The Happy House Restaurant

Thanks to a special reader for recommending this place – Happy House Restaurant in Northcote. It’s right next to the Tofu Shop. I don’t normally venture across the bridge – it’s actually quite a rare occassion, but apparently I do know people who live there. So once in a while, I make the trip across and combine it with a feed. I have to admit, Happy House is in a great location, it has lots of eateries and shops, and parking is damn easy to find. I think Happy House opens late – which is a good thing. Below are samples I tried:

Fried Pancake with Char Siew – $9.50.

Fried Pancake with Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce – $9.50

Sichuan Fried Rice – $8.

Fried Cumin Lamb – $15.50.

I like this place. Food is cheap and the portion is generous. The dishes are really nice, especially the fried pancake with shredded pork and friend cumin lamb. A great recommendation from one of our readers. I’ve been here twice, and I’ve had to ask for a takeaway box. Great value.

Rating = 9/10.

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Herbal Legend

I heard this place was THE place to eat Shanghai food. Herbal Legend is located on Dominion Road at Mt Eden. It’s close to the shopping area where Foodtown is.  The first time I went to this place, I couldn’t get a spot and had to settle for somewhere else to eat. This time though, I didn’t have any problems finding a spot. However, it is noticeably packed for some reason and I wanted to know why.

Cumin Lamb with Bread.

Sweet & Sour Pork Rib.

Mapo Tofu

The prices for the dishes in this restaurant range quite a bit. The cumin lamb is $22 and appears to be the most popular dish. The sweet and sour pork is $16 and the Ma Po tofu is $10. Out of the 3 dishes, I didn’t like the Ma Po tofu cause it was kinda average, however the other two wasn’t too bad. I quite like the cumin lamb with the bread. One thing I realised is the ridiculous speed they made the dishes! I think it took less than 10 mins for them to prepare the 3 dishes above, which leads to the question – how so? Probably they had like 10 chefs in the kitchen or it was too easy to cook? Who knows.

Anyway, I did hear good things about this place but in the end, I found that it was alright. Perhaps it doesn’t suit my palate. The price is great and service not too bad (friendly I thought). Taste is OK as I said before. Ratings 7.5/10. Perhaps might suit some people, but not me.

Sichuan Steamboat and Chinese Restaurant

I am not a big Sichuan fan. It takes a while for me to get use to the strong flavours from this special province. And they’re big on steamboat for some apparent reason.  Anyway, I found this restaurant in Panmure quite recently, thanks to a friend who was seriously into steamboat. Since then, I’ve been back a couple of times.

Some of my favourite dishes are shown below:

sichuan-steamboat-and-chinese-restuarant-chilli-chicken  

Sichuan Style Spicy Diced Chicken.

sichuan-steamboat-and-chinese-restuarant-cumin-lamb 

Fried Lamb with Fennel Seeds.

sichuan-steamboat-and-chinese-restuarant-eggplant-on-sichuan-sauce 

Sichuan Style Egg Plant.

Sichuan Steamboat and Chinese Restaurant - Sichuan Style Boiled and Fried Pork 

Sichuan Style Boiled and Fried Pork.

I have to admit there is nothing but praises for this place and apparently it has got affliation with HP8 in Newmarket. The meat dishes were all $18, and the egg plant is $16. My recommendation is the egg plant. The other 3 meat dishes are very good. I’ve also tried the steamboat which is also not bad.

My rating for this place is a rare 9.5/10. The restaurant’s price, flavour and authenticity accounting for its high rating. I highly recommend.