Melbourne City's Chinatown seems puny in comparison to the suburb of Box Hill. Seriously, there are Asian eateries all over the place here. We fancied a change from our usual haunt, Wong's Lucky Bar (which I have yet to write a review about)and decided to try Grain Asian Cafe which is located in Box Hill Shopping Centre.
However, the guys weren't hungry so I ended up ordering food for myself and they got drinks. Yeah, how weird is that? The only female eats while the guys just have a drink!!??
Anyway, I'm from Scotland so I LOVE anything deep fried. Can you guess what I chose to eat?
Pat yourself on the back if you answered correctly. I ordered the chicken rib with spiced salt on rice. The funny thing about this cafe is that once the waitress takes your order, you have to pay. A bit weird...but maybe they have had bad experiences with customers who left without paying??
I was pleasantly surprised at the large portion. The chicken ribs had been coated in a light batter and then deep fried perfectly. I enjoyed munching the crispy chicken skin. BUT I could feel the MSG burning my throat after I chowed down 2 ribs. I was also rather disappointed with the lack of spice - the topping of minced garlic, spring onions and specks of chilli were inadequate to satisfy me - it needed more fire. Also, because the ribs were dry, I found it really hard to swallow the dry rice. The dish needed something to help with the dryness, e.g. some cucumber or soy sauce would really help.
In the end, I only ate half and packed the rest into a plastic container to take home. It actually tasted even better when I reheated it for lunch the next day because I added soy sauce and chilli sauce.
Would I return to Grain Asian Cafe? Yes. I saw lots of people order dumplings with soup noodles - so that's something I want to try next time.