After hearing about Food Republik, I put it on my list of places to visit one day.
Yes, that is a long list. No, it never gets shorter.
Food Republik is said to be inspired by Taiwanese night markets, but it’s actually a food court within a food court (ooh inception styles). It’s located inside Box Hill Centro, and within the Food Republik area there are several food stalls. You get two menus – one for savoury food plus drinks, and one for dessert(story). Ordering from any or all of the stalls can be done by writing the food item number on an order sheet and giving it to the wait staff.
One weekend we took mum and dad to visit the Royal Cranbourne Botanic Gardens and afterwards, even though it’s not really on the way back, we swung by Box Hill for a late lunch. We went straight to Food Republik, where there was a wait of about ten minutes for a table. I hear that there’s pretty much always a queue.
Food came out fairly promptly, though it was staggered because it was from several kitchens. A little annoyingly, my soy milk and soy pudding ($4.90) was the first to arrive. It took up precious table space while I slowly slurped my way through it.
I ordered us a serve of the XLB ($10.50 for 8).
They were passable, not amazing, but passable.
Dad wanted the beef brisket noodle soup ($9.50). The meat was fairly tender and flavoursome, with the soup being meaty with a slight sourness. I thought it was pretty good.
Mum’s only request was for a spring onion pancake ($4), which is funny because she doesn’t like garlic, onions or spring onions.
Unfortunately, the pancake was marred by the bitter flavour of the old oil that had been used to fry it.
And finally, we had a popcorn chicken rice box ($9.90). This was quite good – and there was heaps of chicken in that box. The small pieces of chicken retained a juiciness inside ther crunchy, salty coating.
Mum and Alastair had a couple of big extravagant drinks. Alastair chose the Matcha rocks – green tea soy with read bean and green tea ice cream ($7.20) and mum had a mocha with ice cream ($5.90)
I thought the food at Food Republik was okay. I probably wouldn’t go back to Box Hill specifically to eat there, but wouldn’t mind visiting again if I was in the area. Since everything they made you could get better elsewhere, it seems to be the fact that it’s so easy to pick and choose from all the different stalls that’s makes it attractive.
Food Republik (next to The Reject Shop)
Box Hill Centro South