Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

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Melbourne Food Review: Vegie Hut, Box Hill

Note: Prices are guesstimates from my hazy recollection. All dim sum were about $4.20.

(I think this was taro roll or wu kok – $4.20)

After a bout of Twitter exchange bitching about how hungry we were, how hung over she was, and how much I wanted dim sum, Nat had decided that we were going to actually go to Vegie Hut in Box Hill. Nat had been raving about Vegie Hut as a vegetarian paradise for quite a while. Everything there is vegetarian (despite being called ‘beef’ or ‘chicken’) Time we gave it a go!

(fried vegetarian scallop dumpling – $4.20)

Being a vego, she misses out on all the good dim sum (yes, she does!) but fear not! We discovered to our delight that Vegie Box does vegetarian dim sum every Sunday.

(veggie pancake of some description – $4.20)

We dropped off Nat and Mat at the restaurant while we went in search for parking (swap meet was on, ick). We were running pretty late as the kitchen was about to close (I think it was almost 3pm). They had ordered some dim sum and fried noodles . The taro rolls (I think they were anyway, I’m working backward by almost a month here) were nice and crunchy. The veggie pancakes were  really good. The filling included glass noodles and various veggies. The scallop dumpling was strange to me but not in a bad way. Didn’t really taste like scallop but close enough.

Because we ordered more than two dim sum, some plain rice congee was served as the starter free of charge. It was anything but plain. The stock used to make the congee was very flavourful and sprinkling of salted daikon and herb made it quite special. Nat loved it because it made her feel better almost instantly.

(soup dumpling (xiao long bao) soup with vegetarian shark’s fin $4?)

Mat ordered soup dumping soup. I didn’t think too much of it especially the fake shark’s fin bit. But Mat really liked it (but you know, he’s a vego. Can’t really trust him. He’s not used to flavours. Haha.)

(Stir-fried rice noodles with beef aka beef chow fun – $8.00?)

The rice noodles were stir-fried in dark soy sauce with some mock beef. It pretty much tasted like other beef chow fun* dishes you get at other dim sum restaurants. Wasn’t anything special. But it was special I guess because it wasn’t really beef. If you have never tried Chinese mock meat dishes, give them a go. They are quite amazing. I also liked that Vegie Hut food, although weren’t any less greasy than your usual Chinese place, didn’t feel quite as heavy as usual.

(Sizzling Szechuan ‘Beef’ – $13.00?)

Nat recommended a sizzling dish so I ordered the sizzling Szechuan beef. I asked the waiter if the dish was spicy, he said yes. I would eat my hat if there was any real chilli being used in this dish! But it was good nonetheless. It wasn’t exactly sizzling though.

(special fried rice – $8.00?)

Josh likes his special fried rice so we ordered one. Nothing special saved for the fake char siu pork. To be honest, if you weren’t paying attention you wouldn’t have realised it wasn’t real pork.

We also had some tea (quite nicely brewed, worth a mention) and the waitstaff were very sweet to us. We were the last table to leave and we stayed well past closing time. They didn’t pressure us to leave at all. They were quite happy to let us stay. For that, I tipped well. We left with very full happy tummies. Will definitely go back.

Vegie Hut, 984 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill
Yum cha specials every Sunday

* see my version of Beef Chow Fun