New Shanghai, Chatswood Chase ($$)

Address: Lower Ground Level, Chatswood Chase- 345 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW

Tel: (02) 9412 3358

Website: http://www.newshanghai.com.au/splash.php

* * *

Wicko and I attended a menu tasting at New Shanghai in Chatswood.

Wicko has started covering a few more events for me as I try to manage work and blogging and transition to being a part-time uni student from March onwards.

This event was particularly appropriate for him  as he went to school in Chatswood so knows the area quite well.  He also is quite a fussy eater so I thought exposing him to something different would be good to develop his blogging palate!

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Atmosphere

The restaurant is located in the food court of Chatswood Chase shopping centre, so we decided to park in the centre and walk down.  This was a good idea on the way there, but was a little creepy when we had to walk through the shopping centre in the dark on the way back!

The atmosphere at the restaurant was a little different to what I had expected.

It was a lot darker, almost a little grungy and it gave off a “busy modern city meets traditional tea house” vibe.

The place was packed out with busy diners, quite good for a Wednesday night out of the CBD.

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There is a small drinks bar on one side, featuring prints of a smiling Chinese girl and a large printed umbrella.  The colours brighten up the dark space and the slightly faded look gives an “old-yet-new” feel.

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There was also a private dining room which was being used when we entered (this photo is from after the meal as I did not want to take a photo while there were people in there).

I loved the red, shiny bamboo wall paper on the walls, an elegant way to brighten up the space.

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Wicko and I also liked the glass windows (similar to those at Din Tai Fung), which showed off the skills of the dumpling and bun makers, kneading and rolling away until each dumpling was perfect.

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The final touches were the antique-looking carved wooden windows ….

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the red windows and bunting….

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and the bamboo coloured neutral table settings.

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Service

We were looked after by the friendly and pleasant Jerry, the Chatswood Manager who was overseeing the staff taking our orders and delivering food.

After perusing the menu, we ordered drinks.

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Some chose pineapple, some Yakult and others pineapple an coconut.

The drinks took a while to come out and all came out at different times but they were really nice and worth the wait.

Wicko chose a Kiwi Blended Ice which was not at all sour, like some of the kiwis you find here. It also contained large chunks of Kiwi on the top.

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Kiwi Blended Ice, $5.80

I chose the Lychee Blended Ice, which I found tasted like lychee jelly, rather than fresh lychee, which was not a problem for me as I love lychee jelly anyway!

The drink was refreshing but I would have liked some pearls or jelly in there like at Easyway and Chatime.

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Lychee Blended Ice, $5.80

The lovely Georgie, who was sitting next to me, chose the Strawberry Blended Ice, which came out topped with a couple of strawberries and some mint.

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Strawberry Blended Ice, $5.80

Food

Food. Boy was there a lot of it.

The menu at New Shanghai is seasonal except for the key basic dishes so in order to try a bit of everything we had both Dim Sim and Mains to share.

We started off with the delicious pillows of pan fried pork buns that were soft on top, crisp on the bottom and full of juicy pork.

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Pan Fried Pork Buns (8 pieces), $10.50 

Next were the Xiao Long Bao, pleated dumplings with a delicate and soft skin, these dumplings were bursting with broth and pork flavour. Delicious and quite a generous serving for the price!

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Xiao Long Bao (8 pieces), $7.80 

One of the more exciting dishes on the menu and definitely one of my favourites, was the Prawn Wonton tossed with peanut butter, red chilli oil and spice. The creamy, nutty flavour of the peanut butter (which you can see in the middle) was perfect with the spicy chilli and cool cucumber and the prawns were cooked until JUST done!

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Prawn Wontons with peanut butter and chilli sauce (10 pieces), $14.80

The steamed Pork Belly Buns were soft and slightly chewy with a tasty sauce, however, the pork was quite dry so I didn’t really like this dish.

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Pork Belly Buns, $6.00 (2 pieces)

The pan fried pork dumplings were great as they were so golden and delicious on the bottom, perfect with the vinegar and soy sauce.

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Here’s a photo of the bottom of the dumplings:

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Pan Fried Pork Dumplings (8 pieces), $9.90

After we had enjoyed the Dim Sim, we moved on to the Braised Tofu and Mushroom in Sweet Soy Sauce.

