I frequent Grain Express when I’m craving a laksa, and don’t want to risk being disappointed by a mediocre dish. Yes, it is in a food court, but it’s in a food court at Box Hill. Enough said. Haha, but no, seriously, Grain Express does one of the best curry laksas I’ve had (and I’ve had more than a few). I recently enquired about what brand of paste they use for the soup, but was informed that the chef makes his own, this did not surprise me. When I look for a good curry laksa, I look for a few things..
1. The soup must be creamy, but not overly so. I hate it when all you can taste is coconut milk, but at the same time it’s almost just as bad if it’s watery.
2. The laksa base itself must be flavoursome.
3. There must be a thick layer of chilli oil on top of the soup! I like my laksa to have a bit of a punch to it, but I am more than happy to devour a mild one, as long as it’s still got that oily goodness on top. Obviously it shouldn’t be half oil, half soup, but more often than not I have been served a laksa with no or VERY little chilli oil, which is disappointing. Clearly it depends on the type of base used for the soup, as the oiliness will usually come from that (so if you’ve been served a laksa that has been made with a powdered base, it probably won’t have any of that nice stuff on top), but if it doesn’t I like to add some myself
4. The additional ingredients (chicken, tofu, etc.). To me this point is not as important as the others, as the soup itself is what I crave – if I craved some amazing chicken or tofu or noodles, I’d just get any type of noodle soup. This may be more important to some people, but I think for me, as I am quite limited to what I can have in a laksa (usually just chicken and tofu, with the obvious inclusion of hokkien and vermicelli noodles, garnishes and occasionally vegetables as I’m allergic to all types of seafood) it’s not a huge deal. In saying that though, if every bit of chicken is gristly I won’t be impressed
Chicken Curry Laksa
One of the nice things I have noticed about Grain Express is that they are usually pretty generous with their ingredients/toppings. As you can see here, I have a fair bit of chicken and tofu (obviously some is in the soup itself).
Here is a photo of Cam’s lunch. It wasn’t from grain express, and I can’t remember what the place was called, but it was the Japanese place on the left of Grain Express. He said it was tasty, so I thought I’d throw it in
I was extremely full after the laksa, but Cam and I had wanted to try out Mister Dorayaki’s Japanese pancakes (and waffles, in my case) for a while, so we decided to stuff some more food into us!
Dorayaki is literally just a type of Japanese pancake, so I guess their name makes sense!
Cute menu board.
Nutella waffle, $5.50.
This was my choice, although I did share half of it with Cam Anything with Nutella on/in it wins me over straight away.. I don’t even remember what other options were on the menu! From what I could tell, they make the waffles with the same batter as the pancakes, as it’s not your traditional stiff, crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle waffle. But YUM! It was so tasty. I love Nutella… >_>
Custard pancake, $2.90.
This was Cam’s choice, as he loves custard. When you make your order, they warm up the pancakes for you, so the custard was all warm and gooey on the inside.
I thought this place was pretty cute, I would definitely go there again if I was looking for a snack!
Grain Express & Mister Dorayaki
North Precinct Diners Life food court, Centro Box Hill
Box Hill, VIC