Kowloon Cafe – Glen Waverley, Melbourne, Australia – 23 March 2021 – a simple reminder of the day-to-day dining experiences in Hong Kong

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Glen Waverley’s Kowloon Cafe opened near the start of 2021. The first Kowloon Cafe that open in Melbourne is still open and it’s located in Box Hill, but it probably feels more at home here in Glen Waverley, since Glen Waverley is the home to a majority of Melbourne’s Hong Kong immigrants. Kowloon Cafe offers some simple reminders of the dining experiences in Hong Kong, where dishes are generally all on one plate (as opposed to shared dishes) and the food is a mix of Asian and European influences.

I visit Glen Waverley a lot and it seems the restaurant has garnered quite a crowd on some nights, but notably the crowd is generally younger.

The exterior at Kowloon Cafe. You see it from the main road.

Kowloon Cafe is in a decent location in Glen Waverley. It can be seen from Springvale Road, but it is away from the main street, Kingsway. Unless you drive past it on Springvale Road or you have heard about it from someone else, it may not be on your radar as a place to visit. It’s worth a visit, because this type of dining isn’t replicated elsewhere in Glen Waverley.

On walking into the restaurant, I had a feeling it was more catered to university students. It is a far cry from fine dining and everything seems very casual. (No criticism, it is aptly named a cafe after all.) You serve yourself with water and any condiments such as sauces and you have to place your order and pay at the front counter.

The interior at Kowloon Cafe

The casual looking menu was a hodgepodge of Hong Kong style cafe food. The menu seriously reminded me of the popular Tsui Wah Restaurants all over Hong Hong. In the menu, there was all day menu sets (with main, side and drink), cheese bakes on rice, various noodles dishes (including instant noodles and ham and macaroni), cheap cuts of steaks, rice dishes, and all kinds of snacks and desserts.

To have a proper opinion of the restaurant, we decided to try some very different items on the menu to see what we thought about the food. We ordered the chicken and cheese bake on a bed of rice, their French toast with custard and some beef/mushroom stir-fry with gravy over flat rice noodles.

Our dishes of cheese bake, French toast and beef/mushroom stir-fry on rice noodles at Kowloon Cafe

The chicken and cheese bake on rice was okay. The top layer had about 2 cms of topping and the rest of the bake bowl was a layer of rice. The proportion of topping and rice was fine. The flavor was pretty ordinary. I had to add some chili oil to make it more interesting.

The beef/mushroom stir-fry with gravy over flat rice noodles was bland. If there was flavor it was simply masked by the egg gravy. I was hoping for some charred flavor from the flat rice noodles, but it never came. My impression was that things were just boiled everything and chucked in on the plate and then an egg was cracked on top. Again, I had to add some chili oil to make it more interesting.

The dish that they did pretty well on was their French toast. It came with some maple syrup on the side in a small saucer. The bread was nice and crunchy and the inside was oozing with yummy hot custard. When I cut into the bread, the custard just flooded out. It was a really nice, sweet dish. If I do come back, I would come back for this dish again.

French Toast with Custard at Kowloon Cafe

I noticed that their coffees were popular, but I am not much of a coffee drinker. The people nearby seemed to be enjoying each sip.

The dishes were all around AUD$10 to $20. It wasn’t a super cheap place to eat. For example the cheese bake dishes are AUD$15 and their Hong Kong Rice Noodles is also AUD$15.

Kowloon Cafe is located on the main road near Springvale Road (which you can see as you drive past on the main road) at 193 Coleman Parade, Glen Waverley VIC 3150:

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