Corners Flinders & Swanston Streets
03 9650 8666
I had fond memories of Bokchoy Tang. I previously went there for a sociable birthday party. We shared many dishes and relaxed over wine, conversation and the melodies of live piano. Whether it was due to time passing, or that we chose lunch over dinner, it did not live up to my memories when I revisited the Fed Square venue with M this week.
M and I had decided we needed a lunch together as part of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Bokchoy Tang was near the top of M’s list.
Entering the restaurant, we were perplexed as to why it was empty. Two people entered ahead of us, otherwise there was no one. The glass exterior illuminates the large dining room, but perhaps it has more character at night also (especially if there are people inside).
I ordered the vegetarian version of the dumplings and the Buddha vegetables with noodles. The dumplings were delicious. They had been pan-fried on both sides with lacings down the middle giving them a balanced look. The skins were thick and crispy. The insides were filled with greens, tofu, mushroom, carrot and spring onion. They were accompanied with a refreshing salad of julienne potato in cold, crunchy noodle-like strips and a red vinegar sauce.
I miss-ordered with the Buddha vegetables, I became tempted by the noodles but should have ordered them with rice instead. The noodles filled the bowl meaning few vegetables were added and overall the dish was too oily. Still, the flavours were pleasant with bamboo shoots, carrot, Chinese mushrooms, bokchoy and broccoli.
M seemed to be much happier with her meal than I was with mine. She ordered scallops, which she said were delicious, followed by duck, which she described as very tender.
Overall my meal was disappointing. Whilst attractively decorated, the atmosphere was dull with the emptiness. The dumplings were tasty, but the Buddha vegetables were too oily and heavy on the noodles. It is a shame as I remembered Bokchoy Tang having delicious food and many vegetarian options. Perhaps I have to return one evening to let Bokchoy Tang redeem itself.