The Penny Drop
Property developer-turned-restaurateur Stephen Liu wanted to make something slightly more trendy in Box Hill than its food hall and Jamaica Blue. So, together with his business partner, Mary Lai, he opened The Penny Drop, a slick all-day diner.
With design by Pop & Pac, which put its mark on The Kettle Black and Higher Ground, and We Are Huntly, The Penny Drop has a circular theme central to Chinese symbology – roundness means prosperity – with round marble bars and circular copper-coloured lighting.
The enormous menu, designed by chefs Jason Shiong and Daniel McDonald, likewise fuses East and West. A potato and garlic-chive waffle comes with poached eggs, ham, hollandaise, and wakame, while a sweet-and-sour pork knuckle is covered in fried shallots and a master-stock glaze. Dessert options include a mandarin brûlée with lychee and ginger biscuit.
Coffee is by DC. There’s also beer on tap, a wine list, and a cocktail menu that includes a range of sours.