Box Hill Central Location: 1 Main Street, Box Hill VIC 3128 Restaurants visited: Kitchen Republik, Movenpick Disclaimer: Sponsored article I have fond memories of growing up in Box Hill. Every time Chinese New Year turned its head, Mum and Dad would take us to the centre court of the Box Hill shopping precinct to watch the inaugural setting off of the Chinese fire crackers. The fire crackers make a deafening noise – the premise behind them is that the sound is so loud that it will ward off evil spirits from the new year – and I remember clutching tightly to Mum’s hand as each of the bright red crackers burst into oblivion. Once the festivities had ended, we’d always head over as a family to grab dinner in one of Box Hill’s restaurants. And there are many. Back then, the food was already good – given the large Asian population in the area, delicious Chinese cuisine was always aplenty. We’d have a banquet of peking duck and crispy fried noodles, lobster (if we were being good!) and lots and lots of delicious teas. We’d laugh, smile and eat until our bellies were full. Nowadays, Box Hill has expanded to include a vibrant array of eateries, from Japanese, Thai and Korean restaurants to delicious dessert houses. In our most recent visit, we headed to Kitchen Republik, a two-story venue which features a load of different traditional and new-age Chinese and Taiwanese dishes. Ordering is a very efficient process – the menu itself has pictures of almost every item with a corresponding order number. You write that down on the notepad used for ordering, press a waiter bell and your order is whisked off to the various kitchen stands to be made. The same goes for drinks – various bubble teas, matcha milkshakes and milo dinosaurs (yes, they have everything!) can also be ordered using the same system. There were 5 of us so we had the benefit of being able to try a good range of dishes, including: – truffled xiao long bao – pork and prawn xiao long bao – pan fried pork dumplings – seafood and beancurd in a clay pot – sauteed mushroom with vegetables – deep fried squid with salt and pepper seasoning – various drinks (iced lemon tea, red bean and coconut etc.) I have to say, none of us could really fault the dishes, our favourites being the deep fried squid (the batter wasn’t too heavy with the perfect amount of crispiness) and the dumplings. The skin on the xiao long bao also wasn’t too thick or heavy, with each soup flavour being distinct from the rest. The truffled xiao long bao wasn’t nearly as strong as the New Shanghai version we have tried, however it was bang for your buck and no more expensive than the rest of the xiao long bao varieties (with the same quantity, too). We finished the night on a sweet note with a copious amount of scoops of icecream from Movenpick. Our favourite flavour? Definitely the swiss chocolate – we’d go back solely just for a scoop of that.
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