match Glen Waverley in terms of tastiness but it does come close. Their Indian Mee Goreng has all the ingredients for a great Mee Goreng and has a subtle tomato flavour to it but doesn’t overwhelm the dish with the other spices and sauce.

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Straits of Malacca’s Char Hor Fun (Wattan Hor) has that lovely “wok flavour” and aroma to it, with a milder tasting egg sauce but nonetheless it’s quite tasty.

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Their Nasi Pataya isn’t quite as good as Petaling Street in terms of their fried rice incased in the egg, but they also do it differently with the addition of a salad with crispy fish and crispy spring rolls. The egg wrap is also very thing (just how I like it) with enough sweet chilli sauce to bring it all together.

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Funnily enough, it was their Teh Ice that I enjoyed the most. It has the right amount of tea flavour but not overly sweet. How it should be!

Impressions

Straits of Malacca sprinkles a bit more of Malaysia into the Box Hill food scene, and although it seems many aren’t too taken by it. I find it to be overall quite decent in flavour, not as great as the Glen Waverley outlet but definitely not bad as its made out to be on Urbanspoon. Would dine again.

Straits of Malacca – Box Hill 

Straits of Malacca on Urbanspoon

Hanbat Korean Restaurant Box Hill

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Hanbat Korean Restaurant recently opened its doors in Box Hill, in the predominantly Korean side of town (on Bank Street). According to the owners, Hanbat is from a famous franchise in Korea. Only doors down you can find Yami Yami and Korean BBQ as well as a Korean grocery store and hairdresser. It seems like the Korean community is certainly growing in Box Hill, much to my liking!

I love Don-Udon‘s Jap Chae and that’s the standard I will uphold all other restaurants too. Here the Jap Chae just lacks that oomph in flavour, as well as being overly wet. It beats Crunch Box but no where near as delicious as Don-Udon.

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Their Pork Bulgogi isn’t too bad either, but again I find the flavour just lacking a tiny bit compared with the other Korean eateries around.

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Their Hot Stone Bibimbap adds numerous fresh ingredients, and with the chilli sauce gives it the much needed kick. My only negative is probably the egg being slightly overcooked.

DSC01354-1Hanbat’s Spicy Seafood and Tofu soup again isn’t my favourite, that award lies with By Korea in Richmond but taste wise it’s actually quite decent with the soft tofu and flavoursome soup base. Nothing to write home about but again I’d say a good dish.

Impressions

Overall, I wasn’t too impressed with the quality of the dishes served here. Which is unfortunate as you never want to dine at a place that disappoints and I want restaurants to succeed. However, it seems the food aren’t up to the standard of Yami Yami or Don-Udon in the area. I’m just hoping we were just unlucky and didn’t select their standout dishes.

 

Petaling Street Box Hill

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Petaling Street Box Hill re-opened its doors last year after what seemed like years when it unexpectedly shut down. Today, the venue seats quite a large number of customers and marks a return of the Malaysian cuisine to the Box Hill food scene. Box Hill now offers a range of choices from what seemed like years of only Madam Kwong’s, with Straits of Malacca also having opened its doors last year.

The Box Hill outlet serves the same menu options as its other Melbourne counterparts, but where it differs as you’d find with most outlets of the same name that the standard of the food varies.

Their Ipoh Hor Fun is one of those differences unfortunately. The soup base lacks depth in flavour but general blandness in taste.  I found myself in the situation where I needed to add soy sauce to the soup for taste. The chicken served also lacks flavour but at least it has a marinate. In most restaurants, the cut of chicken served would be a selection of cuts but mostly the tender and moist parts of the chicken with bones being mostly a small inconvenience. Maybe I’m just a bit lazy, but it’s something I often never seem to come across when I order a Ipoh Hor Fun.

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The Dry Curry Noodles (Chicken), at least has great curry flavour and sauce. It’s rich, slightly creamy but still a tad spicy and goes well with the noodles. My only con is for a tiny bit more curry sauce to flavour the noodles as well.

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As with the other Petaling Street restaurants, they also offer fish as a menu item. Steamed and Fried varieties. Their Steamed Fish was surprisingly decent, the sauce was flavourful, but the balance wasn’t quite perfect. The garnish of these fried pieces adds a bit of crunch and is most welcome.

Impressions
Overall, I found Petaling Street to be slightly underwhelming. The food standard here isn’t as high or as tasty as you may find in Glen Waverley but I only hope as time passes, it gets better with age.

Petaling Street on Urbanspoon

Petaling Street Box Hill
600 Station St
Box Hill VIC 3128

Movenpick Box Hill

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On Groupon we found an offer for discounted vouchers basically e.g spend $20, receive $30 worth so we thought it was a good incentive to give Movenpick in Box Hill a try. The Movenpick brand of Ice cream I believe originated from Switzerland and I recall the first time coming across a Movenpick store was in Harbour Town, Docklands. However, that store has since been closed and I never did get a chance to try their ice creams, however tempting it was.

