The suburb we moved to just over a month ago borders Box Hill, the center of the Chinese community in Melbourne. Box Hill is our local shopping center, and its 3 minutes in the car. I love it: parts of it remind me of Hong Kong: a magically fascinating range of shops you don’t get other places, a big food market selling anything and everything, and a ton of interesting Chinese restaurants.
Since we moved here we’ve been slowly visiting different restaurants…well, and one we’ve been to before and loved: Indochine, a Vietnamese restaurant that offers great food, happy and quick service, at really cheap prices.
Friday night we decided to try Hong Kong Best Food. A sure sign of a good Chinese restaurant is that it’s always full with Chinese people, and this fit the bill.
We had to wait 5 minutes for a table, which was fine, and were seated at around 6:50pm. That’s when the fun began.
The first thing we were asked is whether we wanted chopsticks or not. It’s an odd question given every other Asian restaurant I’ve been to just gives you the chopsticks and if you want a fork you ask for it. We thought nothing of the question then, and it seems innocent enough by itself (despite the fact it presumes we couldn’t use chopsticks)… until what happen next.
So we order and then wait….and wait…and wait. We watch people enter the restaurant, order, and get their food with a wait no longer than 5 minutes, often quicker. People who entered Hong Kong Best Food Box Hill at 7:15pm had eaten and left before we had our food, which finally arrived just after 7:30pm. It probably goes without saying at this point that those entering the restaurant were exclusively Chinese, and we were the only white people in the place.
The food wasn’t good, indeed had we not wanted to make a scene, we could have sent at least one dish back, because the meat was undercooked…which is even more interesting given how long we waited for it.
We paid the bill and left.
My wife, who would normally be the last person in this world to note racism like this said to me that we’d been racially profiled, and that the service was intentional so that we wouldn’t return again. I have to say I 100% agree.
So my Hong Kong Best Food Box Hill Review: probably a great place to dine, as long as you’re not white.
I’ll be investigating the racial discrimination laws this week to see if there is any way to complain as well. I don’t support racism from white people on others, but likewise I don’t support it happening in reverse either, and there can be no other explanation for our treatment by Hong Kong Best Food Box Hill.