Spatula, Spoon and Saturday

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Melbourne Food Review: The Grand Tofu, Glen Waverley

Gayle, Murray, Josh and I went looking for a dumpling place on the main strip of Glen Waverley. Gayle, being a local, was completely out of touch with the Asian bit of Glen Waverley. Tsk tsk, Gayle! Unfortunately, it was 11am (we tried to make brunch because Josh and I had to be at Richard’s later for dungeons and dragons… oh did I just type that out? damn) and no dumpling place was opened. So I figured we might try The Grand Tofu instead.

There are actually two separate The Grand Tofu (no, I wasn’t the only one who noted this anomaly) on the same strip of King’s Way in the good old Glen. I suppose the shop was so popular that they might as well open two. I have been to the other one back in uni year. Zing and Cindy then boasted that they did really good yong tau foo. Frankly, I didn’t really quite know what yong tau foo was however when I got there I realised it was the noodle soup dishes where you get to pick ingredients of what goes into the soup. I have had it in Malaysia before (although the words yong tau foo didn’t really ring a bell). And then later in Singapore at the MINDEF canteen where I worked ($2! how awesome was that?)

(pan-fried dumplings – $6?)

To cut the long story short, we ventured there that day. The decor was nicer than I remembered the other joint to be. Gayle, Murray and I all wanted to try the yong tau foo but Josh had wanted to be boring and decided on a plain old wonton noodle soup.  For the yong tau fu orderers (is that a word?), the waiter asked us for the choice of soup: braised (plain chicken stock), tom yum (Malaysian version of tangy, mildly spicy tom yum), and laksa. We were then given a ticket with instructions on how many pieces of yong tau foo we could choose.

So we all crowded around the selection and chose our poison. We also ordered pan-fried dumplings since we figured we were there for dumplings in the first place. The dumplings were all right. Nothing special. The ginger that came with it was rather nice though. I suspected they didn’t put that much efforts into the dumplings.

(wonton noodle soup – $8.50?)

Josh’s wonton soup arrived. I didn’t have any but he said it was good. It was just what wanted. So not exciting but okay.

(Gayle’s yong tau foo selection – $9?)

Our yong tau fu arrived. All three of us had ordered the koey teow (flat rice noodles) with Gayle ordering the ‘braised’ soup. While she liked the yong tau foo pieces, she found the soup to be rather bland. She was a bit scared of the tom yum and laksa so she wasn’t too sure if it would be too spicy.

(Murray’s yong tau fu selection – $9?)

Both Murray and I ordered koey teow and tom yum. We had a hard time trying to distinguish which one was which.

I could tell mine apart because I had ordered the stuffed bitter melon. I was never really a fan of the whole fish paste thing (where various vegetables were stuffed with minced fish + floury extender) and the stuffed bitter melon was no different. I found the fish paste to be a little bit fishy and bland. There was no taste to it really. My other choices were good though: eggplant (yum), shrimp wonton (very yum) and various other deep-fried goodles (of course, yum). The soup was rather good too. It wasn’t spicy at all, of course. It was mildy tangy and not sweet like other Malaysian-style tom yum I had had (can you tell I have issues with this bastardisation of tom yum? haha) and the soup was overall rather good.

All in all we had a pleasant brunch/lunch. And cheap too.

The Grand Tofu, Shop 5, 53 Kingsway, Glen Waverley, VIC

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