While I am definitely not a mushroom person and couldn’t handle more than a bite of these slimy looking things, I did enjoy the tofu, the glossy sauce and the braised greens.

Great for the vegetarians!

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Braised Tofu and Mushroom in Sweet Soy Sauce, $16.80

Next were the Stir Fried Claims with XO Sauce. The claims were well cooked, the sauce was sweet and a little spicy and the shallots were crunchy and added some freshness and colour.

Wicko also enjoyed his first clam, noting that he had caught one once on a fishing trip by accident.  Nice.

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Stir Fried Clam, $15.80

The Steamed Fish with Seaweed was soft and flaky, falling apart easily when prodded with our chopsticks. I’m not 100% sure exactly what the sauce was or how much it cost though as I couldn’t find it on the menu.

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My favourite dish, possibly of all time, had to be the Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab.  This dish was a winner all round and we enjoyed the super crunchy fried crab, the spicy chili and the well seasoned batter.  The presentation was also nice with some bright colours to lift the look of the dish.

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Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab, $29.80

Next we had the King Prawn in Ginger and Shallots with Vermicelli.  There were plenty of prawns in this dish, even if they were a little overdone and hard to peel (HOW do you peel prawns with chopsticks and a soup spoon!?).

The ginger and shallot sauce was tasty but I wasn’t a fan of all the noodles at the bottom, a little too much vermicelli for me!

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We then had the Salt and Pepper Deep Fried School of Prawns, which were the same as the soft shell crab, except crunchier.

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The Sizzling Seafood Hot Pot was next.  A pot full of seafood broth, steaming vegetables, tofu, fish, prawns and squid, this dish was something light that you could enjoy with fried rice of noodles, without feeling super guilty that you just ate all dat fried crab.

???????????????????????????????The Rainbow Beef was next.  The beef was cut super thin, battered and then fried and coated in a red sweet and sour sauce, leaving it crunchy and sweet.

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Rainbow Beef, $17.80

It was served with some steamed plain bread that you were meant to place the beef in, although I only ended up trying a piece of the bread and a couple of pieces of the beef.

The bread was light and pillowy and very cutely shaped so that they looked like little clouds!

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Finally, the last dish was the Fried Rice with XO Sauce.  The rice was so flavoursome and colourful and I loved the prawns and egg in there.

A great dish to complement any of the other mains, especially the steamed vegetable and seafood dishes.

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Fried Rice in XO Sauce, $11.90

For dessert, we shared HUGE bowls of shaved ice, ice cream, fresh mango and strawberry (yes, fresh!), and some condensed milk.

Despite half the dish being ice, once the ice cream and ice started melting the combination of fruity flavours mixing in with the ice made for a cold and satisfying dessert.

We were surprised to find that all this was only $10.80, however, you are only able to choose either mango or strawberry when you order this at the restaurant.

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Fresh Mango or Strawberry Shaved Ice, $10.80

Summary

The food was very tasty and there was so much variety, flavour and technique used in making these dishes.  Great value as well and large serving sizes.

The decor is traditional meets modern, and I loved the glass area where the dumplings and buns were made and the beautiful red and black antique looking features.

Rating

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service-  8
  • Food-  8
  • Atmosphere- 7.75
  • Value – 8

TCFB and Wicko dined complimentarily as guests of Wasamedia and New Shanghai. 

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wok On Inn, The Rocks ($)

Address: 17/31 Playfair Street, The Rocks, Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9247 8554

Website: http://www.wokoninn.com.au/

* * *

I visited Wok On Inn one evening after work to have dinner with the owner and “Chief Executive Noodle” Mr Ankur Sehgal.

Wok On Inn is a noodle bar specialising in Asian Street Food.
There are currently four stores: Balmain, Darlinghurst, The Rocks and Norwest, with four more to open soon in Sydney and Canberra.
Atmosphere

I got to the place around 6.20, a little early for our 6.30 start but Mr Sehgal was stuck in traffic anyway so I had a bit of time to look around and get a feel for the place before he arrived.

Wok On Inn is located close to Circular Quay, about a 5-10 minute walk from the station.

The Rocks restaurant is quite small, more of a takeaway/fast food restaurant.  However, it still has plenty of seating including long wooden benches with colourful stools, and metal tables and chairs in the middle of the area.

