As much as foodies like to pretend that we eat fantastic food ALL the time, the truth of the matter is that sometimes we are driven to settle for the average; to see food as fuel/something to prevent us from embarking on a murderous rampage sparked by irritation borne of hunger.
And once in awhile, those food court solutions turn up something surprising, that make us feel a lot more foodie, and a lot less food victim.
Bing Boy is a franchise that aims to bring the concept of the Chinese “jian bing” – savoury crepes that are typically sold as street food – to the Australian palate, by fusing the basic crepe with fresh, light ingredients, and selling it as a whole, balanced meal.
On the day that I tried them out, I was pretty much their target audience – I was hungry and tired, and too far gone to try and come up with “proper” food that would earn me more than scoffs from the food snob in my head. Quick, easy, takeaway that you can eat while walking? Yes, that sounds like the ticket right now.
The Order: Prawn King, a omelette wrap with Jeff, coriander, spring onion and sesame seed, that’s filled with prawn, baby spinach, pickled carrots, avocado, crispy wonton skins and sweet chill sauce.
The Taste: It was surprisingly delicious. I do quite like savoury crepes to begin with, but looking at the menu, I wasn’t really expecting anything but average. But the mixture of soft, hot crepe, crispy wonton pieces, and fresh ingredients actually made me feel great about eating it, and I started developing a craving for it – a must when you’re trying to create repeat business.
The Service: I got pulled in first by the free samples. I simply cannot walk past free samples without stopping, and it’s a surefire way to get people in the door, so to speak. They dished up a delicious variety of bites, and although it was no longer piping hot, the staff did an excellent job of drawing you in by talking about the different options that you can get. Bonus points? They actually have their own favourites on the menu that they happily recommend, which just makes a brand that much more reliable to me.
The Convenience: Located just outside Aldi, Bing Boy seems primed to catch you just as you’re leaving the shops, arms full of shopping, and fast on your way to being hangry. They wrap the crepes in this perforated paper, which allows you to neatly tear off the paper and eat your lunch on the run. Very cool.
They also started making my order as I placed it, which made it very quick, but not very scalable since I’d caught them on a quiet time in the afternoon.
The Value for Money: I can’t remember the price per se, but I do remember thinking that it was nothing more than I would spend on a food court lunch. Given that the ingredients did taste very fresh, and it left me feeling full – a hard ask since I am a pretty hungry shopper to begin with – I’d say that it was pretty good bang for your buck, and worth the detour from the main food court area.