When hunger strikes, it’s always handy to have a few fast and easy eateries in your arsenal. Here are our favourite places for quick bites on Melbourne’s east side.
Box Hill is a hub of delicious dumpling houses. The competition is fierce, but our pick of the precinct is DC Dumpling [590 Station Street, Box Hill]. Enjoy the character of this humble, bite-sized restaurant while you sip on Chinese tea. Before you know it your order of dumplings will be rushed out to you, ready to feast on. The classic pork pan-fried dumplings won’t disappoint but if you want to try something different go for the chives and fish pan-fried dumplings. The Xiaolongbao or a ‘soup dumpling’ is also a flavoursome option. The best part? As you might expect from a dumpling house, the options here are kind to the hip pocket but rest assured, you won’t compromise on deliciousness.
If you want to change things up from your typical burger joint, BurgerBurger [135 Union Road, Surrey Hills] is the place to start. Arguably serving up some of the best burgers in Melbourne, its menu items pay homage to the surrounding suburbs — the Simply Surrey or the Chicky Canterbury burgers for instance. No matter which burger you choose, they all come with big juicy patties and fresh toppings all on a perfectly toasted brioche bun. Our pick is the Cam-baa-baa-well burger: a lamb patty with a roasted cumin and coriander grind, plus grilled halloumi, cheddar, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions and the special BurgerBurger sauce. Vegetarians are catered for too; the Suffolk Shroom Burger has a panko-crumbed mushroom patty that’s packed with flavour. Add a mango or lime flavoured Mexican soda, and you’re in for a quick meal that ticks all the boxes.
This breakfast or lunch option, synonymous with the fast-paced city of New York, is something you can grab on the fly at Bagelicious [646 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn]. These simple, yet delicious bagels are boiled then baked to create a dense, filling ring of goodness, ready to be packed with your favourite fillings. For a lunch-time delight opt for the meatball bagel that comes with garlic and dill cream cheese, and lettuce. Or for something a little lighter, try the Avocado Smash bagel or the classic bagel with a smear of cream cheese. Whether you get your bagel to takeaway or have a few minutes to wolf it down in this quaint eatery, you’ll leave ready to take on the rest of your day like a New Yorker.
Have a hankering for a HSP? We’ve been there. Our one-stop kebab shop is Kebab Yeah [5/10-40 Burwood Highway, Burwood East] where the servings are generous, the meats are tender, and the falafel is on point. Here, the HSPs come in three sizes, each with your choice of falafel, lamb, chicken or a mix of both chicken and lamb, as well as mozzarella and ‘holy trinity’ sauce — a combo of garlic, barbeque and chilli. There’s plenty of add-ons to customise your pack, too. Make your meal a bit healthier with the addition of toppings like avocado or tabouli. Or, go all out with the addition of extra meat. The gozleme — a traditional Turkish flatbread — is also a menu standout, and comes in flavours like spinach, lamb and potato, or a sweet Nutella option.
Image source: @kebabyeah
The Instagram account of Fish & Burger Co [1001 Doncaster Road, Doncaster East] is enough to make you salivate, particularly if you're overdue for a cheat day. The burgers are stacked high and the loaded fries are moreish. As tempting as the burgers are, the fish menu is worth a gander. Whichever you choose, from Atlantic salmon to blue grenadier grilled or fried, expect fresh, melt-in-your-mouth scrumptiousness that will make you forget you’re in suburban Melbourne, and instead at a seaside eatery. Make it a meal by selecting two sides of your choice from chips, slaw, salad or brown rice. Or make things easy and opt for the Old School Pack that comes with flake, chips, a potato cake, a dim sim and tartare sauce. The nacho waffle fries are also worth giving a whirl if you’re feeling like a new take on a classic Mexican-inspired snack.
Looking for a healthy version of fast food in Melbourne? Whether you’re on your lunch break looking for your mid-day feed, or just have somewhere to be, there are few things quicker to order and chow down on than sushi rolls. Mogu Mogu [48 Jackson Court, Doncaster East] is a Japanese restaurant the caters to those dining in and taking away, and what they serve will make you happy no matter where you choose. Order a trio of sushi rolls from its sushi cabinet, stocked with varieties including the classic California or teriyaki rolls as well as the more unusual soft-shell crab with sweet chilli mayo, and in no time you’ll be enjoying your lunch. Or, if you have a little more time to spare, order one of the bento boxes and a decadent Japanese-style dessert like ichigo daifuku which is a rice cake stuffed with a strawberry and red bean paste.
Image source: @mogumogubyhiro
For a quick lunch-time bite bahn mi aka Vietnamese rolls are a filling and budget-friendly option that’s prepared in a flash. Wendy’s Bakery [473 Whitehorse Road, Mitcham] is our go-to on the east side, for its tasty ingredients packed into crusty, fresh rolls as well as its efficient service. Order the pork roll, it’s a hot favourite. It comes with Vietnamese salad, crackling and a generous spread of pate. If you’re after bahn mi sans meat, opt for the salad roll, that will take you back to your high-school tuck shop, only better.
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