Having been up and down Whitehorse Road nearly everyday for a few years now, I’m still finding new places to try. Scarvelli Cafe is one of the many cafes on this long stretch of road but is located further down from the main hub in Balwyn. Scarvelli prides itself on the Paddock to Plate philosophy, sourcing fresh, seasonal produce from the owner’s farm on the Bellarine Peninsula at Swan Bay for their dishes. This exciting concept, combined with Industry Beans coffee makes for a very appealing visit to Scarvelli.
Dined courtesy of Scarvelli Cafe
Their Tassie Salmon with cous cous, tomatoes and grapefruit makes for a very tasty meal. The salmon is cooked well, and the acidity from the grapefruit adds this beautiful freshness to the entire dish. The crispy salmon skin is also a winner.
Probably the highlight for me was Scarvelli’s Braised Swan Bay Beef. The slow braised beef cheek has this amazing, bold beef flavour to it. The mushrooms, again, fragrant and complements the beef with the creamy parsnip puree. The Chilli Eggs and Ham is an interesting breakfast dish with a crumbed potato, sauerkraut and ham croquette and smashed peas. The chilli dressing reminds me of a chilli jam with some sweetness to it. The peas lacked a bit of flavour too. I do applaud them for keeping their menu varied though. Impressions The braised beef dish along with their strong, Tanzanian coffee makes for a very delicious trip down to Balwyn. It’s also quite a popular breakfast, brunch spot so please do keep that in mind if wanting to make a visit there. I will definitely make plans to try their other dishes and of course, order another coffee to go with it.
143 Whitehorse Road
Balwyn VIC 3103
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.
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!
RaRamen Box Hill
Box Hill Central
1 Main Street
Box Hill VIC 3128
Since holidaying in Japan, I had this urge to consume anything green tea or think about what foods I can add green tea to. I found this amazingly looking recipe by Namiko Chen from Just One Cookbook that I just had to try. I made a few tweaks and it came out quite nicely if I do say so myself. Not too buttery, and a lovely green tea aroma to it.
Makes: 36 cookies (60 small cookies)
Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
240g plain flour
20g green tea powder
150g unsalted butter, softened
120g icing sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 large egg yolks
60g chopped macadamias (or 60g white chocolate chips if prefer something sweeter)
1. Sift the plain flour and green tea powder in a medium sized bowl.
2. Beat the butter, icing sugar and salt until light and fluffy.
3. Add the two egg yolks and beat until combined.
4. In small batches, add the flour and green tea powder into the wet mixture until combined.
5. Evenly fold in the chopped macadamia nuts (or white chocolate chips).
6. Split the dough into two even sized portions and shape into cylinders.
7. Lay out cling wrap, about the size of chopping board, and place the dough on top.
8. Wrap the dough tightly, and if need be, wrap it in more cling wrap to give it a firm shape.
9. Place in the refrigerator for a two to three hours (or overnight). However, if pressed for time, you can pop it in the freezer for around 30 minutes until it has hardened but still able to cut.
10. Preheat oven to 150°C (300°F). Take out the dough from the fridge (or freezer) and remove the cling wrap. Slice the cookies to around 7mm thick or as preferred and place onto a baking tray, 3-4 cm apart.
11. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookie is slightly browned.
Initially I wanted to try Shizuku Ramen on Victoria Street, Richmond which is just next door. However, my poor eyesight lead me to Two Hands Bar which interestingly also serves Japanese cuisine. Their menu is a mixture of Western and Asian, also offering a breakfast menu for locals and workers in the area, burgers and also even Korean but in addition as the name suggests it’s a bar as well.
Their lunch menu comes with complimentary soft drink or seaweed soup. One of their menu items is their Teriyaki Chicken with rice. The chicken is tender and marinated nicely, and comes with potato salad and interestingly dressed shredded carrots. The seaweed soup has a lovely seaweed flavour that isn’t too bold, but I found it just a tad oily.
Another lunch item is their Deep Fried Chicken (Karage), the chicken is tender and crispy but requires the combination of mayo to accompany it to bring it all together. Otherwise, it’s particularly dry on its own with rice. As with the Teriyaki Chicken, it comes with the potato salad and carrots. Overall, it’s a decent deal with a drink.
Two Hands Bar doesn’t set the bar high with its food, however,it is quite decent. I haven’t yet tried their burgers, but will definitely try them sometime in the future just to see how they taste like.
Two Hands Bar
311A Victoria Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 Carrington Road
Box Hill VIC 3128