The (Cauc)Asian Invasion

:: Disclaimer: The subject of this post, by no means, carries any derogatory weight nor intent. If anything, it pokes fun at my own Asian heritage. ::

Even though I work reasonably close to Chinatown (I walk past it every morning on my way to work), I don’t really walk into it all that much. It’s not my venue of choice when I consider restaurants to eat at when I am out; it’s a let’s-go-for-yum-cha or we’re-eating-with-a-group-of-10-poor-students kind of place, which doesn’t happen very often at all. But tonight, since I ended work late and was waiting for the Jman to finish up his stuff, and we were going to have dumplings at Camy’s, I took a walk down to the Asian grocers and ended up walking up and down the Chinatown belt.

Now we’re all too familiar with the notion of the Asian invasion. There’s a joke among us that there are probably more Asians than local, white Aussies in Melbourne. The student population in my undergraduate course was testament to this; throw a stone and you’ll have a 7 in 10 chance of hitting an Asian. Now the tables have turned.

Imagine my surprise when we walked into Camy’s and were greeted by HORDES, no, MULTITUDES, of Caucasian university students. Yes, the same Camy’s – the one that was a hit amongst us international Asian students during my undergrad days – had nary an Asian in sight. And there was a QUEUE! Of Caucasians! At 8PM!!! For once I really felt like I was in Melbourne, but at the same time it felt incredibly weird! What on earth was happening?

Shock and awe aside, it was a refreshing sight to see all the local students armed with their bottles of booze, lapping up those plump, juicy dumplings dipped into the bowl of vinegar, and with chopsticks no less! They did it with such finesse that if you covered their heads, you’d probably mistake them for the Shanghainese folk.

Rent must be really expensive these days“, I jokingly whispered to the Jman. Well, at $5.80 for a giant’s serving of 15 pork or beef dumplings, and $6 for a truckload of noodles, the $10 pub meals seem like MoVida to Maccas. Why pay $10 (or probably $15 by now at the rate inflation is going) for a deep-fried unhealthy parma when you could get a plate of boiled less-unhealthy dumplings for half the price?

We left Camy’s highly amused and incredibly satisfied by our $12 meal of dumplings AND noodles, although I have to add that the outlet at Boxhill is much better than this one. So much that our dumpling-and-noodle dinner there last night left us pining for more, which explains our second visit to the city outlet tonight. To give it a little more perspective, I’d give the Boxhill outlet an 8/10 rating, and the city one a 6.5/10.

Camy Shanghai Dumpling & Noodle Restaurant (Chinatown outlet)

25 Tattersalls Lane
Melbourne, 3000
Tel: 03 9663 8555

David & Camy’s Shanghainese Dumplings (Boxhill outlet)

605 Station street
Box Hill, VIC 3128
Tel: 03 9898 8398

Update: Looks like Cindy and Michael have reviewed it too! Gotta agree with their review of the vegetarian dumplings. Absolutely pukka!

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3 Responses to “The (Cauc)Asian Invasion”

  1. Yep, we’ve been a part of the Caucasian lineup many a time! It ranks with Red Pepper and Lord of the Fries as one of my favourite city meals, and is convincingly cheaper than either of them.

    I’ve been meaning to head to Box Hill for a meal for some time. Do you think David and Camy’s is the best in the area or is there anything else you’d also recommend?

  2. The Pseudo Epicurean Says:

    Haven’t tried Red Pepper/Green Pepper before and we’ve been meaning to try it too. Perhaps you can shed some light on that one 🙂

    I don’t dine at Box Hill very often and David and Camy’s has always been our safest bet. Can’t say for sure that it’s the best, but we’ve always been happy with it. You might find other treasures though. There’s a First Taste restaurant there as well. I usually go to the one at Footscray and they have really good wantons and Chinese herbal soups, I’m guessing the one at Box Hill is probably worth a try too.

    Having said that, I won’t ever step into Hills BBQ though. Worst ever.

  3. I preferred Red Pepper slightly to Green, though the differences could easily just have been random variation on the night. Same price, same menu, so take you pick! We’ve yet to try Jaipur Curry Bar, which is nestled between the two.

    In the meantime, I’ll steer clear of Hills BBQ – thanks for the advice!

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