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

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.

These prawn dumplings were hands down the best har gaus I’ve ever had.  The prawns were really “meaty” and were not “fishy” at all.

However, its pan fried version was to die for!!! I had three of these ;)  They too were meaty, with crispy bases that weren’t oily at all.  Sooo full of prawns.

Shallot cakes with ham – the pastry was light and flaky – look at the height of these things.  They can easily be oil logged in other places, but done very well here, served on a doily hehehe.

Lightly pan fried pork buns.  Dusted with black sesame and shallots, I believe these were the same as the steamed versions just lightly toasted on the bottom.  And again, without being oil logged like some other places.  How perfectly smooth and round are they!

The soy braised beef is a standard on Asian banquet entrees.  I didn’t try any as it’s not something that’s to my taste, but I’m told it was okay!

Same with the pickled cucumbers not being my cup of tea too. Sour stuff “shudder”! hehehe.

Pork belly is rolled around cucumber and served with a garlicky sauce.  I would prefer it warm myself, but very tender pork.

Here’s another thing I haven’t seen either – spinach egg tofu, topped with pickled veg, in a soy broth – Yummo!! Give me more of this!!

Silken egg tofu that’s in fact green inside still! It’s deep fried such that it’s crispy on the outside but still creamy and smooth on the inside. Yum- how do they do that!

My personal favourite. The prawn and pork wontons served with handmade noodles in a spicy sauce.  I loved the tangy spiciness of the sauce, and the al dente, thin and perfectly cooked hand made noodles.   Others found the heat a bit much, but I just think they need some chilli training because it could have done with even more in my opinion! hehehe :)

If you still have room for dessert at this stage, and let’s be realistic – I didn’t, try the piggy buns. They are devastatingly gorgeous – pink little snout, bow on one ear and black sesame seed eyes.  Too cute to eat!!!

And pumpking dumplings – how intricate are these as well!

A glutinous rice flour outside is wrapped around a lotus seed filling.  Perfect amount of sweetness too.

And finally, the red bean pancake.  Thin and not as oily as some, it was very delicate with a layer of redbean paste in the middle.

The owners have created such a nice decor.  The room is lined with glass boxes with artefact style pieces illuminated simply and stunningly.

What was also surprising to me was how the owner, Yardley, came and greeted me – knowing that rewas kinda in charge of ordering for my table of 14 (yes, there were 14 of us who devoured the lot!), and asking me if everything was to our liking.  She really seemed to care and loved hearing feedback as much as I loved talking to her about the concept – a new one that she has created, and how she carefully handpicks staff to suit her vision.  Note that as usual for Foodiechat, we paid for our meal and the above comments are all independent and honest :)  Sadly, I’m not famous enough to be invited to eat for free hehe :)

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