Monday, December 31, 2012

Gong Cha

Gong Cha on Urbanspoon

Food Republik by Katherine

Food Republik is a Malaysian/Singaporian hawker style market in Box Hill. It is here that Sally and I both visited. We had both got off the train and were starving. There was such a ridiculously long queue and we had to queue for about ten minutes. We got there at about 12:15pmish .
Whilst waiting we got to watch them make dumplings and this made me drool. I really wanted them after all.
There is limited seating at that place.
But when we did get in the door we were given a menu and we had to share a table with randoms which we don't always like.
The service was abmissal at least. The wait staff were all intent on talking to each other rather than serving customers. We had to choose what we want and write it down on a ticket. We had incorrectly chosen a few items which were not available at the time and we got reprimanded by the waitress.
When our pork dumplings didn't come for a while we had to flag down a waitress a few times.
I loved the setup of this though. Cute and funky.
They do takeaway.
The lighting here is really bad and our camera doesn't capture lighting well. But yes this is supposed to read "Food Republik".

We ordered four dishes to share:
1) Xiao long bao -$5.80 for four. It was so juicy. It was sally's favourite dish.
2) Jelly fish- $5.90. This was so bland and it had no chilli in it which we found strange. No salt in it as well. Not going to order this again.
3)Stir fried udon- $9.50- This was my favourite and it was the star of the meal. The beef was really tender and the noodles were flavoursome.
4) Pork bun- $5.20. It came really late why? It came 10 minutes after all the other dishes arrived and we were really full. It was so slippery when it is meant to be pan fried. It was a little bit bland and there was not enough meat in this. I expected more.
In the end we didn't finish this dish.

With the food being sub par at most I really don't know why there was such a big queue to get in the door. Maybe next time (and thats if I do come back) I might just try the rice meals and the bentos as they looked really attractive. Maybe they were just having a bad day after all?
Food Republik on Urbanspoon

Mister Dorayaki

Mister Dorayaki is a place in Box Hill that does the traditional Japanese pancakes.
Here you can buy one for $2.90 or a combo for $6 or $7 which includes a drink.
They are near the Box Hill station so takeaway was easy for me to grab. Hence this is a really short review.
I got one Dorayaki for $2.90. It was a custard one which was really filling. But it was way too small for that price. After seeing the ones at the Chinatown market I expected bigger.
I might just be back for a return visit this time for the combo.

Mister Dorayaki on Urbanspoon

Movenpick by Katherine

Movenpick is a place that has been raved about for some time now. There used to be one in Docklands but they closed due to low numbers visiting.

But the good news is that they have opened another one in Box Hill. So a few hours after lunch Sally and I met up with another friend at Movenpick.

Now Movenpick doesn't have any bathrooms- they are inside Centro shopping centre.

But it is here that you can choose what sort of flavours that you like as Movenpick has many.

There isn't a lot of table service but there are some helpful staff members at the front counter that can assist you in decision making.

Movenpick is a brand of ice cream from Europe and Asia. Seeing as they are European I have high expectations of them and they did not disappoint.

At 3pm it was not busy and there are plenty of seating inside and out.

We had the endless fondue ($21.95) and my friend got an iced coffee ($4.50 for such a big glass). Extra stuff for the fondue is about $5. I also had an iced tea ($4.50)

The iced tea came in a big martini glass which I thought was cute. I loved it today

We all loved the fondue and agreed that the fondue is much better value than the one at Max brenners. For $18 at Max's it doesn't have a lot of things to it. In fact most of the things are dried or really hard.

Where as in here we had heaps of fun with this. Here they had yummy creme brulee ice cream and lovely raspberry sorbet. The waffle was a little bit dry but the fruits and ice cream made up for it. The fruits were fresh.
I loved the marshmellows in this. Lovely and they melt in your mouth where as the ones at Max brenners are store bought and really dry.

My friend didn't like his coffee that much. It was a little bit strong for him.

Now why can't the west have a Movenpick like the East do? Why do we always have these crappy chocolate places. Please please have a Movenpick in Highpoint rather than the ever so expensive Max Brenners. Oh and the ever so expensive San Churros. People would appreciate this. I will return someday to this place.
Movenpick Boxhill on Urbanspoon

Hogs Breath Cafe by Katherine

The team at Newintstudents blog (Sally and I) went to see Les Miserables in Highpoint. We both arrived at 12:30pm and wanted to see the 2pm session. Hence we couldn't go far for lunch.

So that left us with Hogs Breath cafe. When I read on Urbanspoon that Hogs breath cafe had a 45% rating on it, I thought "Wow can it be that BAD? Seriously?" I also read the other people's blogs as well and thought that the place itself wasn't all that good.

Well it turns out that I was wrong about the place. The place was clean. Yes there was loud music. And no the place wasn't that busy.

But the wait staff were really friendly. One of them asked how our meal went which was good. This is what I'd love to see more of happening in cafes.

Here they mainly do American food, but they also do mocktails and alcoholic drinks. In that respect they are just another TGI Fridays.

They also had some $9.90 weekday specials which we did not know about as it was "cleverly hidden away".  

Here we both had burgers and lemonade. I had the barra burger ($13.50) which came with hog tail fries and Sally had a beef burger which also came with hog tail fries. Sally thought that her burger was just ok but to me the beef patty looked a little overcooked. I didn't think she really enjoyed it.

We both agreed the hog tail fries were a little bit bland and we needed the Tabasco sauce to give them a little more flavour. Some flavour on them would have been good.

The fish in my burger wasn't too bad but it could have been better. My burger was really hard to cut. I didn't like the lemon wedge squashed in the burger. It was messy to eat. I would have liked it on the side.

The lettuce was just ok though. :(

And what's with giving us a second knife poked into our burgers when there was one on the table?

Well I guess this is just another TGI Fridays place with not much thought given in the food itself. I did love the concept of hog tail fries but this could have been executed better.
I hope that management reads this and hopefully will improve most of their foods and stuff or otherwise like TGI Fridays it will go downhill.
Myself and Sally might just give you another chance someday.
Hog's Breath Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Exploring Box Hill by Katherine

Exploring Box Hill was really fun the other day.
I went by tram and it was an hour from the city. It is in zone 1/2
I got try out many food stuffs, stuff I didn't know it existed.
Here are all the pictures.

Dorayaki is a Japanese pancake and it is here that they sell these

$2 per kg for watermelon! That's cheap! The city has them for like $3-$4

Look how cheap these vegetables are

Oh wow they even have Chinese vegetables for $1. In the city we pay about $2 for these

1 for $1.69! That's cheap. Normally to buy these in the city is about $3-$4.

I got to try some of these samples and these are really good. I loved the pork skins and the ears. I also loved the curried vegetables. I wish that the city stores had lots of samples for us to try.

Unlike some of the city shops, in here we got to watch the cooks make dumplings.

I can't believe how cheap these shoes are! In the city and the western side (except Sunshine) we don't have things like this. Hence I took a shot of this.

Free newspapers for all

Chinese new year goodies are on sale now.

I didn't know that a pet daycare existed. This is the first time I have heard of such a concept. There isn't one in the city or in the West.

They don't have much fashion shops there, but they make up for it with all the foodie places.

There isn't much in terms of Entertainment either. All the entertainment things such as cinemas are in Doncaster which is an easy bus ride away.

They do have housing and a lot of Asians live here. Many of my friends said that Box Hill is a great area to live in.
But the only downside to this is the public transport and the travel time to uni which is 30-60 mins on tram or by train. There have also been a few assaults here too so just beware


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