Archive for the 'Chinese' Category

Chef’s Gallery – new dumpling and handmade noodle sensation in Sydney!

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Oh happy days!!  More restaurant openings in Sydney!!!  Chefs Gallery – a new dumpling and handmade noodle place, but with a difference.  The difference?  The elegant room, the perfectly crafted dumplings, the polite english speaking staff, the dedication to cleanliness (no need for the Food Authority here!), and the eagerness to please.   Just a word of warning, vegetarians, not much for you in the following post.  And another word of warning: do not read if you are hungry!!!

Chef’s Gallery just popped up next to KFC next to the Lumiere building in Sydney.  It seems to have offended an earlier Taiwanese dumpling place which apparently has put up a sign on its front door saying that they are not affiliated with any other restaurant in Sydney! Touche! Personally, I think it’s brilliant that in Sydney we now get many different interpretations of Chinese food, which was once just fried rice and sweet and sour pork.  Our palates have developed and we are becoming so open to trying new cuisines from other parts of China.   But anyway, back to Chef’s Gallery!   The service is quick, but you are not merely a number and not rushed out.  Even the busy staff who are run off their feet (note the long queues) always remember your requests and respond to them.  And did I mention clean?  Marvel at the open kitchen, where you can watch staff craft their wares.

Something healthy to start with – steamed pork and cabbage buns.  Perfectly round, with a moist pork filling.

Something substantial – the sweet and dark pork ribs – 5 lip smackingly delicious pieces of lean pork on the bone. It was a favourite of the group!

Green noodles – spinach noodles with calamari, prawns and straw mushrooms.  I loved the al dente texture, but in contrast to the flavoursome ribs, may do with a bit more salt.

Now this is something that I haven’t tried before – Chinese roti served with pork floss.  I loved the sweet pork, it had an interesting light as air texture, and it went really well with the roti that had crispy bits, and wasn’t oily like some of its asian relatives.  Yuummm.


Meet Fresh, Sydney – Taiwanese desserts

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

Just in time for summer, another fine addition to the Haymarket dining scene – the third opening in less than a month!  Meet Fresh is apparently all throughout Taiwan, but the Sydney branch is its first foray into Australia, reflecting the rapidly adapting and adventurous palates of the locals; and the cravings of our visitors and students!  Opening week saw long queues daily – but don’t be daunted, it moves quite quickly.

Located on the corner of the main drag of the pedestrian part of Chinatown (corner of Liverpool and Harbour streets), next to Mamak, it is famous for its taro pearls.  Syrupy bases of shaved ice are topped with all manner of asian specialiaties including Azuki beans, mung beans, lotus seeds, tapioca pearls – the combinations are endless, and you can also have silken tofu based desserts too.  And both can be served hot or cold.

The famous taro pearls are also served with sweet potato pearls.  Steamed taro/sweet potato is rolled with glutinous rice flour and served in syrup.  I don’t know if it was my serve, or because of the hot business on that day, but my pearls were slightly too chewy and not sweet enough.

Shaved ice, pearls, beans, and the taro/sweet potato pearls with azuki beans peaking at the back – a refreshing summer’s treat. And bowls so huge – don’t eat lunch first, as it is a meal in itself!


Seafood hotpot noodle soup

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

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It is SO cold lately, that all I want to eat every night coming home from work is a hot bowl of noodle soup.  Usually that’s noodles (udon, egg noodles, rice noodles), with veges of some sort, meat of some sort and some fish balls.  Tonight, I had some leftovers from a steamboat meal so my trick was to poach all the ingredients for just long enough to cook them without turning them into a soggy mess.  Two bowls of water going at once.  One for the fish ball squares – they need to be boiled for 10minutes.  And whilst that is going, poach the other ingredients in order of delicateness - golden mushrooms, shitaki mushrooms, then the tripe and finally the seafood ever so slightly.  Rinse the rice noodles under hot water (if you boil them they will be too soggy). And make the soup base: boil 2 cups of chicken stock, and add a slurp of soy sauce, a sprinkle of white pepper, a few drops of sesame oil and some chopped spring onions.  Place refreshed noodles in a bowl, and arrange all the ingredients nicely on top.  Pour on the hot soup and serve steaming hot.  No need for heaters and woolly socks, you will be warmed to the core :) In 15 minutes flat too :)

Traditional Claypot Rice at First Taste, Hurstville

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

I’m intrigued – what is claypot rice?  Well I sort of knew, but how could you have a whole restaurant based solely around this one style of cooking?   Well, the queues outside the shop indicated that it is possible, and highly desirable!  First Taste is a chain of small family very casual restaurants that serves rice topped with all sorts of different meats and toppings that is baked in a claypot as its name implies. The rice forms a delicious crust on the pot, much in the same way that paella has one, and is brought to your table on your personal wooden board.  First Taste is also a specialist in soups.  For $4.50, try the wintermelon and pork soup to whet your appetite, as the rice takes 20 minutes to cook. 

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Soups range up to $38 per serve that includes shark fins, fish maw and other specialties that may be new to the Australian palate.  But we’re here for the rice!  Delicious black pepper beef tenderloin rice is so tender, just the right amount of spice, and very saucy to mix through your rice.  At $7.50, you’d think yo ureally are eating in China!

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Very popular is the chicken and mushroom rice ($7.80), it’s chicken thighs steamed with mushrooms and also chinese sausage.

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