1 Main St, Boxhill
(Ph) 9898 6669
Food Republik had been open at Boxhill for a while now but everytime I come on the weekend it's packed so hadn't had a chance to try it out. For once we came on a weekday for lunch and there was no line at all =)
It's a Taiwanese style food court in a food court! How ingenious =) There are a few hawker style stores - Crystal Jade Xiao Long Bao, Shihlin Cafe Taiwan Street Snacks, Old Tong Beef Noodles, Taiwan Cafe, Yong He Soya King, Shin Yeh Restaurant, and Toast Box. Plus Dessert Story which is on a separate menu. Food Republik is owned by the same person who manages Taiwan Cafe and Dessert Story at the various other Melbourne locations.
Check out the chefs making dumplings by the window!
You get seated in the middle of the food court and get given the 2 menus, and you write your own orders on a piece of paper on the pad - saves waiter time and saves them taking down the wrong orders. It's got quite a traditional atmosphere with a hawker cart there too (obviously not in use)!
There is also an upstairs area too but it wasn't too busy on this weekday to need to go upstairs.
I wanted to get my usual Xiao Long Bao but it was $10.8 for 8 pieces which I thought was a bit expensive for this type of casual restaurant, and since I wasn't feeling too well, I let P order the food (for once=P). But as we ate we saw lots of other tables had ordered it - ah well I guess next time I will try it!
Since I wasn't feeling too well I got a hot Yong He Soya Milk $2.8
Ahh soothed my tummy, not too sweet =)
P for some reason loves Taiwanese fried chicken so he got the Chicken Drum - fried chicken drumlettes with pepper seasoning, lightly coated in bread crumbs, Our Specialty! (4pcs) $6.0
Exactly like the Taiwan Cafe ones - lots of flavour and crunch, though not as meaty as the The Booth ones.
P never craves dumplings but he did on this day - Pan-fried pork dumplings (12pcs)
This wasn't as good as I remembered the ones at Taiwan Cafe to be - I liked the crunchy bits around the dumplings but it was like it had been fried for a while so the skin was a bit soft. And they had a lot of chives in the meat which I didn't like =(
P wanted something substantial so wanted the Taiwanese savoury glutinous rice but then realised it's only available before 11am. So he settled for the Beef Wrap - spring onion wrap with soya marinated beef slices garnished with spring onion and plum sauce $9.0
Asian kebab, just like the one at Taiwan Cafe. The wrap pancake was cooked a bit too much so was really crunchy (which I liked!) but the beef bits and cucumber fell out really easily. Surprisingly ridiculously filling!
5/10 - not too bad, typical Taiwanese food. Will definitely come back for the xiao long bao next time!
2/5 - I like how it feels like Asian hawker food, like we're really on the streets!
1/5 - most of the waiters were quite prompt but there was one who seemed like she felt she was too good to be there =/ and the food took a while for Asian restaurant standards.
So merely a week later I find myself here again! This time I knew I had to order the Xiao Long Bao =)
Met my high expectations! Thin dumpling skin, lots of delicious broth inside and juicy meat <3
Also got some Fried Pork Buns - was a recommended dish.
But this was a bit disappointing - thick bun and small meat, and it wasn't fried enough so didn't have a crunchy base at all =(
P got the Popcorn Chicken Bento Box - the popcorn chicken was so crunchy! Better than KFC popcorn chicken and more flavoursome =) I like how they give you mince meat on top of the rice - Taiwanese style. The "greens" was a bit lousy though - wombok and frozen peas and corn?!
P also got a HK Style Milk Tea - not too bad but wasn't as strong as I'd like it to be.