Shimbashi Soba & Sake Bar Location: 17 Liverpool St, Melbourne, VIC 3000 Contact: (03) 9654-6727 Authenticity reigns supreme here – these healthy soba noodles are hand-kneaded and served up alongside an extensive range of imported sake. There are so many options to choose form, but do make sure you try the cold soba varieties, which are dipped in a range of sauces and broths. For a wholesome and varied work lunch, the lunch set is superb value – mine came with a teriyaki salmon don, chilled soba noodles and a small salad for a mere $16.8.
Chef Lagenda Location: 16 Pin Oak Crescent, Flemington, VIC 3031 Contact: 03 9376 2668 The little Malaysian joint is located mere metres away from the laksa giant, Laksa King, although it is just as much as local favourite as its neighbour.
Jazz Ria Location: 228 Whitehorse Road, Balwyn, VIC 3103 Contact: 03 9888 4843 Jazz Ria is a spicy little sliver of Malaysia tucked away in Balwyn. Upon stepping into the restaurant, you’ll be instantly met by a frenzy of fresh and full-flavoured dishes, with express-like service to match.
Dainty Sichuan Location: Level 1, 2A Cambridge Street, Box Hill, VIC 3128 Contact: 03 9041 4318 I was absolutely ecstatic upon learning that the Box Hill strain had finally opened up along Cambridge Street – the original establishment is located in South Yarra and, from its inception until now, has managed to maintain a fervent adoration amongst locals.
David and Camy Noodle Restaurant Location: 605 Station St Box Hill, VIC 3128 Contact: 03 9898 8398 David and Camy has been a staple for dumplings in Box Hill for as long as I can remember. The dumplings are dirt cheap, the no-frills service is quick and efficient, and the food is not spectacular but still hits the spot.
Super Bowl Pho & Bun Bo Hue Location: 252 Victoria St Richmond, VIC 3121 Contact: 03 9043 7458 Super Bowl is a relatively new addition to the Victoria Street mix, and it’s a welcome one – from 9am to 10pm the joint serves up pho & bun bo hue at lightning speed. Service is quick and efficient, and everything on the menu is dirt cheap; just the way we like it.
In the middle of a rather desolate, dimly-lit street lies a surprisingly chirpy (and incredibly busy) Taiwanese restaurant called Peko Peko.
We’re a little bit in love with Laksa King. Though it seems we’ve been a tad late to jump onto the bandwagon.
Madam Kwong’s may be located away from the main fare in Box Hill, but the kitchen is surprisingly popular. With an army of bright red plastic stools, tables so close that you could comfortably eavesdrop on your neighbouring diners, and fridges packed full of canned drinks and frozen dimsum, Kwong’s isn’t exactly what you’d call glamorous.
I like Ramen Ya. It’s a popular little lunch spot that’s hidden down the tight laneway that hugs the border of GPO, and is particularly well known for serving up piping hot bowls of ramen and cheap bento boxes.