Shophouse Kitchen

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Shophouse Kitchen in QV, Melbourne is one of the many new Hong Kong restaurants that have been popping up around Melbourne in recent times. What makes Hong Kong cuisine stand apart from either Taiwanese or Chinese dishes is their fusion of Western and Eastern such as eating a pork cutlet with rice or spaghetti but Hong Kong cuisine of course still retains the Chinese influence and has many Chinese dishes without Western influences.

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This dish is not one of those distinctly Chinese dishes, instead this dish is called a Baked Chicken Chop on Rice. This dish is basically Fried Rice topped with a cheese and tomato sauce bake with a Crumbed Chicken Chop. You can also order this with a creamy sauce, akin to that of a Alfredo sauce or creamy garlic sauce. You can instantly tell this is Hong Kong style food, and the fusion here actually works well. The Fried Rice flavour is quite muted, which allows the flavour from the tomato sauce and cheese to come through. The generous serving of chicken is crisp and moist which is the centrepiece of the dish. Overall, I liked it but I didn’t love it.

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Here we have the Grilled Chicken Chop Rice Set served with blanched bok choy, a fried egg and white rice dressed with soy sauce. I found the grilled chicken here to be overcooked, and over charred which is unfortunate. The lack of sauce also is a disappointment as with dry meat, almost dry veggies and egg lacking in any sauce as well, it makes for a poor dish as a whole with nothing to gel everything together.

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 The Fried Chicken Chop Fried Rice dish is as the name suggests, Crispy fried chicken with veggies and served with Fried Rice. Again the Fried Rice lacks flavour and here would be a downside to the dish as there is nothing that really defines the fried rice here with steamed white rice. On the plus side, the crispy chicken was moist and yet extra crispy with plenty of seasoning.

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On the dessert side of things, I was intrigued by the Signature Durian Tofu Pudding but was sorely disappointed by the end result. You can instantly tell from the first mouthful that the durian here is just flavouring and not real/pureed durian to provide the flavour. The durian extract or flavouring here was used sparingly and it’s almost just a pudding with a hint of durian.

Impressions

Although the impression you may have here is that the dishes aren’t fantastic,  I would say it’s only the Western/fusion style dishes that come up a bit short as they are not either exceptional Western dishes nor are they tasty Chinese dishes. On the other hand, the more Chinese styled dishes such as their BBQ Pork and Fried Wonton (Dry La Mian Noodles) or their Asian Roast on Rice are tasty without question and would actually come back for.

Shophouse Kitchen ??? on Urbanspoon

Shophouse Kitchen
Shop 29, 210 Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 03000
Inside QV Square

Cafe Soho

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Cafe Soho on Kingsway, Glen Waverley is a Hong Kong style restaurant that replaced the Italian styled cafe before it. I recall there being another Hong Kong eatery on Kingsway before Petaling Street took its place and I actually was kinda fond of that restaurant. Cafe Soho is quite similar in its cuisine but definitely has a larger more diverse menu.

The image on top is a very Western meets Chinese, with its fried chicken and a creamy tomato based sauce with sunny side up egg and salad. The chicken is nice and crispy, tender inside. I found the sauce to be a bit bland, not much seasoning (it definitely needs pepper or chilli flakes) and it tastes a bit odd with rice. I guess some people may be used to this kind of cuisine but it still feels kind of strange.

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Their vermicelli noodle soup with mushrooms and pork is a pleasant dish albeit a bit oily as you can see by its sheen. Sometimes hot noodle soup is just great on a cold winters day. Nothing too exciting to see here, to be perfectly honest.

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Also ordered the Sweet and Sour Pork with rice. I believe they deep fry the pork before stir frying which gives it a nice crispy bite to it. The sauce lacked the sourness from the tomatoes, and I felt was a bit too sweet. The larger meat pieces works well here, as opposed to Grand Tofu’s version but I actually do prefer Grand Tofu’s Sweet and Sour Pork even though their meat to skin/flour ratio is low, and sometimes there is an airiness to the meat (balls) that isn’t too appealing. A decent meal.

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Hong Kong styled Milk Tea is a bit different to Malaysian Milk Tea or the Bubble Teas as it uses evaporated milk instead of condensed (Malaysian) so you have this tangy, slightly bitter but still retaining some sweetness drink. Here, it’s done well and it comes in a nice cup and saucer. I actually had to add a bit of sugar because it wasn’t all that sweet. A nice drink.

Impressions

Cafe Soho I feel is a bit hit or miss with what you order, nothing here is offensively bad but I feel nothing really stands out and I’ve been here a couple of times and I don’t even remember what I’ve ordered. It doesn’t leave a lasting impression but will be sufficient enough to fill you up. Overall I’d say its a bit bland and wouldn’t go out of my way to eat here but as an option I wouldn’t mind going back. It has a disastrous rating on Urbanspoon though, so I guess diner beware?

Cafe Soho on Urbanspoon

Cafe Soho

113-115 Kingsway
Glen Waverley VIC 3150