The Grand Tofu, 314 Racecourse Rd, Flemington. Phone: 9376 0168
It’s been a pleasure attending the first rugby practice for the new season.
Bennie has dug being with his teammates again and running the drills.
The location – Footscray Park below Victoria University – lends itself to heading in various directions for a quick feed before heading home.
Bennie favours Ebi, but I persuade him Flemington is the go by mentioning that friends have tipped us that the fried squid tentacles at The Grand Tofu are hot.
After our recent and first post from there, I have been a little surprised and also gratified to learn – from comments left, other reviews and the tentacle recommendation from two former work colleagues whose family always has a firm grasp of the Flemo eateries – The Grand Tofu is widely regarded as a beaut spot that is more than holding its own with the famous alternatives around the corner in Pin Oak Crescent.
We’re happy to pursue the matter further.
After parking, we pass one of the few non-Asian eateries in the area.
We find it impossible not to glance at the dips combo an inner-city hipster with a Hitler moustache is eating at a window table.
He glares at us.
Much to my surprise, Bennie is largely unmoved by the tentacles – but his dad loves them.
The batter is unoily, crunchy and beautifully seasoned; the tentacles themselves are right on the good side of the chewiness concept.
Beware though – this a big serving, much bigger than it looks in real life or in the photo above.
Really, Bennie and I could share these and a single bowl of noodles for a perfectly filling meal.
Bennie goes for the yong tofu – six pieces, noodles, soup for $10 – his first experience with this particular eating experience.
He rejects the combos available and chooses his own – no surprise he steers strongly towards the meatier dumplings and away from the stuffed vegetables.
At first, this kind of meal seems just right for the lad – hey, it’s just like yum cha for one, right?
But he tires of it quickly and even leaves a couple of the dumplings uneaten. A case of too much of a good thing, perhaps?
His dad chooses the Penang king prawn noodle soup ($12.80).
This is good and a huge serve, but it strikes me as a tad uninspired.
The broth is suitably prawny, though the two fat beasties themselves are a on the doughy side.
Given the price, though, I suspect there are plenty of Grand Tofu dishes that’ll be more to my liking on future visits, while Bennie will definitely want the BBQ pork dry noodle next time around.
We’ve tried too hard, but that lessens not our affection for this establishment.
Bennie’s experience with oysters is minimal but his eyes glitter as spectacular, fiery serves of flaming lemon grass oysters are carried to adjacent tables.
And perhaps this’ll be the place to come when we feel like splashing out on chilli mud crab.
Returning to our wheels, we notice that the inner-city hipster with the Hitler moustache is talking to a lady friend at an outside table.
And having just about as much fun.