Golden Mile burgers

Leave a comment

 

Burgies, 226 Old Geelong Road, Hoppers Crossing. Phone: 8742 2792

Burgies in Hopper Crossing is a sibling to one in Campbellfield.

The photos we’ve seen suggest an outdoor and rather rustic operation, so we’re not at all sure how we’re going to go on a sunny Sunday that is also windy and chilly.

 

 

After scoping the place out, we relax … having discovered that while orders are indeed processed outside, right next door is a big, warm and rather inviting dining room, its fittings seemingly niftily constructed from packing pallets.

Cool!

And whatever the meteorological challenges of ordering and dining amid the glorious tack of the Golden Mile, the place is doing very, very brisk business.

This is a popular joint.

The happy staff members are cheerful, chatty and efficient; the wait times about what you’d expect.

We order, pay and settle in for what we hope will be a good burger repast.

The menu and its lowish prices suggest solid and satisfying – and that’s pretty much how it goes for us.

 

 

The chips ($4.50) are orthodox, hot and good.

 

 

My Kefta Burger is definitely the big winner of our meal.

It has lamb patty, cos lettuce, caramelised onions, pickles and “humus sauce” – and it’s beaut, especially given the $9.50 price tag.

 

 

Bennie is less enamoured with his Flaming Burgie ($11) of beef, cheese, cos lettuce, tomato, jalapeno, tomato sauce and chilli salsa.

The parts are of sufficient quality, but he finds the sum to be just average.

He even utters the dread phrase “frozen patty”.

Now, I hasten to add he has no factual detail at hand to back up such a slur, but it does convey something of the meh moments he has with his burger.

 

 

So for him, the highlight of our Burgies sojourn is his caramel biscotti gelato thickshake.

When/if we return, we may well order from the chicken burger list, as a poultry pair we observe being consumed at the next table look pretty darn good and better than either of ours.

Lebanese heaven

1 Comment

Tanoor Breakfast House, 1/69 Forsyth Road, Hoppers Crossing. Phone: 8360 3468

As the less established parts of Point Cook, Tarneit, Truganina and Williams Landing have become more so in recent years, a number of eating houses have opened in response to a demand for Indian food.

That has not been the case for those desiring Middle Eastern and/or the food of the eastern Mediterranean – until now.

Tanoor Breakfast House – don’t worry, it does lunch, too! – is here to make our day and maybe even our year.

It doesn’t serve full-blown Lebanese food as found at Riviera at Edgewater.

Instead, it serves (see menu below) a wonderful range of pizzas and pies (man’oush and man’oush calzone) right through to a Lebanese Big Breakfast and a Turkish Big Breakfast.

Best of all, for our tastes and wants and needs, it serves a wonderful line-up – under the heading Traditional Breakfast – of dips and the like served with accompaniments and house-made bread.

Oh yes!

This is the kind of thing for which CTS routinely travels to upper Sydney Road.

Now Tanoor Breakfast House has rendered those sometimes tedious and stressful traffic-light drives to Coburg superfluous – and we couldn’t be happier.

“Hummus b Lahme” comes with three components:

These still-warm and fresh-as housemade breads.

The full suite of salady and tart accessories – pickled turnip, cucumber and chillis; green olives; fresh mint, tomato and onion.

And – oh, the glory of it! – a generous bowl of smooth, fresh hummus, in the middle of which sits an equally generous serve of lamb mince studded with toasted pine nuts.

It all works and tastes like a dream, the sourness of the pickles complementing perfectly the sweetish sheep meat.

The pine nuts – with their unmistakable yet subtle flavour and characteristic soggy crunch – are the icing on the cake.

This is simply fabulous food.

It costs $10.

Which is frankly ridiculous, as it is tantamount to a light meal that could easily serve two.

The falafel plate ($12), with a slightly different configuration of bits and pieces, is just as good.

Just the turshi (pickled turnip) in terms of pickles.

And, this time, a wonderful wet-and-lemony tabouli and small bowl of tahini to join the hummus, bread and tomato.

The half a dozen falafel orbs are superbly fried, of mild flavour and quite delicate.

Our takeaway coffees are great.

Tanoor is open seven days a week from 6am to 3pm.

Solid shopping centre Asian

Leave a comment

street7

 

Asian Street, Shop 10, 50 Old Geelong Road, Hoppers Crossing. Phone: 9748 6908

Hoppers Crossing shopping centre, right next door to the station, has had a revamp.

Honestly, with the opening of whizz-bang Pacific Werribee just up the road apiece, I thought the powers that be may have just called it quits at Hoppers.