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I visited on a Wednesday night and it wasn’t very busy, but there was a steady stream of people; either those who happened to smell the food as they walked past or those who walked over with confidence and familiarity.

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Service

I seated myself at one of the large wooden benches.

It was a nice cool day so it was quite pleasant to sit outside, apart from the annoying seagull which patrolled the area walking up and down between the tables and staring diners down with its beady eyes (image below).

The seagull eventually even gained enough courage to jump onto the table and try to steal our food, despite my efforts to chase it away!

Ankur later informed me that this was a problem they faced in The Rocks store in particular, but that the other stores didn’t have this same issue.

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While I waited I enjoyed reading the interesting information on the chopstick cups:??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

A friendly waitress asked if I wanted a drink while I waited (yes, as it was a very hot day!).

I was pleased to receive a chilled glass and cold can of solo, a nice touch which made my short wait more relaxing!

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Overall, service throughout the meal was quite good.

It took less than 5-10 minutes for food to come out, staff were friendly and pleasant and as soon as diners left they cleared the plates (very efficient!), leaving nothing for the pesky seagulls!

Food

When Ankur arrived, I was pleased to find that he was very friendly and easy to talk to.

I liked the fact that he was passionate about good food and good service in all his restaurants, and that he was ambitious and committed to making Wok On Inn work in Australia.

Ankur informed me that he wanted to bring the authenticity of the Asian food in Asia, to Australia, without sacrificing on value.
He told me that the sauces they use are made in Asia because the ingredients are more authentic and you can get better onions, better chillis and more stronger flavours of spices in Asia than you could ever find in Australia.  The sauces he said, are snap frozen and sent to them for use in their dishes.
These pre-made sauces make the dishes much more authentic and the fact that they are already made means noodles can be prepared quickly and can be made to order within 10  – 12 minutes.  It also keeps costs down, allowing them to deliver any dish on the menu for under $14.00.
Ankur ordered a number of dishes for us to try.
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I enjoyed a lovely round steamed Spicy Chicken Dumpling ($3.95 for 3) which was quite soft, tasty and juicy.  It was not as good as Din Tai Fung (not even close), but considering this is a noodle restaurant, it was quite good!

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Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai, $13.95

First I tried the Pad Thai, a classic dish.

The dish was nicely presented, topped with beansprouts, crushed peanuts, a wedge of lemon and some parsley.

The noodles were delicious with a slightly sweet sauce and plenty of chicken and prawn.  A very tasty and satisfying dish and a great portion!

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Bangkok Noodles, $12.95

Next up were Ankur’s favourite: Bangkok Noodles with chicken: basically hokkien noodles with a sweet pad prik khing sauce (see my review of Spice I Am for another Pad Prik Khing dish).

The sauce was delicious and you could really taste some strong lemongrass flavours and smell the kaffir lime.

Ankur told me that the dish was originally served with rice instead of noodles but they found that it was not selling so they decided to change it up a little and reinvent it by using noodles instead.

The idea obviously worked as the dish is now one of their top sellers!

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Uncle’s Drunken Noodles, $13.95

Finally, we tried one of the other popular choices, Uncle’s Drunken Noodles.  Ankur told me that this was one of the famous dishes in Thailand, where it is made for drunk locals after a night out, with plenty of chilli and spice to awaken the senses.

The dish contains thai basil, homemade chilli paste, flat rice noodles, bamboo shoots (which I love), egg and (in our case), seafood.  It has quite a dry sauce, and is very very hot, a good one for those fiery spicelovers!

There was a lot of seafood in the dish and I thought the prawns were very nicely cooked, the calamari was not chewy or rubbery, and the vegetables were crunchy and tasted fresh.  Overall, a tasty dish, and yes, perfect for those late nights out!

Rating

Overall I would rate my dining experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 6
  • Food- 8.75
  • Ambience- 5
  • Value – 8

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Here’s a photo of Ankur with one of the lovely staff!

TCFB dined as a guest of Mr Seghur and Wok On Inn.

Wok on Inn the Rocks on Urbanspoon

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine, Chinatown Sydney ($)

Address: 10A Dixon St Sydney, NSW

Tel: (02) 9426 4888

* * *

Atmosphere

SenoritaLay, FitnessFanatic and I caught up at a popular restaurant in Chinatown, Old Town.

