Tonic Café

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By Ravenous Renee

Like its name, ‘Tonic’ certainly does have restorative powers to nourish the mind, body and soul. Just enter this welcoming Chinese family-run business (tucked in at the beginning of Ormond Road at Elwood’s main roundabout, which intersects Glenhuntly Road and Broadway) and with graceful and modest hospitality, a modern and cheerful air and delicious cheap eats, you’ll walk out feeling very much content.

This mother and daughter duo (Peggy and Siting respectively) alongside their other lovely staff, will look after you as if this was your second home. No wonder the locals love this place.

Opting for something healthy but still substantial, I decided to go with Tonic’s Smoked Salmon Salsa Wrap $12 and I was pleased I did. Served warm, straight from under the grill, my spinach-herbed soft tortilla wrap encased flavoursome lavish pieces of Regal New Zealand King Salmon (taking me by surprise for the quality of produce that I was receiving for pittance) alongside natural yoghurt, creamy chunks of just ripened avocado, red onion, juicy tomato and crispy-fresh mesclun leaves.

A pleasure to unfold on my palate, the only thing I would have liked to have seen would have been a few capers, but maybe that’s just me. I’m also a fan of sweet-chilli sauce, but hey, I guess that’s where my sugar addiction comes in. Otherwise, this was a very moreish melt-in-your-mouth wrap that was not too heavy, not too light, filled the gap, and went oh so well with my thick mango infused smoothie (blackboard special) $6.50, which I quenched feverishly on the side. Other delectable smoothies, fresh juices and milkshakes are also available, should you fancy.

Furthermore, mentioning that I have a penchant for good ol’ dumplings – the succulent juicy filled ones like those I recall eating when visiting Shanghai – I was told Tonic’s Beef Dumplings, $8.00 (made authentically Chinese-style with oily broth pockets enclosed) were a must try. And who was I to argue?

These traditional Chinese made beef dumplings, served gyoza style, and made with evidently lean and seasoned freshly ground meat, were something else. And served with tangy-sweet homemade sauce, I honestly couldn’t get enough. I’d have to say Tonic’s dumplings certainly do satisfy and are not heavy and cloggy like what you might receive at some dumpling houses going around. Not my shanghai dumplings that I remember, but still amazingly good, and with silky-crisp wrappings and succulent beef morsels, are rightly worth coming back for more. Tonic, you are my elixir.


Tonic Café

8 Ormond Road, Elwood

Mon-Fri 7am-4pm

Sat-Sun 8am-3pm

Ph: (03) 9537 7755

Tonic-Dumplings Tonic-Dumplings-3 Tonic-Wrap Tonic-wrap-3

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