But, no, it appear there is demand – so the show goes on.

Of course, nothing is going ever going to make the immediate neighbourhood around here salubrious, with its roundabouts and ceaseless traffic flow.

 

street6

 

But we’re interested to see what food is on offer.

We spy a banh mi place, a chic cafe, an Indian outlet – and Asian Street.

This place sells quite a wide range of Asian food – Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Malaysian, some yum cha, and even provides Asian groceries.

The big question for us is this: Will the food here be any better than the usual shopping centre food court fare?

 

street10

 

The quickie take-away offerings appear to suggest not.

 

street9

 

On the other hand, we are encouraged by the knowledge that the Chinese roast meats on hand are cooked in house, giant ovens and all.

As well, the place serves dishes quite a bit edgier than normally found in a shopping centre context – spicy green bean jelly noodle, for instance, on the Chinese entree list, as well as a line-up of skewers.

 

street5

 

After contemplating the menu (see below), we start with a couple of curry puffs ($2), one vegetable and one chicken.

They look chubby and nice, but collapse when attacked.

They’re OK, but we don’t notice much difference in the fillings.

 

street12

 

Bennie happily devours his katsu curry on rice ($11.80).

It’s a solid and generous outing, though the pork seems a bit dry to me.

 

street11

 

I do much better with my double roast meats on rice ($12.80).

Soy chicken is not listed on the menu, but I request it on the basis of having seen the roasted birds hanging up!

The chook is fine.

The roast pork is, too, though it is very fatty.

What I’m mostly missing, though, is the attending bowl of chicken broth that routinely accompanies such a dish.

Bennie reckons I’m pushing my luck by requesting soup in such a place, fearing I’ll be brought another entire meal.

 

street13

 

Such is not the case!

My soup is brought graciously, speedily and without extra charge.

It’s hot, salty and very good.

There’s not a lot of the food offered by Asian Street around here.

I’d want to take staples such as mee goreng, ramen or cumin lamb skewers for a spin before really sitting in judgment.

In the meantime, Asian Street strikes us as a place that could be a real treasure for locals with a knack for smart ordering.

 

street1

street2

street3

street4

Indian surprise

Leave a comment

ethnic7

 

Ethnic India, 4/2-6 Kilmur Road, Hoppers Crossing. Phone: 9369 4133

Ethnic India is located on the Golden Mile in Hoppers Crossing, on one of the light industrial/commercial precincts that are offshoots of it.

When I Bennie and I arrive for our Sunday lunch, I get a surprise.

I’d visited on my own several months previously for a quick look and lunch.

At that time, I reckoned Ethnic India must have been easily the biggest Indian restaurant in Melbourne, taking up a whole warehouse.

Through the use of screens and such like, efforts had been made to create a separate restaurant space from the bar, functions rooms, kitchen and so on.

But, basically, it was a huge space.

What Bennie and I find is quite different.

The proprietors have pretty much created a building within a building – all the same facilities remain but they are much more strictly defined.

 

ethnic9

 

They include a restaurant space that is the typical flash of some Indian places – including tall-backed chairs so lavishly cushioned that, upon sitting, you feel like you are sinking almost until your chin rests on the table.

On this day, there are a heaps of guests arriving for a catered birthday party out back, but we are the only restaurant guests.

The very long menu (see below) is presented on both sides of two wooden paddles.

We proceed to enjoy a fine light lunch.

Onion bhaji ($8.50, top photograph) are less like the Indian-style onion rings we are expecting and more like pakoras.

They’re good, though, and nicely moist. We take two of them home for Bennie’s next-day school lunch.

 

 

ethnic6

 

Cholle bhature is also very good, if a bit pricey at $15 for a snack-style offering.

The chick peas are excellent – they seem fresher than is often the case with this dish and are mildly spiced.

The breads are a tad oily but hot and fine.

 

ethnic8

 

The price is ameliorated somewhat by the $15 deal also including this salted “Punjabi style” lassie.

 

ethnic5

 

I was fascinated to read this story about biryanis – I had no idea there are so many varieties!

I wish more of them were available in Melbourne!

I think the mostly uniform biryanis we eat in and around West Footscray are of the Hyderabad kind.

The Ethnic India lamb biryani ($15) is a significant contrast.

All is different from what we are familiar with – the seasoning (mild chilli levels); the colour; the inclusion of many currants, cashes and green capsicum pieces; lamb chunks not on the bone but instead of the kind you’d find in a regular curry – most welcome!

There’s a hefty serve of raita on the side to complete a solid offering.

