Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Grain Express, Box Hill by Bureaucrat

Alright, I'll admit this isn't going to be my best post. Heck, I'm only writing this one up because I was surprised that food court eateries are listed on Urbanspoon. We had been shopping for furniture around Nunawading and needed a quick and conveniently located lunch. This is how I found myself at Grain Express, which is located in Box Hill shopping centre's food court. As a rule, I normally avoid Box Hill - it's all a bit much for me - what with the hordes of shoppers. Another rule is that I try and avoid eating at food courts - and to mix some metaphors, they're not exactly tasty beacons of foodie experiences.

I was informed by Mother Hen and Mr Strong that Grain Express does reasonably priced and reasonably tasty food. Going by the other diners in the food court, about 3/4 of all diners were eating Grain Express dishes, and there was pretty much a near constant crowd waiting to put in their orders.

We ordered beef hor fun. This was a fairly generous serve with lots of tender beef. It also had lots of scrambled egg which gave it flavoursome eggyness.

The salt and pepper calamari was a bit average. I couldn't fault the generous serve, but it was obvious that they cook the calamari some time ago and then blitz it in the microwave when someone orders it. As such, the batter and calamari was a bit chewy.

We got some stuffed tofu and capsicum. The stuffing was made with minced pork and prawn. I had the stuffed capsicum. However, I can't really give an opinion on this, as I rarely eat stuffed tofu, etc so I can't really compare this with other places (I don't see what the appeal of this dish is). We also got a serve of congee w century year old egg. This was the best dish that we ordered. A reasonable amount of century year old egg; the congee itself was a nice flavour and consistency.

And who can resist an egg tart - not us, that's for sure. These were okay - the pastry was reasonably flaky but felt a bit stale (perhaps too long in the pie warmer thingy?) and just a wee smaller than what I'd normally expect.

Going by the diners in the food court, Grain Express is clearly the favourite among the locals. For me, the food was okay - I'd rate it as clearly food court quality food, but it was a bit better than the average Chinese food court eatery. Although the food was a smidge or two above average, the price and serving size was pretty good.

Food – 6.5
Service – 6.5
Ambience – 6.5
Price – 9

Grain Express
Box Hill Shopping Centre
17-21 Market Street
Box Hill 3128
Telephone: 03 9899 6118


ming said...

Have you tried rainbow chicken just next door? Their fried chicken is to die for!

Bureaucrat said...

hey ming, no haven't tried rainbow chicken - although i like the name! i'll keep that in mind next time i'm in box hill.

Bianca @ The Cooking Capers said...

You should've tried their laksa, it's much better than their other stuff! I've actually done a review on here too, although I only tried their laksa, so it was interesting reading about their other food :)

Bureaucrat said...

hi bianca - thanks for your comment :) the food we ordered was okay, but i am intrigued by the fact that this eatery is so popular. they have to be doing something right - it's good to know that the laksa is good!

Benny said...

Hi Bureaucrat, long time no see. The combination bao (aka the chicken bun) provides an excellent lunch on the run - chicken, lup cheong, quail egg, water chestnut, roast pork and
Chinese mushroom in an excellent bao dough. So good and so cheap!

Bureaucrat said...

hey benny
i've been around - or perhaps you're not reading the blog enough ;)

thanks for the tip re the bao. it sounds good with all those ingredients. most baos that i've come across hardly have anything inside.

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