Located towards the Town Hall side of Dixon Street, it is opposite N2 Extreme Gelato (perfect for dessert afterwards).

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SenoritaLay had been here before and had told us that it was pretty good.  Having done my research beforehand, I was looking forward to trying out the delicious BBQ Pork Buns and noodles on offer.

My first impression of Old Town was that it was a modern taken on a Chinese restaurant.  It was dimly lit, giving it an intimate feel, and had a glass cabinet of Asian sweets by the door and BBQ duck and pork hanging at the back of the restaurant.

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As I got there before the others, I took a seat at one of the wooden tables (sort of like picnic tables), and ordered a Coconut Mango with QQ Jelly drink.

The drink look interesting with a white, orange and red concoction at the bottom and a thick orange mango puree on top.

It was cold and refreshing, perfect for this particularly hot day, and I liked the mix of milky and chewy jelly at the bottom.

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Service

When the girls finally arrived, we had a look through the menu and found it a bit too difficult to decide on what to get.

Old Town has a lot of options to choose from, from yum cha style dishes to full plates of noodles, soups and stir-fries.

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We each chose one dish to try, and soon ordered our meals.

While service was not particularly friendly (perhaps due to the language barrier?), it was quite fast.

Our food came out quickly, although not all at once.

Food

First up were the delicious BBQ Pork Buns and Peking Duck Buns ($6.80 for two).

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The buns were soft, with that delicious almost uncooked dough that the Chinese seem to love so much.  The pork and duck was juicy and tender, well-presented and plentiful for the size of the buns.

The Green Beans came out next. With a delicious hit of spice, they were crunchy and fresh. Perfect to nibble on between bites of the other dishes.

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Following the beans, we had a cool pancake-style dumpling – basically dumplings with batter poured around a pan to give a cool shape.

The dumplings were moist and tender and the pancake was crispy and crunchy, giving a perfect contrast.

The dish was quite nice, but I did not enjoy the sauce which was a little too sour for my liking. A simple soy would have been great.

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We ordered the usual Steamed BBQ Pork Buns (my choice), and they did not disappoint.  There were three, perfect for sharing between our trio.

The buns were light and fluffy like clouds, and the filling was the typical sweet yet savoury BBQ pork mince. As always, I really enjoyed these Pork Buns and gobbled mine down!

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Finally, FitnessFanatic’s noodles came out.  They were seafood egg noodles with prawn, shallots, onion and cabbage.

They were very oily and slippery- quite difficult to eat with chopsticks, and weren’t very flavoursome.  Despite this, the serving was generous and the seafood was cooked through.

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Other dishes I have tried on subsequent occasions include:

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Peking Duck Pancakes

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BBQ Pork

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Steamed Greens

Summary

Overall, not a bad experience and would come here again to try out some of the other dishes. Pretty good value for money as the meal ended up costing each of us about $25.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 4.5
  • Food- 7
  • Ambience- 6
  • Value – 7.5

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Night Noodle Markets 2013, Hyde Park Sydney

Address: Hyde Park North, Sydney NSW

Website: http://sydney.goodfoodmonth.com/nightnoodlemarkets

Opening Hours:

October 9-12, 14-19, 21-26

Mon-Tue 5-9pm; Wed 5-10pm; Thur-Fri 5-11pm; Sat 4-10pm

* * *

Currently in its 15th year, the Night Noodle Markets in Hyde Park attracts about 200,000 people each year.

With over 40 delicious food stalls, which are mostly Asian, the Night Markets is a great way to enjoy the beautiful Spring weather with a drink and a quick and cheap meal with friends in beautiful Hyde Park.

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Rekorderlig Cider invited me down to the markets to enjoy a drink at their beer garden.

A short stroll from Darlinghurst, Chinatown, Circular Quay and the city centre, it didn’t take me long to walk up after work, and when I got there (around 5.45pm), the place was already starting to fill up.

I was impressed by Rekorderlig’s chilled out set up with a “May pole” covered in green vines and flowers, beautiful fairy lights, quirky white trees on the tables and funky tunes coming from the (very young looking) DJ. 

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Rekorderlig stall by day

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Rekorderlig stall at night

The signature red and white chairs, seen at previous Rekorderlig stalls, looked comfortable and inviting and provided a great spot from which to sit back and people watch.

We ordered some drinks from the bar in the tent near the beer garden.

