The Penny Drop, Box Hill
Food: Rice Burger, Beetroot and Sweetcorn Croquette, Mr Ssam Benedict, Matcha Pancakes
When I think of Box Hill, I think of dark, noisy, crowded dumpling restaurants, people clamouring for tables, and good, but simply presented food. The Penny Drop couldn’t be any further from this notion. With its bright tranquil environment, it’s probably the most relaxing place in Box Hill to eat. Sticking to the roots of the area, there’s an Asian inspired theme running through most of the menu and each dish is carefully crafted to ensure you really do eat with your eyes first.
Despite being fairly expansive when you arrive, staff are on the ball to greet and seat you quickly. The majority of tables are well away from the take away area – further enhancing the chilled out vibe – and the cafe itself feels spacious. We felt very well looked after throughout our visit and enjoyed the creative menu they had to offer. We dragged along Teresa Active Foodie to help us eat, so we devoured our way through the rice burger, beetroot and sweet corn croquettes, matcha pancakes and the benedict.
Everything about the croquettes sounded delicious and I’m pleased to say they didn’t disappoint. The gorgeous creamy croquettes, with a slight earthy flavour from the beetroot were such a unique dish, they will be a stand out for me this year. Kept healthy with veggies on the side, they still packed in lots of flavour with the tumeric cauliflower and spiced avocado.
The rice burger was cool and creative. Plated beautifully, with that perfectly fried egg on top, it’s a dish you can’t wait to dive into. Teaming up the classic pork and apple combo with the soft rice worked so well. The pork itself just fell apart and while this wouldn’t strike you as a typical brunch dish, we really struggled to fault it.
The crab benny stuck a little closer to the traditional – although with plenty of Asian flavours: bean sprouts, spring onion and kimchi hollandaise. Served on a pancake instead of typical sourdough was a nice little twist and the fried soft shell crab was cooked perfectly. This was the most filling dish we tried, so definitely give it a go if you’re hungry.
Finally we ended with the matcha pancakes – another stunning plate with plentyful pops of colour. The matcha flavour was mild through the pancakes, topped with that matcha ganache to get a real hit of flavour if you want more. The coconut gel gave the dish an almost tropical freshness and while matcha and coconut isn’t a combo I’ve tried before, it worked nicely. The strawberries and chocolate soil brought that extra bit of sweetness and tied together the dish to make it a great end to an awesome brunch!
Address: 913 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill
Mon 7am to 5pm
Tue 7am to 5pm
Wed 7am to 5pm
Thu 7am to 5pm
Fri 7am to late
Sat 8am to late
Sun 8am to 4pm
Parking: Parking can be a little tricking in Box Hill. We managed to eventually find a free park a few streets away, however, be prepared for a bit of a drive around, or to pay for your parking.
Getting here on PT: It’s a 3 minute walk from Box Hill Central Station on the Lilydale lane. A minutes walk from the 109 tram (alight at Box Hill interchange) and well served by local bus routes too.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of The Penny Drop, Box Hill. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.