Traditional Claypot Rice at First Taste, Hurstville

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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I was slightly hesistant to order the hand made prawn balls with tofu, as I’ve experienced many a cheap and nasty seafood dish. But seeing that it was so popular amongst the diners, I tried it.  And was very happy that i did.  The balls were made of real chunks of prawn, sweet but spicy also. The tofu was slightly dry – I would have loved some more of that delicious XO sauce, but at $8.80 I was happy to just enjoy!

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Personally I don’t eat it, but the eel with rice was apparently very nice, also served with mushrooms and chinese sausage in a sticky sauce.

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And for the very brave… durian dessert soup ($4.50) is one of a handful of desserts on offer.

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A great place to eat on a weeknight, it certainly won’t break the bank! :)


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