Thursday, April 9, 2009

Guai Wei He [怪味合]

Location: 951 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill
Cuisine: Taiwanese

Tonight we decided to try out a new restaurant in Box Hill. No English name, 怪味合 (Guai Wei He) in Chinese. Literally translated as 'strange taste box'. Why so named? Because one of their signature dishes is the famous 怪味鸡 (chicken) that you get when you're in Taiwan.

The place operated a little like hotpot and Korean BBQ places. You choose a type of base pot (beef, prawn, crab, pork, lamb, mushroom, bean curd etc) and a type of sauce (seafood, special soy, curry, sweet and sour) and the waitress cooks it in front of you. Not quite Korean BBQ (not barbecued at all) and not like hotpot either (no soup base). More like a pressure cooker - the meat and vegies soak up the sauce. You can either eat this with rice, cold noodles or on its own. We ordered a half-lamb half mushroom pot with special soy sauce and half a signature chicken. The pot came with a few small kimchi like dishes.

The chicken was amazing - full of flavour and smelt and tasted a little smokey, like it had been cooked over a coal fire. The sauce it came with was quite tasty too, fairly salty, but smokey and sweet at the same time.

[signature 'strange tasting' chicken]

The pot itself came with a mix of carrots, onions and bean sprouts at the base, which were completely soaked with the sauce by the time the pot finished cooking. The lamb was tender, and there were plenty of different types of mushroom. Exciting stuff!

[mushroom and lamb pot]

Pricewise, it was rather cheap. The pot was a 4-person pot for $27 ($26 for lamb, $28 for mushroom), the half-chicken only $10. Along with two bowls of rice, our bill came to $39.

Creative, tasty and cheap!!

Overall rating: 9/10

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