Quick Lunch: Grand BBQ, Melbourne CBD

by April@MyFoodTrail on July 24, 2009

in Chinese, Melbourne, Quick Lunch

Grand BBQ
Target Centre, 236 Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC
No listed phone number

This cold Melbourne weather is making me hungry all the time and my simple lunch is not cutting it anymore! I long for something hot or hearty to fill me up. One problem I find with having a heavy lunch is that I start to feel sleepy by mid-afternoon… which is fine if I am at home and can have a nanna nap, but not so much when I am sitting in the office at my desk!

I have been coming here for a number of years now, even since the dear Ms D showed me what I was missing out on! Located not far from the Bourke Street entrance of the Target Centre, this busy lunchtime spot serves mostly noodles dishes, but I have seen some roasts (duck, BBQ pork, roast pork) on rice.

I come for the tasty yong tao foo. What is yong tao foo? It is like an assortment of small vegetables/tofu stuffed with fish paste. You can see some of the selection below.

Selection of yong tao foo

You get to choose 6 items from the boxes in the front, what type of noodles you like and the sauce to go with it for $9.50. You have a choice of hokkien noodles, rice noodles, vermicelli noodles, spinach noodles and egg noodles and the soup choices are laksa, tom yum or plain chicken broth. I used to always order the 6 pieces with a mixture of hokkien and rice noodles and laksa soup until I discovered their chilli sauce and now I always go with the plain broth.

Their chilli sauce is one of the best tasting chilli sauce I have had! So much so, I am happy to pay the $8 per container it costs to have this chilli at home! The chilli sauce is not very hot, which is why I can eat saucers and saucers of the stuff (I have close to zero chilli tolerance!). I would love to know how I can make the chilli sauce myself at home, so if any readers out there know, please share!

The yummy chilli sauce

This particular visit, I ordered dish no. 33, the Vegetarian prawn dish. It normally comes with egg noodle, but I requested rice noodle. It also normally comes with beanshoots, but I always ask them to leave it out! The dish comes with 4 pieces of the vegetarian prawn beancurd rolls (bottom left), 3 pieces of tofu, 3 pieces of eggplant, some slices of lady’s finger/okra, some bok choy and of course the noodles! Inside the vegetarian prawn roll, strangely there does not seem to be prawn, but there is carrot, chinese mushrooms and what looks like winter melon. It is very tasty though and I like the texture. I think there might be prawn paste inside? I had to share a table so I didn’t want to look too weird dissecting my food… I was already getting strange looks for taking my camera out!

No. 33 – Vegetarian prawn noodles $9.00

You order from the front counter and they give you a ticket. Once your dish is ready, one of the staff call out your number and you collect it yourself. You also have to help yourself to your own cutlery, sauces and tea. A word of warning, the place does get extremely busy during lunchtime so you will probably end up having to share tables. The turnover is high and everyone eats and goes, so a spare seat will open up eventually – just hope that it is before your order is ready!

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

spatulaspoonandsaturday July 24, 2009 at 11:23 pm

oooh yummy. i discovered yong tau fu when i was in singapore and i was totally in love with the idea of picking out what goes into my noodles. i have to try this place.

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Conor @ HoldtheBeef July 25, 2009 at 12:12 pm

I totally agree with you about the cold weather and hunger. I'm constantly hungry at the best of times, but throw some cold weather into the mix and I'm practically insatiable. Just as well being cold burns more calories naturally, right? 😀

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Agnes July 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Oh, I haven't eaten there in ages! Love their yong tau fu too. 🙂

This is my favourite chilli sauce: http://vietworldkitchen.typepad.com/blog/2007/07/lemongrass-chil.html

I love it and eat it with almost everything. It has fish sauce in it though, so is slightly fishy tasting – if you're not a fish sauce fan it may not be the one for you. 🙂 Oh, and if you have zero chilli tolerance, you may find it a tad spicy.

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Melissa - The Kitchen Enquirer July 26, 2009 at 8:51 pm

This place is awesome! I always get a soup but will have to try the yong tao foo you have there..

What surprises me is how quickly they turn out the food when the place is jumping with both sit-in and take-away customers.

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Maria@TheGourmetChallenge July 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm

I havent been there for years! Its great too see that the quality and quick service is still spot on

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Rilsta July 28, 2009 at 6:54 pm

Hi spatulaspoonandsaturday: I think part of the novelty is getting to pick what you want but at this place the yong tao foo also tastes good. There have been a lot of copycats restaurants around but I think this is one of the better ones.

Hi Conor: Hehe… that's what I tell myself too! Cold = more shivering = body moving = burning calories! 🙂

Hi Agnes: Thanks for the link! I don't mind fish sauce so I will give it a go. I have my own chilli plant but it seems to be dying from the cold! If something spicy tastes good, I will still keep eating it until my mouth really can't take it anymore!!

Hi Melissa: They must be rolling in it. Their turnover is so high – almost one person per minute!

Hi Maria: Besides the price increases, it doesn't seem to have changed in years.

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penny aka jeroxie August 19, 2009 at 9:49 am

Yes. I love this place. Great selection for laksa! I miss working in the city.

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Rilsta August 20, 2009 at 1:44 pm

Hi Penny: It's not the traditional laksa, but I love that I can pick my own stuff to go in the soup! Sometimes working in the city is not a good thing because you end up wanting to eat out more!

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Rose January 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I think the sauce is Taiwanese shacha sauce that is often used with hot pot. It has a slight fishy taste, but it's really yummy. It's also kind of oily and has a small clumpy texture. I like that it's only very slightly spicy. Does this sound like what you're eating? You can get bottles of this stuff, around $5 for a big can of it, or $2 for a jar of it. Here's the Wiki site and it shows a popular brand.

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Rilsta January 22, 2010 at 11:53 am

Hi Rose: ooh, thank you for letting me know, though there isn't a link provided! 🙁 I shall research whether it is the same thing! I think Grand BBQ makes their own chilli sauce because they have them in massive buckets!

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Rose January 23, 2010 at 7:54 am
Rilsta January 25, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Hi Rose: Thanks for coming back and giving me the link! 🙂 I've tried that shacha sauce before & actually didn't really like it. It's different from the chilli from this place!

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Jetsetting Joyce (MEL: HOT OR NOT) June 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Thanks for your suggestion – can't believe I hadn't been here before today. I am definitely returning for their yong tau foo.

Jetsetting Joyce

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Sally November 27, 2014 at 11:48 am

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