Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

Eating and Cooking all the things in Melbourne

Melbourne Food Review: David and Camy Noodle Restaurant, Box Hill

I am going through a dumpling phase. When I say dumplings, I’m talking about the Chinese-style jiao zi (or gow gee in Cantonese – wow I sound like I know Chinese languages. No. I just have the internet, isn’t it awesome?)

Basically, dumplings are steamed little parcels of mince and vegetables. You can get them steamed, boiled, pan-fried (in which case I believe Americans call them pot stickers). I personally prefer the basic dumplings (each restaurant will just have their own basic dumplings, which will be what I order) and I like to dip them in a mixture of vinegar, soy sauce and roasted chilli oil. Not of all the restaurants will have the chilli oil (I guess that’s not Shanghai?) but David & Camy does and it’s delicious!

On the day, we ordered three dishes for both of us. You have to be hungry! Because the serving is huge (just like Shanghai Noodle House). And one of them, of course, included their speciality Shanghai Boiling Dumplings ($7.50 for 15 fat dumplings). You can get them with pork, beef or chicken. We have tried them all and they are all delicious.

The filling is not too fatty and well flavoured and the dumpling skin of the right thickness. David & Camy’s is actually one of our favourites for tasty, cheap dumplings and they’re not far from where we live.

I also ordered Sliced Pork with Ginger and Shallot ($8.50). You can imagine how surprised I was to get the dish pictured above instead. I asked the waiter who took the order whether he’ was sure that this was the right dish – he said yes that was most definitely correct. I assumed he blatantly lied for two reasons:

  1. The dish contained neither ginger nor spring onion (commonly mistakenly referred to as shallot in Chinese restaurants)
  2. I ordered this dish on a previous visit, and it sure as hell wasn’t called Sliced Pork with Ginger and Shallot

Can’t say I’m impressed with this menu mix-up and the waiter’s attitude but nevertheless I enjoyed the dish. It’s basically what is generally known as fish-flavoured pork – i.e. a tangy, spicy pork dish flavoured with vinegar. It always has wood ears and bamboo shoots in it. It is one of my favourite Chinese dishes. I just hate being lied to.

Josh ordered Stir-fried Rice Noodles with Beef ($8.50) – him and his noodles with beef obsession. It’s basically stir-fried rice noodles topped with beef and vegetable in eggy, gluey sauce. Josh really liked it. I think it needs a bit more salt.  This is the eternal meal discourse in our household. I always think everything needs more salt. Josh always thinks we should never add salt to any cooking. I’m not kidding. When I first started going out with him, he did not have any salt in his house and he actually cooked everyday.

However miffed with the service on the day (they’re usually efficient enough), David & Camy are still one of the better peddlers of dumplings out there.

Update 13-Oct-09: I have been buying their frozen dumplings to take home. They are fabulous too. And after trying quite a few dumpling places in Melbourne, I have decided that David & Camy is still my #1 favourite when it comes to dumplings.

David & Camy Noodle Restaurant, 590 Station St., Box Hill

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