Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
It is common in Box Hill to see new businesses enshrined with flowers.
I had never quite realised the significance until recently. Apparently it is to wish the owners luck and a prosperous future which is the reason blooms with long flowering periods are sent such as Chinese roses, red palms, yellow chrysanthemums and Bird of Paradise flowers.
The first day it opened the place was dead and I thought what a shame, as someone has obviously spent the earth on outfitting this place and there were an enormous amount of staff scurrying around in their bright orange kerchiefs looking like busy ants.
But by the time I walked past an hour later, there was a queue out the door and I think that queue has been there ever since - not the same people mind you, but this place is so popular that there is always a line.
There is a huge glass pane at the front, so you can see the dumpling makers in their face masks and gloves creating little parcels for you. With their get up and the tender ways it reminded me of nurses in a maternity ward showing off the newly born.
Then inside is a range of different food stalls. The focus is mainly on Taiwanese food but there are also Chinese and Japanese dishes. The stalls include Crystal Jade Xiao Long Bao, Shihlin Cafe Taiwan Street Snacks, Old Tong Beef Noodles, Shin Yeh Restaurant and Toast Box.
Unlike in a standard food court, you are presented with a menu which literally has hundreds of items on it from the various stalls. All reasonably priced.
You simply write the numbers down on the sheets of paper provided. It is then scooped up by one of those hovering waiters.
You can order from different stalls but it all comes to your table usually in stages. So it is good if you are in a group and can share each dish so that no one gets hungry.
We had a great many dishes and they were all excellent. The huge bowl of vegetarian noodles were pounced on as were the Japanese pancakes. A lot of fun was had with the dumplings. The prawn and ginger ones we ordered were delicate little bundles and inside was a tasty soupy concoction.
After the first one squirted everywhere ( luckily I've stopped with the baby analogy), we labelled them "nip 'n suck" dumplings"
The secret is to make a tiny incision with your teeth and then suck out the juice finally getting to the prawn inside.
There is a dessert bar with endless choices but we were too full. However we did have drinks from there which looked and tasted stunning.
My son's drink was iced watermelon. While I had an iced lemon drink. Alcohol was also available.
The meal for five of us including drinks came to $79 dollars - this is because a lot of the dishes, such as dumplings, are only a few dollars. No doubt this is part of the reason this place is so popular.