Today, Adam and I found out that the always-seems-to-be-empty Kim Thuy Vi Vietnamese restaurant on Station Street, Box Hill was no longer there and, to our delight, a spanking new dumpling restaurant now stood in its place. Called Lu Yang Dumpling House, it was about half-full when we drove past this afternoon on the way to Spotlight and so we made a spontaneous decision to have lunch there.
As soon as we walked in, a fob waitress let out a stream of Mandarin which I did not understand (yes, it was all shishishishishi to me … and please, just because I am Asian-looking, doesn’t mean that I speak the same language as you). Adam’s Mandarin is not much better than mine but he was able to make out that she was confirming that we needed a table for two. So we sat down, got menus and teas, chose three different dishes and then began a half an hour wait for the first dish to arrive – way too long a wait for a dumpling restaurant that wasn’t overly busy.
In the half hour we sat waiting, we witnessed:
-A guy sitting next to us eating with his mum. She was eating the last dregs of her wonton noodle soup while he was seething as his meal had not yet arrived. After several “Where is my food?”‘s, the guy decided that he could not wait any longer and said that he would pay for his mother’s meal but not his.
-A Chinese couple and their two kids walked in 10 minutes after we did, sat down, chose their dishes, then asked a passing waitress (in English) if they could order. The waitress looked at them blankly, like she had no idea what he just said. After repeating himself slowly three times, she was still confused so he sighed and switched to Chinese. Rudimentary English, folks, will get you somewhere.
-Five times throughout the course of our wait, I saw diners asking waitresses where their food was and there were times when diners came to the counter to pay the bill but said that they never got such-and-such a dish. An example of this was when a hippie couple paid for their spring rolls, noodles and said that they had ordered a plate of fried vegies but had never got them. For some reason, the chick at the counter seemed shocked and reluctant to take the fried vegies off the bill but when she finally did, she slammed down the bill in front of the hippies so hard that I could see the hippies jump.
-I noticed a shortage of canisters containing chilli oil, something that surprised me because I would assume that anyone running a dumpling restaurant would know to buy a canister for EVERY table in the place rather than only five of them. Halfway throughout eating our dumplings, a waitress came up to us and asked if she could take OUR canister because “another table needs it.” Adam and I gave her a hard stare for a minute before Adam went, “Uh yeah… I guess you *can*… except that there is another canister on that empty table” while pointing to the deserted table behind us *facepalm*.
Just when we were wondering whether three dishes were too hard for them to manage, our food arrived.
Shanghai noodles ($7). I give them props for the generous serving for the price we paid, but a thumbs down for the overly sweet taste and the fact that they used the bloody skinny noodles rather than the thick knobby ones that JG Dumplings (Glen Waverley) and Shanghai Gourmet (Springvale) use. Booo hiss.It was a cheap ($23) meal which filled our tummies up until the Aussies were all out at the SCG *buries head in hands* but I cannot see myself returning there again. The wait for the food was way too long and the service not so good. Plus, the dumplings were horrible and made Camy’s taste like KING in comparison. Oh, and when Adam and I were at the counter paying our bill, we had a great view of the kitchen sink which was directly behind the counter. In the sink, we could clearly see… yep, a large packet of frozen pork meat defrosting. FAIL.