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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Every time go have Yum Cha, I have to order Lo Bak Go (Turnip Cake). It’s been a favourite of mine ever since I was young . Since I seldom have Yum Cha now, I thought what a perfect opportunity to make my favourite Yum Cha dish. I have found a lovely recipe from Saucy Spatula that has amazing Cantonese/Hong Kong recipes which I’ve tweaked slightly to my liking.
Preparation time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour 50 mins
Total time: 2 hours 30 mins
1 3/4 cup of rice flour
1.5 kg of daikon, finely grated
3 tbsp of dried shrimp, diced
1 cup, 4 small Chinese sausages, diced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce
1 cup daikon liquid/water
1. Soak the dried shrimp in warm water for about 10 minutes or until soften, then discard the water and dice.
2. Dice the Chinese sausage.
3. Wash, and cut both ends of the daikon, then peel.
4. Finely grate the daikons.
5. Cook the Chinese sausage then toss in the dried shrimp, stir-fry for about 10 minutes until golden brown and set aside.
6. In a large wok, add in the grated daikon and fry for around 20 minutes and drain off as much liquid as possible and save it for later use. If your daikon does not release much liquid, top it up with water.
7. Combine the rice flour, black pepper, white pepper, sugar, salt and soy sauce with the saved liquid/water until the flour is dissolved and all other ingredients are well mixed together.
8. Add in the Chinese sausage and dried shrimp to the daikon and mix well.
9. Add in the rice flour mixture to the daikon batter and keep stirring to combine. After the daikon batter is mixed, the mixture should be “doughy” and dense.
10. Steam the batter for an hour in a heat-proof container. Make sure that it can fit in a wok with the lid on.
11. After an hour, the Turnip Cake is done. Let it cool and the cake will become more firm.
12. Place in the fridge overnight. To cook, make 1.5 cm slices and pan-fry until golden brown on both sides.
Eating at Gami is best with those to share the meal with. With its appeal of Korean Fried Chicken and Beer, it can make for a tasty evening meal. Now with 3 locations in the CBD, and another in St Kilda, it’s great environment just to relax and have some Korean food with a few drinks.
Gami have 4 options to choose from their Fried Chicken menu, Original, Sweet Chilli, Soy Garlic and Spicy. If you’ve never tried the spicy chicken here, be warned it packs a huge punch. I love a bit of spiciness but I couldn’t take more than a few pieces!
Their original chicken flavour is my preferred option to be honest, it’s crispy, with a bit of sweetness and tender. The spicy version lacks the crispiness of the original due to the sauce its coated with.
Other than Fried Chicken, Gami also has a few other menu options such as Kimchi Pancake, Spicy Seafood Soup, and Tteok Bok Ki (Toppoki) which we ordered. Toppoki is usually spicy and here is no exception, but with the noodles in the dish, the sauce no longer overwhelms the rice cakes. Probably one of the better Toppoki’s in Melbourne that I’ve tried.
I wouldn’t say their Fried Chicken is the greatest I’ve ever had, but it’s tender, crispy and with enough flavour and goes down well with a beer! What more could you ask for really.
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.
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.
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.
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