Ethnic India is well worth a try – and parking is a breeze.

 

ethnic1

ethnic2

ethnic3

ethnic4

ethnic10

Old-school Chinese winner

Leave a comment
jade1

 

Jade Stream Chinese Restaurant, 62 Old Geelong Road, Hoppers Crossing. Phone: 9748 9666

The, ahem, neighbourhood surrounding Hoopers Crossing station is surely one of most unlovely in the western suburbs.

But there is food.

On the retail strip across the road from the station, this being more of an old-style suburban shopping area, there is a hip cafe and a very nice Indian joint.

Moving towards the city and along Old Geelong Road, one is confronted by a nightmare of roundabouts, asphalt, concrete and warehouse retail as the laughably titled Golden Mile unfolds.

Down the Golden Mile there is food, too – including a cavernous Indian place we have yet to fully explore and a trucked-away outpost of Italian coffee and biscotti.

Back in the area between the station and the Golden Mile proper, the grimness is being enhanced by urban upheaval as Pacific Werribee, up the road, sucks away the customers.

Some businesses are hanging on despite the changes the area is undergoing and the problems of access – the whirling traffic hereabouts is intense.

They include the entertainment/licensed/pokies venue of the Werribee Tigers and a Woolworths.

Also here is a motel that for years has had signs advertising its buffet.

This has long intrigued us – we may not think the area very attractive but it is part of our routine.

So one night, having time to kill before picking Bennie up from his guitar lesson, I step into the motel to find the buffet is very much a sometime thing despite the signage and that only a small menu is available.

The whole vibe is so desultory that I skedaddle up the road apiece to Jade Stream, another business clinging on here.

 

jade7

 

Ah, this is more like it – that’s what I think as I peruse the menu.

So that’s where we head for dinner.

What are we expecting, hoping for?

Just some smart, tasty Cantonese food – nothing innovative or challenging but something satisfying and of good quality.

And that’s pretty much exactly what we receive.

I’m guessing Jade Stream has been in place for a couple of decades – inside has an air of timelessness and a vibe speaks of a business that knows what it’s about and has a good handle on its customers.

While we’re enjoying our dinner, a handful of tables of various numbers come and go – and all of them appear to be of regulars on friendly terms with the staff.

We like that.

We find the service to be very good.

Jade Stream lays some claim to being a Chinese-Malaysian but mostly this is a straight-up Chinese joint.

 

jade5

 

Curry puffs ($5.50) are chubby cylinders and seem rather small.

But the fillings are very good – mostly a rich mix of minced meat with some crunch ‘n’ pop from peas.

 

jade6

 

Short soup ($6) has a very good and flavoursome broth with a bit of a peppery kick.

There are five slithery, delicious wontons – Bennie’s glinty-eyed enthusiasm wins him three, his dad gets two.

 

jade4

 

Garlic pepper steak ($25.90) also appears modest of proportion but in this case appearances are deceiving.

There’s nothing particularly garlicky about the sauce but it is nonetheless rich and wonderful.

The beef cubes are big, of high quality and superbly cooked – and we appreciate the many chunks of broccoli.

 

jade3

 

Szechuan eggplant hot pot is a big hit with us and an outright bargain, with the smaller dice of eggplant, peas, pork mince and chilli interspersed with silky, larger eggplant chunks of beaut flavour.

At $18.90, and with rice, it could easily serve as a light meal for two.

So big is the serve that we eat a little more than half, with the rest and the leftover rice going to be Bennie’s school lunch for the next day.

With two serves of rice but no soft drinks, our dinner has cost us a fair $61.30.

Fine Indian in Hoppers with a late-night option

1 Comment
delhi4

 

Delhi Nights, 13 Old Geelong Road, Hoppers Crossing. Phone: 8087 0295

As with so many unassuming shopping strips, it’s easy to miss the row of shops and eateries across the road from Hoppers Crossing train station.

It has a cool cafe in the form of Corinthians and I’ve heard that the pies at Pauls Traditional Bakery & Cafe are well worth a try.

But Indian on this strip?

We’ve never before noticed it.

Even Bennie is surprised, as this is all familiar territory to him on account of this tangle of rail lines and roads being part of his daily school routine.

Turns out we haven’t really been inattentive as Delhi Nights has been open only a couple of months.

 

delhi2

 

It has all the hallmarks of being a good, cheap neighbourhood Indian eatery – plain but nice decor, a big display of sweets and savoury snacks, Bollywood on a big screen in the corner, a long menu and several tables of happy locals in for an early dinner.

