Grain Express & Mister Dorayaki @ Box Hill Centro, Box Hill

Grain Express @ Box Hill

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 :P

Curry Laksa

Chicken Curry Laksa

Curry Laksa

Mmmmmmmmmmmm :)

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).

Calamari Bento

Calamari Bento

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!

Mister Dorayaki @ Box Hill

Dorayaki is literally just a type of Japanese pancake, so I guess their name makes sense!

Menu for Mister Dorayaki @ Box Hill

Cute menu board.


Mmm, pancakes!

Nutella Waffle

Nutella waffle, $5.50.

This was my choice, although I did share half of it with Cam :P 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… >_>

Japanese Custard Pancake

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.

Japanese Custard Pancake

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

Grain Express on Urbanspoon

23 comments to Grain Express & Mister Dorayaki @ Box Hill Centro, Box Hill

  • Thanks for sharing these places! I never go to the foodcourt at the Centro shopping centre… I always go to the smaller shops or the food court at the main Box Hill Shopping Centre.

    I must try the laksa… and those waffles and pancakes!! YUM! I haven’t seen those pancakes since I was in Singapore!

    • Bink

      Of course! :) It took me a long time before I discovered Grain Express as I too used to go to the main area and food court (although I must say that food court is a little worse for wear nowadays), but I find the Centro area more pleasant and less busy.

      Definitely try out the laksa, I would love to know what you think! And yes, the waffles… Mmm! I would however recommend a different flavour of pancakes (as Cam said). I love that you saw these in Singapore! I had wondered where else they might be around the world :)

  • Cam

    To be honest I thought the pancake thingy was a little bit bland, although it might have been better with some other filling.

    But the waffle was really tasty, and like Bink said, the laksa at Grain Express is second to none.

  • Ive passed this place a few times in my days! how good are those waffles!!
    (totally! substitute the anchovies with anything you like – good quality ham would be tops! – or have a look at the post from today, cheese and pepper pasta – my new best friend!)
    T xx

    • Bink

      The waffles were great! :D I’ll try some other flavours next time… Oh, who am I kidding, I’ll probably just opt for Nutella again (I’ll have to force my partner into buying a different flavour so I can try his haha).
      (And awesome, thanks! :) The cheese and pepper pasta also looks divine! You have reignited my love for pasta! I go through food-phases ;) haha)

  • I remember eating at Grain Express a while ago and liking it!

    I really wanna try those little pancake thingys though!!

    • Bink

      It always surprises me when I find a decent food court venue! On all of the occasions I’ve eaten there it’s been the busiest place in the food court (with the majority of other places having no customers at all), so that has to be a good sign, right? :)

      Definitely give them a go next time/if you’re in Box Hill!

  • hehe yum i see lots of kewpie mayo on that salad bento :)

  • How fluffy do those waffles look! I love the look :)

  • A good laksa is really a thing of beauty! :D Great list of requirements.

    • Bink

      Thank you for your comment, Lorraine! I completely agree, when done right they are amazing. Glad you liked my requirements, haha! I was hoping people didn’t think ‘geez, she’s fussy – it’s just a noodle soup!’ :P

  • I don’t get up to Box Hill much but when I do, I ALWAYS get the egg tarts from Grain Express! Never knew their laksas were so yum :) And I’m a Nutella glutton as well, I couldn’t count how many tubs I’ve finished on my own!

    • Bink

      Ooh I haven’t tried their egg tarts, I’ll have to try them next time I’m there :) You should try their laksa next time! Hahahaha, speaking of Nutella I just finished off a tub >_> Better add it to the shopping list LOL.

    • Cam

      We just had to buy some more nutella. We decided to get the biggest size one because Bink finished the last one in a week! And none of it went on bread… :P

  • I haven’t been to centro since I studied at Box Hill! But thanks to you, I now know where to get me some ace laksa!

    • Bink

      Thanks, Adrian! :) They’ve changed centro a lot in the last few years, so not sure when you were last there but it’s worth a look if you’re ever in Box Hill! Grain Express is in the newer part of Centro (the ‘North precinct’).

  • Komal

    Yum Laksa, am severely opposed to gristly chicken also. Thinking i will visit tomorrow x

  • Komal

    Ended up getting called into work and had to drive to Doncaster Westfield. They have a pretty nice food court there also. Got to eat some yummy Laksa and satisfy craving, finally.

    • Bink

      Yeah the food court at Doncaster is pretty good! There is a China Bar downstairs too with good food :D and yum, laksa! Haha, I’ve had so much laksa over these holidays!!

  • The laksa does look good! Thanks for visiting our blog :)

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