Shop 2216, Knox O-Zone
509 Burwood Highway
Wantirna South VIC 3152
+61 3 9801 6655
I don’t venture out to Knox very often (why would I when Shoppingtown’s just 10 minutes from my place?). For some reason though, my parents do. When they said that they were going to go there after church one Sunday, I was all like, ‘pffft yeah, nah, zzzzzzzzzz.’ But when they said that they were going to have yum cha, I was up on my feet and ready to go.
The yum cha restaurant they were referring to is the Dragon Boat restaurant, one of a few around Melbourne. Having had a bad yum cha experience in one of their city restaurants quite some time ago, I didn’t come with high expectations. The restaurant was packed when we arrived in the middle of the Sunday lunch rush but we were lucky to score a table that seated four. The first thing I noticed about the restaurant was that it was full of outer eastside bogans – it was like having yum cha on the Gold Coast, minus the brown skin, wrinkles and gold chains. Another thing I noticed was the makeshift stove near the entrance – that was where they prepared the Peking Duck wraps which, according to my parents, were ‘really nice.’
We started off with the good stuff: pork buns, wu gok (fried taro and pork dumplings) and ham sui gok (fried pork rice flour dumplings). They were decent enough.
Then we had the ‘really nice’ Peking Duck which wasn’t actually really nice but rather, just okay.
While there was a fair amount of meat in it, I found the duck a tad too dry and I think it was because they removed a lot of the fat. I’m all for eating healthy and all but c’mon, sif remove the fat from Peking Duck?! I also didn’t like the pancake wraps which were too doughy – it was almost like I was eating a bao.
Thankfully the prawn dumplings (of the har gow and ginger variety) were better. Ditto the fried whitebait.
I wasn’t too impressed, however, with the xiaolongbao dumplings because they contained NO soup.
Our zhaliang (Chinese dough sticks wrapped in rice noodles) took forever to arrive and when it did, we were disappointed to find that it wasn’t the best. The rice noodles were soggy – like it was left in the steamer for too long and forgotten – and the sauce was too sweet. Bleh.
We finished off with an okay tau fu fah (tofu pudding), though we all agreed that the Hong Kong dim sum place at The Glen made a better one.
Given the lacklustre yum cha experience, I struggled to see why my parents liked it so much. I wasn’t sure how much the bill was as dad paid for it but I could only imagine that the prices were cheap enough to warrant several returns for my tight-arse parents. That is the only explanation I can come up with for them choosing this joint over the dozens of very competent yum cha restaurants in the greater Doncaster area. While I can’t see myself going all the way to Knox again for yum cha, I guess I wouldn’t say no if my parents invited me out to Dragon Boat Knox again. And only if they were paying.