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Box Hill Korean BBQ is near the hub of Box Hill. You may notice there are a couple of Korean grocery stores and restaurants in Box Hill probably to the small but sizeable Korean community around these parts. I love Korean food, because it’s slightly familiar to the South East and Japanese and yet still different and new.

In the image above, I mistakenly ordered an entree which I thought was a full meal. This dish is called Tteokbokki/dukboki/topokki which is basically these rice cake strips which look like noodles stir fried in a (usually) spicy sauce with carrots and onions. What I like about it is that it’s actually quite filling because it’s rice cakes and these “noodles” are dense and have a bit of chewiness to it. Here, there is minimal sauce but it’s very spicy and concentrated. Although it’s an entree it’s filling but as it is the same price as a normal regular lunch dish, I don’t think it’s worth it. You can also easily make this by yourself, all you need is to go to a Korean grocery store (there is one nearby) buy a fresh packet of the noodles and a packet of the sauce and stir fry it. Very easy.

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The beef stir fry with salad and rice dish is similar to a bento and comes with the standard Korean condiments like kimchi and seasoned bean sprouts. The beef is sweetly seasoned but still has a bit of saltiness to it, the carrots, onions, capsicums and bean sprouts add a much needed freshness to the dish. It’s nice, but nothing special.

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The chicken stir fry is similar to the beef dish, sweet and not enough saltiness or spiciness. Chicken was also a tad overcooked, it doesn’t leave a lasting impression. Dae Jang Geum does these dishes much better. The miso soup also came out lukewarm to almost cold. Very disappointing

Impressions

We were left disappointed with the meals we had after having really great food at Dae Jang Geum. The service here is also bare minimum, and took at least 15 minutes to receive our food that was a bit cold. Hmm. The complementary sides with the two rice dishes are also very small and unlike the Dae Jang Geum which is generous. Maybe the dinner or BBQ is better? I don’t know, but I’m not enthused to try it again.

Box Hill Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon

Box Hill Korean BBQ
1 Bank St
Box Hill VIC 3128

 

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Brandy Creek Wines & View Cafe have been on many travel Melbourne shows for it’s pleasant scenery and of course, good food.

It has been shown on Postcards, a Melbourne TV travel and food show,  a while back and I couldn’t catch it’s name. So I searched endlessly and gave up eventually. However, maybe a year or two later it was shown on Coxy’s Big Break, but I missed the name again. For some reason, I just ended up searching ‘Victoria Paella’ and Brandy Creek Wines shows up at the top.

Curious enough, I looked to see what they had, and the Paella Feast piqued my interest. We also had my parent’s anniversary coming up, so it was good timing.

Located in Drouin East, near Warragul, their Paella Feasts are quite an attraction. With 6 large bowls of 5 different styles of Paella, and one cazuella. You definitely get your monies worth here.

IMG_5529Outside you can see their beautiful vineyard. Although it was drizzling that day, it was nonetheless a pleasant viewing experience.

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IMG_5521With their Paella Feasts, you are provided a selection of tapas. The golden brown potato tapas (Obvious I don’t know much about Spanish food isn’t it?) was fantastic. This was preapared by Head Chef Courtney Websdale.

IMG_5522Nice fresh bread to go along with the tapas.

IMG_5547Now for the main meal…IMG_5546This particular paella was made for Vegetarians. However, that’s not to say it was in anyway inferior. It didn’t need any meat to make it taste good. With all these fresh vegetables cooked with a tasty stock and nicely cooked rice, what could go wrong?

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This Paella is a Photographer’s delight. Also a Pork lover’s delight too, might I add. Their Paella Cerdo y Conejo is a mix of succulent pork, rabbit and apple Paella, topped with amazingly crunchy crackling pork. I have nothing else to say about this one, it was fantastic, and also the first time I’ve eaten rabbit, which had a great flavour to it.

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The Paella Machega is cooked with beef, mushroom, quail and egg. The beef was very tender and I can’t really fault it.

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The Chicken & Chorizo Cazuella was probably my favourite one. Funnily enough, it isn’t a paella but tasted great nonetheless.

This had tender chicken, and spicy chorizo with saffron rice. The slightly salted chorizo combined with the tomato based sauced, it just appeals to the inner Italian in me.

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The Paella de Marisco aka Seafood Paella, had all the great makings of a great seafood paella. Jam packed with fish, prawns, mussels, claims, calamari and baby octopus. It definitely was a seafood lover’s dish. For me it had an overpowering mussel flavour, only because I made my Seafood Risotto not long before this and that was packed full of mussels. So I definitely had my mussel fix by then, and of course I could only notice the mussel flavour here so although it wasn’t something I would go back for that day. I can’t ignore that it was well cooked and had great flavours to boot.

IMG_5560My selection of paella from the 6 dishes.

IMG_5564You also get a choice of three desserts. Since there were three of us, we managed to try them all!

This ice-cream was smooth and crunchy (from the honeycomb) and had a great caramel flavour to it. Delicious

IMG_5567These Spanish doughnuts can be found in a couple of Melbourne eateries now adays, and these crunchy little things were quite tasty I must admit. The chocolate sauce wasn’t too sweet like you can find in Spanish Doughnuts Churros franchises, and these churros have a higher crispy to dough ratio (because they are thinner) but it was really good.

IMG_5569This was probably my favourite dessert. Yes yes it’s just a panna cotta, but it was an (If I can recall correctly) an Vanilla  Panna Cotta, with Candied Walnuts and an Orange sauce. It was simply silky smooth and tasted amazing.

IMG_5570Along with your desserts you get to sample their in-house liquers. They definitely go well with their desserts and I had to unfortunately lay the responsibility of designated driver onto my mother because who can resist free tastings of liquers.

IMG_5579To top it off you can order coffee or tea to end your fantastic meal.

Although their Paella Feasts are probably more on the pricey end, a great selection of paella (which you can go back for seconds or thirds, or even takeaway some too!), dessert, tapas, samples of their alcohol and warm drink to complete your meal. It definitely is worth it.

You will need to book for these as there are limited seats (I believe it houses 100) each weekend and they fill up quickly!

Also be warned, you will be satisfied.

Brandy Creek Wines & View Cafe on Urbanspoon

Brandy Creek Wines & View Cafe

570 Buln Buln Rd
Drouin East, 3818
(03) 5625 4498

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Koko at Crown serves beautiful Japanese cuisine. Located a few floors above the famous Crown water fountains, and the Conservatory buffet restaurant. Koko would be considered slightly pricey but you definitely get your monies worth. Well we did anyway.

DSC00355Their restaurant has a small water feature in the middle of the restaurant, surrounded by the Teppanyaki grills and tables.  We ordered their set Teppanyaki Lunch set menus, but you can also order a la carte, and for dinner there is a different albeit more expensive teppanyaki sets’ for everyone to choose from. We ordered the Seafood,  and Beef sets and you are welcomed by the lovely staff and also greeted by the chef who will be cooking your meal. A lovely touch!

Each lunch set comes with appetisers and sashimi to start.

DSC00359The special set comes with a warm egg pudding like entree. It was quite nice actually.

DSC00360The vegetable tempura had a lovely thin but crispy batter, with the flavours of the vegetables still shining through.

DSC00361We are also served miso soup, rice and then the real fire starts! I don’t know why I never took pictures of the actual chef cooking our meals but do have an image of the end result.

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The three of us shared our sets so we could try a bit of everything. The beef was so soft and delicate, and packed full of flavour. The potatoes, mushrooms,  spinach and bean sprouts all were delicious. I was definitely satisfied and full after all that.

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Last but not least was the Green Tea ice-cream and that is always a winner for me.

Koko at Crown is definitely a great place to eat, I probably couldn’t afford to dine there regularly but it definitely will be on my list of great Melbourne restaurants to celebrate a special occassion. Great food, great atmosphere and great service.

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Koko at Crown
Crown Towers
8 Whiteman St
Southbank, 3006
(03) 9292 6886

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