28 City Place, Sunshine. Phone: 9312 6968
City Place is on the other side of the tracks from what we generally consider Sunshine when thinking food.
Last time we cruised the short span of City Place to see if anything was “happening” it was a case “keep moving right along, folks, nothing to see here”.
But there is a new kid on the block – Dragon Express – the existence of which we have been alerted to by a number of positive reviews at Urbanspoon.
That website’s reviews have become something of an entertaining diversion – not so much the many postings, I hasten to add, of Melbourne’s food bloggers, who mostly try to maintain some sense of balance and even objectivity.
The “user reviews”, on the other hand, are often visceral, emotional outpourings of ordinary customers, many of whom feel hard done by.
Screaming caps are very much the go, along the lines of …
“THE MANAGER FROM HELL!!!!!!”
“EVERYTHING WAS RANCID – AND THAT WAS JUST THE STAFF!”
“DO NOT EAT HERE – WORST FOOD IN THE UNIVERSE!”
OK, I made those ones up – but you get my drift.
As entertaining as such, um, “reviews” can be, it is impossible really to tell the well-meaning and sincere from those with nasty and unfair axes to grind.
The handful of reviews for Dragon Express, by contrast, seem believable and well-judged expressions of delight. They speak of great prices, yummy food and excellent service – so we are hopeful of a ripping start to our new year of blogging.
We enjoy immensely a ripping start to our new year of blogging at a lovely joint that has been going about seven weeks at the time of our visit.
Dragon Express is ostensibly a Chinese eatery, but like so many such places at the budget end of the market it hedges its bets by offering diversity to its customers via Malasyia with the likes of mee goreng, laksas and nasi goreng.
We are delighted, too, to note two harbingers of good food – white tiles and hand-written signs on the walls announcing various specials.
The service is fantastic and cool water keeps us away from the drinks cabinet and within our tight budget.
Our normal routine would find us heading straight to the laksas and the like but today we take a different approach and order two “chefs specials” – stir-fried green vegetables ($9) and spicy chicken ribs ($11).
The greens – mostly snow peas, bok choy and broccolini – elicit moans of pleasure from both of us, even if our request of garlic sauce finds the high level of oil used has no place to hide. We love every crunchy mouthful so much it is only with some reluctance we turn our attention to the chicken.
We’ve had better chicken ribs but these are still very fine – plentiful, ungreasy, totally moreish but lacking a little in the spice/chilli department.
Given the righteous healthiness of our breakfast, post-brekky endeavours in the garden before the day became too hot and likelihood of delightful austerity in the form of a crunchy Greek salad topped with fetta for dinner, we forgive ourselves the indulgence of our lunch and enjoy every lip-smacking mouthful.
“I could eat that a millions times,” opines Bennie as we depart very happy chappies.