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Now with the vouchers, we wanted something of a snack and so we ordered the waffles with chocolate flakes and syrup. One of my better experiences having waffles was in Theobroma Chocolate Lounge at Spencer St and those were beautifully crispy but so light and fluffy inside with the sweet, chocolately goodness on top. Unfortunately, the waffles made (?) here are soft and possible frozen and reheated or just not cooked long enough to give it a crunch. It is very soft and almost doughy, and if it didn’t have the amount of syrup and chocolate flakes I don’t think it would have gone down all that well to be honest.

The ice creams were also a little lacklustre, the Espresso Coffee one was actually quite nice with a strong coffee hit but it was extremely sweet. The Maple Walnut scoop on the other hand was just overall very average but I guess the plus was the walnuts as that added crunch however for what seems like a premium Ice creams store, the ice cream flavours that we ordered didn’t really leave a good impression at all and I don’t have that high of expectations for ice cream in general.

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The Green Tea Smoothie I found was actually very nice, sweet but the matcha flavour comes through exceptionally well. I quite enjoyed the smoothie but it is rich and very sweet.

Impressions

Unfortunately, I found Movenpick to be underwhelming and considering it is a dessert store, the desserts really weren’t that great all things considered and I’d probably even just go to a Wendy’s if I had to choose based on value for money. A bit of a shame.

Movenpick Boxhill on Urbanspoon

Movenpick Box Hill

Shop 53A
1 Main St Box Hill, VIC 3128
(Near the Commonwealth Bank Box Hill branch)

The Booth (via Menulog)

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I’ve always been wanting to try The Booth but have always seemed to pick another restaurant in Box Hill, either by familiarity or just routine. On this occasion though, having been offered by Menulog to try their online ordering services, I thought it’s the perfect opportunity to give it a try. Menulog is currently the number 1 Australian website for online take-away and with over 3,500 restaurants on the website around Australia, it certainly makes a name for itself.

My locality is in Blackburn so the restaurants offering pick up or delivery will vary. However, if you’re in the Blackburn area, you can check out the link to check out other restaurants using Menulog for convenient online ordering (Blackburn Take-away Restaurants). I find it’s a great away to find some restaurants that you may not have come across before, you visit Menulog and type in your suburb to check out the restaurants using Menulog in your area.

Menulog is convenient and very straight forward to use, and for those tied to their smartphones (like myself), there is an app you can use too for iOS and Android (Link). But of course, the website and even their mobile website work well and easy enough to just pick what you want and order.

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As you can see from the screenshots, delivery isn’t too much for the sake of convenience but restaurants also do offer pick up too. Once you’ve chosen and paid for, you can schedule it for a preferred delivery time (or pick up) or “now”. Then all you need to do wait for the SMS confirmation and either pick it up at the scheduled time or await delivery. Real simple.

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The Booth

The food arrived on time and we were even provided with complimentary drinks, which is a definite winner in terms of service I must say. The food overall was still hot and no microwaving necessary.

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 The Pan-Fried Pork dumplings were still hot and even a little crispy still, even with the steam softening some of it up as it would in a take-away container. The dumplings are probably one of the better ones I’ve tried in Box Hill, it has just enough filling and the pork, ginger flavour comes through well.

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The Black Pepper Beef Noodles is fantastic too, the meal comes in two with the noodles in one container and the black pepper beef and sauce in another, all you need to do is mix it together. If you love pepper and beef, this dish is for you. The black pepper here is so flavourful, and the amount of pepper gives it a very nice spicy pepper kick. Pleasantly surprised.

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The Spicy and Sour Noodle Soup may not be for everyone, it is an acquired taste but since I have some familiarity with the sour and spicy soup, I quite enjoyed it. It’s a bit difficult to describe but if you have tasted Chinese Hot/Spicy and Sour soup before you’ll instantly know this, and I believe the sourness comes from Chinese vinegar that they add. Tasty dish but I could do without the abundance of mushrooms.

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The Booth’s Sweet Soya Bean Curd with Mango, Sago & Coconut Milk is really wonderful. I would have preferred if it were a cold dessert as it was only slightly cold/room temperature but I guess I could always add ice to it or chill it for a few hours. The dessert is quite similar to a Tofu Fah/Dau Fu Fa in texture but with the Soy Bean curd isn’t as smooth as tofu is but alas with the coconut milk and mango, sago makes for a really tasty dessert. The creaminess of the coconut milk and the sweetness of the mango gives it life. Would definitely order this again.

Impressions

I’m very glad to have ordered from The Booth, from it’s great service and tasty food I think you can definitely rely on them for a great take-away night. Overall, I couldn’t really fault the dishes other than its generous use of oil. I recommend giving it a try in-restaurant or ordering from Menulog as if you’re local it’s only $5 to Blackburn which I found to be very reasonable, and the food at The Booth certainly won’t break the bank either.

The Booth on Urbanspoon

The Booth (Order via Menulog)
612 Station St
Box Hill VIC 3128