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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

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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

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Crown’s Kitchen Workshop is one of my favourite buffet restaurants in Melbourne for its affordable pricing and all-round good food. What makes it a winner for me is its range of offerings and their dessert selections.

What makes Kitchen Workshop attractive is its offerings of 300g of fresh iced prawns or half a dozen fresh oysters. You get a coupon/ticket when you enter and you redeem it at the seafood bar.

Their prawns might I add are pretty darn good, along with the nice seafood sauce you can grab, these prawns are fresh and nicely cooked. You could probably make a meal out of just these but of course you don’t come to Kitchen Workshop for just their seafood.

They have a mix of the usual Western and Asian dishes from pastas, to beef stews, Asian stir frys, and a selection of cooked meats. They also usually have one or two soups, the last time I went there I tried their Potato & Leek soup, and also their Tom Yum Soup. While the Leek soup was nice and creamy, their Tom Yum soup wasn’t as good as I hoped but seemed really popular anyway. The Roast Counter I find their meats to be a tad dry but with sauce it’s usually decent enough.

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Kitchen Workshop also has a Teppanyaki station where you can pick an assortment of vegetables and a protein, I think people usually go with pork and watch the chef cook you up something nice from your selection using their Teppanyaki grill. It’s usually extremely popular so get in quick when you see minimal people hovering around.

For those looking for a lighter meal, they have a salad bar with your selection of cold dishes and cheeses/meats. I’m not usually a fan of cold meals so I have no real comments on these but they do look desirable.

Okay, time to talk about their desserts. It’s slightly odd how all the desserts are right at the entrance but I’m digressing.    There are the usual treats, e.g tarts, cakes, custards and the like. Either fruit or chocolate, or both! They also have a chocolate fountain where you can dip strawberries or marshmallows.

I believe they also have some warm desserts, and pavlovas to boot but I can’t be certain because I usually go straight towards the one dessert.

The real star of the show, for me, is their self-serve soft-serve ice-cream machine. Phew, that was a bundle to say. However, my golly is it good. There are only two flavours, vanilla and chocolate (the chocolate being the more authentic tasting one) but you can also pick a variety of toppings, e.g syrups, sprinkles, m&ms, candies, you name it. I like it au naturale, and I could sit there all day eating just that. Probably not the healthiest thing to do, or even the cheapest option since McDonald’s do 30c Cones. Who needs cones anyway! However, it definitely is the greatest way to end a meal. Delicious.

Overall, Kitchen Workshop is pretty good value for money. It has a good range of foods and desserts plus service is usually very good (removing plates and providing drinks). I just checked their prices, it appears it may have gone up? $33.50 for dinner Fri-Sat/weekend lunch. I’m not too sure but still I’d recommend this over Conservatory any day. Unless you prefer more seafood, then go for broke at Conservatory, but be warned they have no soft-serve ice-cream there.

Kitchen Workshop on Urbanspoon

Kitchen Workshop

Ground Floor, Clarendon Street Entrance
8 Whiteman St
Crown Entertainment Complex
Melbourne VIC 3006

Opening hours
Lunch
Mon to Fri: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Sat: Midday – 2:30pm
Sun: Midday – 2:30pm

Dinner
Mon to Thur: 5:30pm – 9:30pm
Fri: 5:00pm – 9:30pm
Sat: 5:00pm – 10:30pm
Sun: 5:00pm – 9:30pm

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