Yokozuna located in Chadstone Shopping Centre is a Japanese eatery specialising in ramen. Yokozuna has a few different flavoured broths to choose from to go with your ramen such as Tonkotsu, Red Ramen, Vegetable Ramen, and they even had a Black Sesame flavoured broth as an option too. While, Yokozuna specialise in ramen, they also offer bento boxes, rice and udon dishes as well so there’s plenty to choose from.
The Spicy “Red Ramen” with Pork had a lovely spicy broth. You can’t choose how your noodles are cooked unfortunately and the noodles weren’t nearly enough for the price charged.
Fried Chicken Ramen with sauce (Karaage) had a lovely flavour to it. However, when they first gave us this dish the chicken was to the point of being burnt. While they did replace it with a new batch, that was tender and moist. It’s disappointing that they tried to give us burnt chicken in the first place.
The Black Ramen is ramen with a black sesame flavoured broth, it has a slight sweetness to it with the aroma and taste of toasted black sesames. Interesting flavour, but one I probably couldn’t eat the whole thing of as I found it oddly rich.
The Matcha Latte is frothy, but overly milky, not enough green tea flavour and not smooth at all as you can taste the green tea powder while drinking it.
Yokozuna is unfortunately quite mediocre in all aspects. While there are some positives, there are plenty of better choices for ramen in Melbourne and better choices for food in Chadstone Shopping Centre as well.
Chadstone Shopping Centre, Upper Level
1341 Dandenong Road
Malvern East VIC 3148
PappaRich is practically everywhere in Melbourne, and interestingly their Doncaster outlet is located in a separate building and not part of a shopping centre or shopping strip. It’s a spacious area but bustling during the weekends. If you had never been to a PappaRich before, they basically offer a wide selection of Malaysian rice, noodle and roti dishes along with a an almost innumerable amount of drinks to choose from.
PappaRich’s Chicken Curry Laksa is one of the better laksa’s around town, but still the ones to beat are Chef Lagenda and Laksa King. It’s just creamy enough, with the right amount of chilli and spices. With a hint of mint to freshen it up.
Their Red Chicken Briyani with Fried Eggplant is a dish you wouldn’t often come across as it leans towards the more Indian/Malaysian style of cooking unlike most Malaysian restaurants which are more Chinese influenced.
I love Briyani and the rice here has that lovely spices infused into the rice, but I detest sultanas in dishes so I very rarely (read: never) order this. Comes with a crispy thin pappadam too!
Doncaster outlet doesn’t stray too far from the standard set by Chadstone or Glen Waverley so it’s nice to have one on the eastern side of town.
540 Doncaster Road
Doncaster VIC 3108
Gyoza Gyoza in Chadstone Shopping Centre is the sister outlet to the CBD store. It distinguishes itself by being more of a tapas style Japanese eatery with small little dishes, with a number of gyoza fillings to choose from and a selection of drinks as well.
While gyoza is its specialty, the other selection of dishes aren’t left behind in terms of quality. The Hot Soba noodles soup has a very clean tasting soup stock, and simply tastes fresh with the added spring onions. Subtle flavour, but has all the right elements for a nice noodle soup.
The Fried Chicken (Tori Karage) isn’t too memorable. It’s crisp-crunchy but its very dry on its own, so the Japanese mayonnaise is much needed.
The Crab claws are crunchy, not too fried and have a nice moist crab filling. It isn’t anything special, I quite prefer the crab claws in Waya in Glen Waverley just for the crab taste but it’s actually very similar.
Mince garlic and pork Gyoza has a lovely taste to it. Subtlety of the garlic and pork flavour work well.
The Wagyu and red onion is an interesting idea but in terms of flavour, it comes out quite bland. Not a big fan of it but it isn’t a disaster by any means.
While the food at Gyoza Gyoza is fairly decent, service wise it isn’t anything special and the small venue I feel detracts from the whole ambience.
Chadstone Shopping Centre
Upper Level, 1341 Dandenong Road
Chadstone VIC 3148
I never actually got a chance to visit La Belle Miette on Hardware Lane in the city since my work place is so far out. Luckily, they had a pop-up store in Chadstone Shopping Centre before Christmas. I believe it’s still there but I’m unsure as I haven’t ventured to Chadstone SC for a few months.
