Shanghai Street is famously known for their Xiao Long Bao. It’s one of the very popular eateries in Chinatown. While Shanghai Street is known for their Xiao Long Bao, their menu is extensive with a variety of Dim Sum offerings, dumplings, wontons, noodles, rice dishes and soups as well.
Their Xiao Long Bao has an incredibly tasty filling. It’s similar to that off a traditional Chinese dumpling, with the subtle taste of ginger. However, the bun is likened to that of a BBQ Pork Bun, which is light and fluffy. The combination is great, juicy pork filling with the fluffy exterior. Winner.
Shanghai Street’s fried rice is also very good. It has this very salty taste to but it’s very flavourful.
The Pork & Prawn Dumplings with a peanut and sesame sauce is quite interesting. A different combination that I’m used to and not entirely sure I like the mix of peanut sauce with dumplings. To be honest, I’d just have the dumplings with the standard vinegar/chilli oil instead. The filling was pretty good though, as it usually is with pork and prawns.
Shanghai Street excel in dumplings and they’ll have me as a returning customer.
146 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
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
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
Shizuku on Victoria St, is another Ramen place making its mark in Melbourne and spreading out from the CBD. While ramen is their specialty, it also prides itself on the craft beer offerings, with of course, a large range of Japanese beers, local and worldwide varieties. Ramen doesn’t come cheap though, with an average ramen costing $15 plus, however if you are able to dine there during lunch you are able to select one of their lunch specials.
Their Tonkotsu Miso Ramen comes with bamboo shoots, cha shu pork belly, Japanese style eggs with a very flavourful miso pork broth. I found it to be quite reminiscent of the many ramen shops in Japan in terms of flavour but more sparse in ingredients here.
Shizuku’s Fried Rice also is quite flavourful, and the spring onions add a nice freshness to it.
The gyoza filling is also tasty with the hint of ginger and pork flavour with crispy skin.
Shizuku’s Shoyu Ramen with cha shu, bamboo shoots and egg in a lovely clean tasting soy sauce broth again hits the mark. It’s quite a tasty meal and decent for their lunch special.
Value for money during lunch but questionable for dinner. Delicious Ramen dishes and would be fantastic with a cold one during warmer weather.
Shizuku Ramen & Craft Beer
309 Victoria Street
Abbotsford VIC 3067
OldTown White Coffee opened its first restaurant in Melbourne earlier this year. Old Town already has a presence in Australia through its 3 in 1 White Coffee sold in quite a number of Asian grocers across Victoria. Originally from Ipoh, Malaysia, it has spread across Malaysia and into parts of Asia as well. It’s similar to PappaRich with its prominent drinks menu and wide variety of Malaysian dishes to choose from.
Oldtown’s Nasi Lemak comes with a number of sides, such as fried chicken, satay skewers and seafood sticks and of course sambal. The sambal is quite fragrant, although is sweeter than I would like. I still would say PappaRich’s sambal trumps it but it’s not far off. I found the satay to be warm, and not hot, which indicated to me that they pre-cook it. I suppose that’s to be expected as to speed up the order to serving time. The fried chicken, however, appears to be cooked to order. The coconut rice leaned towards the mushier side of things, and the fried seafood sticks were interesting things but I wasn’t a big fan of it. Overall, it’s a nice dish with many accompaniments which is a plus!
Their Balacan Seafood Fried Rice is delicious. It has that lovely fragrance of spices and it was spicier than expected.
I simply adored the Roti Canai, it’s fluffy and crisp. It’s my favourite Roti Canai in Melbourne. Every other Malaysian restaurant does it the typical square shape and although it’s crispy when cooked on the stove, it lacks this lightness to it that Oldtown’s has. It’s served vegetarian with a Curry, the typical Dahl curry (without the Dahl) and sambal. Mamak’s curry probably beats it in terms of flavour but its all pretty similar in my books. I’d go back just for this Roti though, it’s that good.
Their Ice Kacang looks exceptional but leaves a lot to be desired in terms of taste. It’s overly icy, the shaved ice is too rough for my liking. It lacks the red syrup (usually like a rose syrup), but does have the brown sugar or palm sugar syrup. The cendol jelly is a nice bonus but once you get the syrup, condensed milk mixture wrong, it really lets everything else down.
Oldtown’s Ice Teh Tarik has a wonderful strong tea taste, though just a tad too sweet for me. One of the better ones in Melbourne.
The reviews for Oldtown make you really question whether you would want to try it out. Maybe, I dined on a good day when service was pretty fast, although not particularly friendly but that’s pretty much expected at most Malaysian/Asian restaurants. Taste-wise it’s definitely above average and I can’t really understand the poor reviews it has received apart from the pricing which is a $1 to $2 more than most Malaysian restaurants. I’d go back.
303 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
- Lychee Chiffon Cake
- Green Tea Crème Brûlée
- Mint Choc Chip Cookies
- Almond Butter Cupcakes with Almond Buttercream
- Lychee & White Chocolate Macarons
- Ginger & Orange Melting Moments
- Black Tea Cupcakes with Honey Buttercream Frosting
- Caramel Apple Beer Bread
- Black Sesame Tang Yuan
- Almond Butter Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache