23 Jan Food Adventure at Box Hill Central
With such a large Asian population living around Box Hill, you know you’ll have plenty of options for eating at the shopping hub that is Box Hill Central. The convenience of train and tram stops makes it easy to pop in for a feed, or refuel after a day of shopping.
We’re invited to have a look at what food delights Box Hill Central has to offer. Our first stop is Tina’s Noodle Kitchen, a popular lunch and dinner destination, evidenced by the queues that build up during peak times. The Mouth-watering Chicken kicks our tastebuds into gear. It’s a cold dish of thinly sliced chicken, and with all that chilli and Sichuan pepper, is most definitely mouth-watering, and also an addictively satisfying starter.
There’s obviously a huge menu of noodles to choose from – it is a ‘noodle kitchen’ after all. We have the Spicy Beef noodles, and the Beer Duck with the springy and chewy Konjac Cake, which is lighter on the spice than the beef. Big bowls of long and smooth noodles are slurped up by the crowds and we’re happy to join them.
We then wander over to Kitchen Republik; a place reminiscent of Taipei’s Night Markets or a hawker centre. The large menu encompasses those of all the stalls that make up the restaurant. There’s a huge array of things to choose from, with dumplings, noodles, bentos and more. Note your choices on the order sheet and press the buzzer when you’re ready. The white truffle and pork xiao long bao have a definite truffle flavour, but the prawn and melon xiao long bao needs a tad more seasoning, and probably more prawn.
Taiwanese Style Pork Belly Burger is a steamed bao bun filled with soy-marinated pork belly, pickled bok choy, crushed peanuts, and coriander. The bao is large and fluffy, and there are flavours of five spice in the pork. Sugar is sprinkeld in amongst the peanuts, making for an odd sweet and savoury taste sensation.
We also try a homely bowl of oyster vermicelli, or mee sua, a type of Hokkien thin wheat noodle. It has a good flavour, and the viscous sauce is eagerly slurped up with the noodles. Like other hawker centres, cash is king; there’s a small fee for cards.
It’s dessert time so we head to Selene’s Chocolate Bar. They stock some desserts from Le Petit Gateau, though they appear smaller than what you’d get in the city, but they also have their own cakes and macarons. The coffee and chocolate tart from Le Petit Gateau has a smooth filling held within the crisp pastry. The macarons have a decent crispiness in the outer shell and chew on the insire, and there’s a number of interesting flavour combinations here. We try the Coconut and Pandan, Rhubarb and Wild Strawberry, Salted Caramel and Hazelnut, and Blackcurrant and Vanilla. My pick is the caramel and hazelnut.
Here’s one for matcha lovers. Furuta, stationed in front of Nene Chicken, has a small range of matcha desserts available, and they also do drinks, albeit mostly non-matcha ones. The matcha Opera cake has almond biscuit, chocolate ganache, and matcha cream interspersed by thin layers of tempered chocolate. The mochi is also most enjoyable, containing matcha cream, red bean paste and, to my surprise, a strawberry. A perfect end to a day of feasting.
There are plenty of cheap and cheerful choices at Box Hill Central; so many that it might be hard to pick where to eat. At least you know you won’t go hungry.