I’ve heard good reviews about their macarons so it seemed like a great opportunity to give these ones a try. At the pop-up store, they had quite a number of flavours, I think around 15. Some of your standard like Vanilla and Hazelnut but some very interesting ones which you’ll see below.
Here we have the Raspberry flavoured macaron, it was pleasant tasting as it had a slight tanginess to the filling with a crispy and soft inside. Nothing too out of the ordinary though. Luxbites Raspberry macaron I felt was way more flavourful and had a very nice zing (probably due to the fresh raspberries).
Here’s where it gets interesting, La Belle Miette’s Bastille has a Moet et Chandon and Blackcurrant filling which was absolutely delicious. You can really taste the champagne in the cream, and my golly do I love it. The blackcurrant jelly adds texture and berry sweetness which is delightful to eat.
La Belle Miette calls this one the Mariage Freres Earl Grey Chocolate and the tea flavour is strong in this one. If you like that slightly musty tea leaves taste (Earl Grey basically) you will definitely like this one. The chocolate isn’t too sweetness, I think they use dark chocolate or a higher percentage cocoa which in my opinion is preferable. I never really like milk chocolate all that much.
For something a little more tropical, they have a Mango and Coconut macaron, I found the mango tasted a bit artificial but I would think they would use real mangos to make the filling. So I’m not sure why it tasted a a bit off. This coconut flavour was quite nice, it complements the mango well. A tad pina colada so it’s not really to my liking.
While I was tasting this I was like what am I eating? Several minutes later, ding! POMEGRANATE. They call this Pimm’s & Pomegranate and I don’t really know what to think of it. It certainly isn’t too sweet, it has that fruity flavour but over than that I wasn’t too overly excited by it.
I say La Belle Miette macarons are one of the better ones around. I do really enjoy the variety of macarons and that Moet macaron, although is pricier then the rest is one of my favourite macarons ever. Give them a try because they are bite sized punches of flavour.
La Belle Miette
30 Hardware Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
Chadstone Shopping Centre
Malvern East VIC 3145 (Next to Seed/Sass & Bide)
PappaRich QV was the first franchise to open in Victoria before the Chadstone and Doncaster stores and since its opening earlier this year. I avoided the restaurant for months because usually the curiosity factor is high and the management work out the kinks of the service and etc. Even after many months, the QV store is extremely popular.
We ordered the Ipoh Hor Fun with Prawns & Chicken Strips, and it was quite pleasant tasting. The soup was seasoned well, and with the large chillies and chicken pieces, it all came together nicely.
Their Roti Canai with Curry Chicken is a departure from the usual Roti Canai’s you would find elsewhere or from those frozen packets in Asian Groceries. What makes it so different is that the Roti here is extremely dry, but crisp and crunchy nonetheless. The ones you would find in most other Malaysian restaurants are layered, oiled and although crisp on the outside, it would be soft and pull-apart inside.
The Curry Chicken accompaniment was reasonably tasty, but with the chicken being all bones and skin it was a tad disappointing. The Dahl is surprisingly good, but nothing really out of the ordinary from what you may find in ChilliPadi Mamak in Flemington.
The real highlight of this dish is the sambal, as I mentioned in the Chadstone review, it has all the right things. A bit sweet and a huge kick of heat. Probably could eat that all day.
Their drinks menu is extensive with a lot of variety, we ordered the Soya Bean with Grass Jelly and it was extremely delicious. Not too sweet, and just the right amount of creaminess. Would order again!
Their Iced Red Bean drink was also quite nice, with their sugared Red Beans at the bottom with shaved ice. Not overly sweet but still sweet enough for those sweet tooths.
Service here was decent, food came quick enough. My main issue here is that when we requested for some extra sambal, they wanted $3 for basically one spoonful. I’m not sure if this is consistent with the Chadstone and Doncaster stores, but when we did ask fore more sambal in Chadstone, and we were not asked to pay for it. We did mention this to the staff at the counter when paying, and he said that this was something the management from the PappaRich franchisor have decided upon.
Can’t say I’m that impressed with this decision to be honest. Not the best way to treat your customers when you start micro-charging them. Alas, can’t do anything about it though. Will see if Chadstone have started charging next time we visit. Would I go back to PappaRich QV? Maybe not. We didn’t have the best experience here, the food was a slight letdown, definitely less tasty compared with Chadstone. Plus there are plenty of Malaysian restaurants to choose from in the city.
Level 2, Shop 11, QV Square
210 Lonsdale Street