Chinese version of a Happy Meal

When it comes to lunch with my mum, we have a tendency to haunt the three same locations – Ten Ten, Bateman Eating House and Hong Kong BBQ. Each has their own specialty – kway teow, fish head noodles and duck – and all impress us in different ways.

Recently however we decided to branch out from our usual eating spots and try somewhere new – Happy Meals in Vic Park. I’ve driven past many times and seen large crowds of people inside, but have never tried it. And so finally we had our chance, and actually managed to get a seat straight away despite it being quite busy inside.

The restaurant is pretty standard for your Chinese eateries – pretty paintings on the wall, paper cut outs of dragons and chinese words celebrating the new year, cartons of drink piled up near the haphazard toilet.

The menu is extensive enough and gives a decent selection to choose from. The tables around us are all ordering the same dishes – ho fun and fried prawns. We take our time and decide to share a serve of the beef ho fun, duck noodles (when don’t we get duck if it’s available!) and the jellyfish with pigs trotters. Maybe a little too much food but we’re both hungry!

First out to the table is the Jellyfish and Pigs Trotters. Ribbons of jellyfish are well seasoned and full of flavour, though they’re a little thicker than I’m used to. The pigs trotter meat is also sliced thicker than I prefer – I love when it’s paper thin and melts in your mouth with that gelatinous fatty layer on the top.

Together the two textures and flavours are a good contrast in a single dish – and while not many of my friends would try this, jellyfish for my family is always a crowd pleaser!

The Beef Ho Fun is a huge serving, swimming in that gloriously eggy sauce that I love so much. Happy Meal’s version is nice enough, but the more I ate it, the more I realised it was a little too mild in flavour for my tastes. The chilli oil provided on the side definitely helped elevate this dish.
The beef is extremely tender, which I know usually means they’ve softened it with bicarb soda, but it melts in my mouth and is the best part of the dish. The noodles present are well cooked, but with the relatively plain sauce, feel underwhelming. 

The best part of our meal is definitely the duck noodles. The soup is chocked full of stocky goodness, with oil pooling on the top. The duck itself is juicy and has a good meat to fat ratio. While it lacks the knock me over the head amazingness of Hong Kong BBQ’s duck, it’s still pretty enjoyable and there’s a decent serving in the bowl.

I could return for this duck noodle dish happily, though I wouldn’t order the others we picked that day. Maybe I’ll try that fried prawn dish I spied the tables around me eating. Fried = good. Prawns = better!

Happy Meals Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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