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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shop 29, 210 Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 03000
Inside QV Square
Meshiya is a Japanese restaurant located on Lonsdale St, just outside the QV food courts entrance and Officeworks. They serve a selection of Bento boxes, Sushi, Rice and Noodle (Fried or Soup based) dishes along with their own selection of Japanese Rice Wine too. Meshiya is very hit-and-miss, unfortunately. The first few times I have eaten here, it was pretty good but on my last visit eating the same kind of food just wasn’t the same quality I came to expect. Apparently, there are a couple of chef/owners so whether or not you like or dislike the food would probably come down to which chef you get. I think the first couple times it was the Japanese chef but on my latest visit it was a South-East Asian chef instead where I couldn’t believe I was eating from the same place!
The image above was my order for White Fish Teriyaki on Rice (Sakana Teriyaki Don). I found the fish to be wonderful in taste, and still very soft and cooked perfectly. The fresh fish flavour comes through well, and the slightly milder teriyaki sauce goes well with the lightly stir vegetables underneath the fish. The amount of fish they serve you seems generous so my impressions of this dish and Meshiya were quite high.
On my latest visit I had the Chicken and Fish Teriyaki and Tempura Bento and this is where all the nice impressions and expectations vanished. Firstly, the chicken was terribly overcooked. I was extremely disappointed, as they cooked the fish beautifully before and I had this sort of impression they took care in how they cooked their food. The sauce used here was different to the teriyaki sauce used in the Fish Teriyaki rice dish, it was much sweeter here, and overall more flavourful. Your usual teriyaki sauce. The fish teriyaki was very bland and also overcooked. Not delicate like before. To top it off, the rice was gluggy and also overcooked so it was all in lumps. This was probably the worst Japanese meal I have ever eaten, even some of the Chinese owned Japanese food court stores serve tastier food than this.
The only reasonable part of this dish was the tempura with their wafer thin batter. One prawn, one sweet potato and one eggplant but all had minimal oil and were crisp and crunchy.
Their ramen from their Happy Hour Lunch Menu was quite pleasant. It was still a bit bland and needed some extra chilli seasoning, but for the reduced price it was a sufficient meal. Nothing special to see here.
As mentioned before, I have a hard time judging this place based on my very conflicting reviews. I would like to think that my last visit was just an off day but then again, I don’t want to give people too high of an expectation of this place thinking that it might actually be okay when my last meal was pretty poor.
The horrible bento box has left such a bad and long lasting impression that I can’t really recommend Meshiya to anyone. I’m not even sure if I would venture there again to see if it is a one off and I’m usually quite lenient when food is just so-so and would give it another go.
All I can do is caution you, and if you are served a tasty and satisfying meal, then that’s all I could ever want.
200 Lonsdale St
Melbourne VIC 3000
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