Miss Saigon, a recent entry to the Box Hill food scene, adds to the growing list of Vietnamese eateries in this renowned Chinese food hub. Miss Saigon predominantly offers a wide selection of Pho options, where you can opt for a beef soup option with various beef toppings, and the same with the chicken soup base and chicken toppings but of course there’s always an option for a mix of beef and chicken. They also have Grilled Pork and Grilled Chicken with Pho for something a bit different.
While they only really do offer Pho for a main dish, they do also offer spring rolls (as you do) and rice paper rolls, and quite an extensive list of drink options such as my personal favourite Three Colours dessert/drink, as well as Vietnamese Coffee, Fresh Sugar Cane and Mango Smoothies.
Their Pho is served hot, unlike Indochine which is served very lukewarm. The beef and chicken soup bases aren’t particularly memorable but it has enough flavour to it.
I did quite like the Grilled Pork Pho, but it adds quite a bit of oil to the soup which makes it less appetising. The grilled pork though, had nice flavour.
The Three Colours drink is basically cendol (green jelly), red bean (bigger variety) and mung bean with ice and coconut milk. Refreshing and not too sweet.
While, Miss Saigon probably won’t win any awards for authenticity, the Pho is decent enough to be a satisfactory meal.
Shop 68B, 1 Main Street
Box Hill Central
Box Hill VIC 3128
Kim Sing opened its doors earlier this year under new management after Madam Kwan closed down. Their menu has been tweaked and a number of menu items have been removed from the menu, but Kim Sing still has a mixture of Malaysian/Chinese style dishes on offer and they advertise itself as Kim Sing, Truly Malaysian Delights. So expectations are high with that statement.
More often than not, I always try a new Malaysian restaurant’s Curry Laksa to see if they can trump Laksa King and Chef Lagenda. Kim Sing’s Laksa is a letdown, and substantially poorer quality than its predecessor. It has this watery, curry powder flavoured taste to it. A Curry Laksa it ain’t.
Their Char Kway Teow is served in a bowl, for some odd reason and with Madam Kwan’s logo still placed on all its crockery. It has that ‘wok’ flavour, so thank goodness for that but there are several oddities with this dish. It uses Char Siew (BBQ Pork) as its protein instead of Lap Cheong (Chinese Sausage). The prawns are tiny, and they don’t add in the deep fried Pork Lard but usually I can live without that. We also ordered it spicy, but no heat to it whatsoever. The substitution of Lap Cheong with Char Siew completely changes the taste of the Char Kway Teow. Very strange.
The Salt & Pepper Chicken Ribs with rice was actually quite nice. No chilli, which I think it needs to give it a bit of kick and depth of flavour but the chicken is crispy and still moist but they aren’t very generous with their fried capsicum and onion which I think is needed to give the chicken and rice much needed flavour. Decent but you can probably find better elsewhere in Box Hill.
Kim Sing unfortunately does not live up to its Truly Malaysian Delights statement. It serves quite frankly, mediocre dishes that are so disparate from traditional Malaysian dishes.
Shop 3, 1 Main Street
Box Hill VIC 3128
Indochine on Carrington Road is a popular eatery in Box Hill serving an array of authentic Vietnamese dishes. You might be surprised to know that there are quite a number of Vietnamese restaurants in Box Hill such as the recently renovated Pho Huong Viet, Tien Dat, Pho 888, Tan Tan and the new kid on the block, Miss Saigon. Having tried a majority of these, nothing seems to compare to what you may come across in the Vietnamese hubs like Springvale, Richmond or Footscray.
The pho at Indochine is a mixed bag, while the broth is one of the better ones in Box Hill, it’s served at such a lukewarm temperature that you’d rather have a slightly poorer tasting Pho than order this again.
Having been disappointed in the tomato rice dishes in Richmond, I finally found a great one. It’s on par with what I ordered in Springvale. The tomato rice is fried nicely, not too wet and not too dry and cooked with scrambled egg. The crispy chicken at Indochine is also pretty tasty, crispy skin and maybe just slightly over cooked chicken. Served with a slice of lemon and extra salt, which I find you won’t really need anyway.
Come to Indochine for their tasty Vietnamese food but maybe not for their pho.
51 Carrington Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
From the outside, Shanghai 1930‘s appearance can be a bit deceiving. However, once you enter its doors you’ll find that it has a lovely contemporary yet traditional aesthetic. Shanghai 1930 offers traditional Chinese cuisine, with Shanghai influences on the menu as well. Their menu has a variety of dumplings to choose from, and many chicken, beef, seafood and vegetarian options as well.
Their Crispy Noodles with Beef was actually quite tasty with tender beef. The sauce that it comes with, however, is quite strong, and leans on the salty side but nonetheless the combination of crispy noodles and beef and vegetables, is a winning combination.
Shanghai 1930 offer what they call “Grandma’s Secret Fried Rice”, and it’s apparent that it isn’t your typical fried rice. The use of chives and I believe spinach adds to the flavour of the fried rice, and it’s cooked with the traditionally used Chinese sausage.
If you ever walk past this restaurant, you may notice the image of these dumplings. These are the Steamed Shanghai Dumplings that are fried on the bottom with sesame seeds. The pastry (or dough) reminds me of the dough used in Pork Buns, but a bit thinner. The crispy bottom with the traditional pork and ginger filling is an amazingly tasty combination and I’m so glad I tried it.
Their soups you can order as one serve or for sharing. The Hot & Sour soup is what you’d expect, and has that lovely balance of heat and sourness, and just enough sweetness that nothing overwhelms the other. Yum.
While, Shanghai 1930 may not be one of the “cheap eats” in Box Hill, it certainly makes up for it with its delicious dishes on offer.
959 Whitehorse Road
Box Hill VIC 3128
In Box Hill, there’s actually quite a few Korean eateries to choose from and although Nene’s Chicken made it’s mark first in Box Hill for Korean Fried Chicken, impressions haven’t been that great. Gami, on the other hand, has a number of outlets across town and positively received among many so it’s nice to see make its way to the east.
Gami is located in the newly refurbished office building next to Box Hill Institute’s Whitehorse Campus. It’s quite a cozy little joint but with great natural lighting that comes through. Of course we had to try the fried chicken, and of course, we had to try the spicy variety.
I love the crispiness of the exterior, and the slightly sweet but mainly spicy coating is delicious. You’d probably best eat these at a quicker pace as the sauce tends to soften the crispy chicken a bit but it’s still enjoyable nonetheless.
The Soy Garlic variety, is a great complement to the spicy option. Having one spicy and then a sweeter one balances it out. The chicken was also well cooked, not dry and still tender inside.
All Fried Chicken comes with Cabbage Salad and Pickled Radish. The tomato mayo dressing is interesting.
We were recommended to try their Potato Heaven, which is basically mash potato plus cheese, sour cream and wedges and with sweet chilli sauce drizzled on top. I must say, this is so addictive, you can’t stop at one mouthful. So incredibly rich, but so tasty.
You also can’t go wrong with their G Beer Pale Ale (Gun:Bae), which is exclusive to Gami. The “hoppy” ness and fruitiness reminded me of Hoegaarden a bit, but don’t take my word for it. I don’t actually know my beers that well!
Gami, Korean Fried Chicken done right.
Gami Box Hill
Shop 1, 990 Whitehorse Road,
Box Hill VIC 3128