Best food or atmosphere?

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There’s a restaurant in Box Hill that we go to on a regular basis called Hong Kong Best Food. It’s located on Carrington Road which is home to many Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants. In particular there are several, very local Chinese, Sichuan restaurants which are simply superb for both Hot Pot or regular Sichuan food. In particular we like to eat the spicy Sichuan fried green beans, shredded potato and pork belly – all of which we first discovered in China and have since pined for – actually finding them locally was a win for the little people.

So getting back to Hong Kong Best Food, or HKBF as we affectionately refer to it. Here is a restaurant that is literally like stepping off a regular Australian street (well there is a distinct Chinese vibe to Carrington Road) and into a Hong Kong diner. Whilst I have not actually been to Hong Kong myself, I can imagine this would be an authentic experience. This is one restaurant that we distinctly do not go to for the food, we go here for the atmosphere.

Setup like a standard diner, there’s four flat screen LCD televisions (one in each corner of the ceiling) which play Chinese TV. On a good night, you’ll stumble into either Chinese period drama – China’s equivalent of Home & Away, or one of those kooky Asian gameshows. Decorated with photos of gaudy low quality photographs of Hong Kong and various other ornaments, it really captures a typical Asian eatery. The place is often filled to the brim with Chinese, where as a westerner, you’re back in minority again. In fact at one of the Sichuan restaurants, I even heard myself referred to as a laowai (foreigner), in my own country!

The meals in HKBF are cheap and diverse. Sweet and sour pork ribs sit beside spaghetti bolognaise, cheese friend rice and club sandwiches. The menu is in fact so ridiculously beyond any form of typical theme that it’s one of the best parts about going there. The food is cheap and well – of not a particularly good quality. Whilst I quite enjoy what I eat there, it’s definitely not something I would write home about. I enjoy ordering Chinese food with a side of French fries – they just don’t go together, but totally do at the same time.

Another highlight was the accidental discovery of Iced Green Apple Green tea. Here we basically have green cordial on ice yet made with either green or red tea. Think the potent sweetness of cordial on ice, with the distinctly tart undercurrent of tea – to me it’s just a completely winner combination. The Chinese love their milk and tea drinks and the drinks menu at HKBF is definitely full of options. There’s also free regular tea on offer to which the mostly inattentive waitresses will refill if you can catch their attention. There’s one thing about Chinese waitresses that’s always so consistent no matter where you go – they fluctuate from attentive to completely oblivious almost constantly.

If there’s one way to sum up HKBF it’s something that turned up in a local review. You’ll love HKBF..as long as you’re Asian and I couldn’t agree more. Unless you have some fond attachment to Asian culture such as myself, an Asian partner, or are in fact Asian, you’re not going to particularly enjoy HKBF. To me it’s like a brief time-out in another country. The fact that most local Australians would not go in there, or if they did, would completely turn their nose up at what’s on offer, is all the more reason for me to dine there.

 

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