Actually, perhaps the most notable thing about Delhi Nights is that it is open from 10pm through to 2am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

At those times, a “Night Menu” (see below) of chaats and a half-dozen or so curries is in play.

 

delhi3

 

Wow.

How about that?

A late-night western suburbs curry joint in Hoppers Crossing.

I’m told the response to this innovation has been good.

The Delhi Nights menu covers all the expected bases, though the dosa and Indo-Chinese lineup is not as lengthy as those in most such places.

Best of all, from my biased point of view, the chaat menu extends to some sexy stuffed breads and the like – including aloo puri, pav bhaji, Amritsrai kulcha thali and aloo prantha thali.

 

delhi5

 

My gobhi prantha thali ($11.99) is the goods, with an impressive pile of breads stuffed with a crumbly cauliflower mix.

These, though, are very spicy to my way of thinking and tasting, so I make no use of the pickle on hand but make very happy with the raita.

 

delhi6

 

Bennie is very happy with his “dine-in” thali spcial ($11.99).

With this he gets his choice of a meat curry (lamb Madras is this case), a “chef’s choice” veg curry, a plain naan and raita.

The menu says he should also get saffron rice, as other customers are, but he worries not as what is in front of him is just right and he happily scoops up the lot.

All too often these sorts of thali deals seem to involve whatever tired curries happen to be lying around in the kitchen.

That’s certainly not the case here, with the chick peas in particular having a lovely freesh-cooked appeal.

The service has been fine and the papadums free.

 

delhi8

dellhi9

delhi1

Good Place for Malaysian

1 Comment

makan7

 

Makan Place, Pacific Werribee, Hoppers Crossing. Phone 8742 2368

Whatever the planned longevity of shopping centres, there’s no doubt that once they’re up we’re stuck with them for several decades.

Stuck, too, with old-school food courts, lousy fast food and a neverending torrent of plastic.

But with the new food area at Highpoint (see stories here and here) and the even newer Urban Diner precinct at the rebranded Pacific Werribee at Hoppers Crossing, it seems that – going forward (ugh!) – developers have finally twigged that their customers want better food in better surroundings.

And that it is a very good idea to provide them.

Nevertheless, I confess to being on the snooty side when I first saw the Pacific Werribee/Urban Diner food line-up.

Sure, there’s outlets – Grill’d and Guzmen y Gomez, in particular – of which we’re fond.

But there appeared to be little of real interest to us.

 

makan6

 

Somehow, during that process, I missed Makan Place – until a story by the Urban Ma tweaked our interest.

A full-on, new Malaysian restaurant at a Hoppers Crossing shopping centre?

Oh yes, we’ll be in that!

So it is that we front up after Bennie’s guitar lesson, also (very handily) just up the road.

Makan Place is a lovely eatery in which to spend some time, with several different seating configurations on hand.

 

makan1

 

We find the ordering system – mark dish numbers on a slip, push a buzzer on the condiment tray, have order whisked away by a staff member – works really well.

The service is fine and our food arrives very quickly.

The menu is pretty much as expected, long and packed with photographs, and starts with “toast” and snack items.

At first, I fear we may have over-ordered – but we down the lot.

Hungry lads are we!

 

makan4

 

French toast with Kaya and peanut butter ($5.90) we order based on the Urban Ma’s enthusiastic recommendation.

I figure that if I don’t like it, Bennie sure as hell will.

It strikes me as more of a breakfast dish – very rich, almost cloying.

Bennie loves it!

 

makan3

 

I recall a time when most Malaysian eateries in Melbourne served acar as a side dish.

The Makan Place version ($5.90) makes wish that was still the case.

This generous serve of (very) lightly pickled vegetables is superb, crunchy and packed with sesame flavour.

It would’ve been nice if some cauliflower had joined the carrot, cucumber and cabbage.

 

makan2

 

Bennie’s nasi lemak with beef rendang is another winner – and another good-sized meal for the price ($12.90).

All the usual components are in place, including some of that acar.

The curry serve is also generous but – as is often the case – the big chunks of beef are dry.

Smaller and more tender pieces are needed – or at least quite a lot more gravy to make up for the dryness.

 

makan5

 

Just for comparison purposes, I order the regular chicken laksa ($11.90).

It’s a good, solid if unspectacular laksa but not quite not in the same class as that to be had at M Yong Tofu in Flemington.

Still, our quibbles are very minor – Makan Place is a fine addition to the Malaysian options available in the west.

Our total bill, having eaten very well, is a most excellent $36.60.

 

makan8