It isn't often that you can spend $50 on a decent meal for four people and find that you've ordered too much. But that's what happened on Saturday Night at David and Camy Noodle Restaurant, a combination of me being in charge of ordering and the unexpectedly generous size of the dishes.
For starters David and Camy's setup is nicer than most Melbourne dumpling cafes that I've visited. While it's a relative thing as the best are usually fairly average and the worst quite dismal it felt comparatively cleaner and brighter with its brown wooden tables and wood panelling. At least that was until we realised that we didn't need a full table and offered to sit in a four person booth towards the back. These were cramped and it felt like we were seated in a corridor, I'd avoid them if you get the option.
Given it's a noodle house our focus was on the dumplings and noodles. Ms Counting her Calories is a big fan of spicy food and I'm not adverse to it myself so Dan Dan Noodles were one of our two noodle dishes, the other pork chops with egg for Ms L. I thought the better of these were the pork chop noodles, with its tender pork and nicely cooked noodles. The Dan Dan noodles, while flavoursome, were almost like a spicy Chinese spaghetti bolognaise and could have used the addition of more (any?) Sichuan pepper to give it some complexity in flavour. Both noodles were comfort style food, tasty and easy to eat with warm and simple flavours. What did stand out about both dishes though was the generosity of both serves, priced at under $10 and easily enough for a meal by themselves.
The range of dumplings is fairly typical. Our choices were the steamed Peking Pork Dumplings and the fried pork dumplings. The majority vote was that the fried pork dumplings were better but I found the skin on these a bit overcooked and preferred the steamed. Both sets of dumpling were better than average, with well balanced fillings. In particular it was a welcome change to get fried dumplings which weren't overly oily.
Ordered to complement the noodles and dumplings were the (cold) salted chicken and greens with oyster sauce. While the greens were nothing particularly special and the chicken lacked the silky texture I was hoping for, together they offered a welcome contrast to the dumplings and noodle dishes.
Two things stood out about our visit, the cheap prices and the somewhat impersonal but amazingly quick service. It almost felt like the first dishes had hit the table before we had even finished ordering. Food wise it was consistently better than average for this style of restaurant, not the best dumplings or noodles around but then that's not what you are paying for or should expect.
If you are up around Box Hill and are looking for a cheap, quick and filing meal you could do a lot worse.
Food - 7
Ambience - 6.5
Service - 7
Price - 8
605 Station Street
Box Hill VIC 3128
Tel: (03) 9898 8398