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The staff were friendly despite the fact that they were probably dying from the heat that day as it was about 30 degrees in Sydney!

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I ordered the Mango Raspberry cider, one of my favourites!

As always, it was ice cold, perfect for the hot summer day. This flavour is one of my favourites so I really enjoyed the fresh, crisp taste.

In some interesting news, I learnt that one of the favourites, Strawberry Lime Cider is now on tap and will be heading out to bars across town soon!

I also got the scoop on some exciting new developments next week- stay tuned for more information!

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After checking out the Rekorderlig beer garden I met up with my lovely mum and we walked around the rest of the markets, looking at our options for dinner.

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The place was packed out and the background music, Chinese dragon shows and buzz of happy people chatting in the park made for an exciting and fun environment.

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The Night Noodle Markets are definitely a good place to take friends from overseas to, to showcase Sydney’s multiculturalism, or to enjoy a good meal after work from some of Sydney’s most popular Asian restaurants.

Some of the restaurants with stalls included East Ocean, Din Tai Fung, Jackie M Malaysian, Longrain and Zilver.

The Jackie M stall even has Ms M herself cooking at the front of the stall!

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After a bit of walking around, I decided on a delicious box of fried goodness from East Ocean ($12.00). It included pork ribs, salt and pepper octopus and delicious prawns.

The ribs were soft and delicious, easy to eat and tender with a tomato and BBQ styled sauce.

While I am not a big fan of octopus (I don’t like the tentacles). I didn’t mind this as the thicker parts at the top were easy to eat and the fact that it was fried meant I didn’t notice the suckers on the tentacles as much!  🙂

The prawns were well cooked through and were great with the hot chilli sauce.

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Mum decided to get a chicken curry with yellow rice from Chinta Ria, which she said reminded her of Sri Lankan biriyani.

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The chicken pieces were well-cooked and had absorbed the delicious spices from the curry. They were good pieces of chicken with plenty of meat on them.  The yellow rice was gently flavoured and had a slight sweetness from the sultanas.

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We both enjoyed our meals and had a great time out.

I will definitely be returning to try out some of the other foods available, perhaps even the Ramen Burger!

Mr Wong, Sydney CBD ($$)

Address: 3 Bridge Street, Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9240 3000

Website: 

* * *

Mr Wong is one of Sydney’s popular Asian restaurants, located conveniently in the Sydney CBD.  It is just a little bit posh, but not overly expensive so as to deter the normal Sydney-sider looking for a decent feed at a reasonable price.

MDS, Wallace and I decided to check it out one evening after work.  After walking around for about 5 minutes trying to find the place, we eventually came to the entrance.

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Atmosphere

Mr Wong is a bit of a dark and brooding sort of place, with dim lighting and oriental accents such as china plates hanging on the walls.

It is an interesting mix of a bar/pub and a modern Chinese restaurant.

The downstairs area (where we sat) was more like a bar as the bar covered almost a whole wall along one side of the room.  The upstairs was more like a restaurant, although you could see the BBQ ducks hanging in the kitchen from the seating area, adding a more authentic market feel.

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As it is pretty popular, the large crowd added to the atmosphere but without the chitter chatter, it would be quite dull. 

Service

Service was quite good. All the staff members took time to ask us if we wanted drinks or food, to explain the menu and to take our orders. That is, when they were with us.

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When they left and we wanted to get their attention it was a little more difficult, especially with the large group seated behind us, who were taking up most of their attention.

Food didn’t take too long to arrive generally, with the exception of the steamed rice.  We were very disappointed that the steamed rice we ordered came out right at the end of our meal, after we had eaten almost all of the other dishes.

Food

We ordered a couple of dishes to share between us, and white rice to eat them with.

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First up we ordered Five Spice Pork Belly ($26.00).

The pork belly was so soft and moist and the crackling was so crunchy and crisp. It was a perfect combination with the sweet and sour spiced sauce. We all really enjoyed this pork and I have to say it was right up there with some of the best pork belly I have had, in part due to the delicious dark sauce.

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We also ordered the Asparagus, Broccoli and Sugar Snap Peas with garlic and rice wine ($19.00).  The veggies were green and cooked just enough to be crunchy but still cooked through. They were coated in a slightly oily rice wine which made them a little slippery.

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The Salt & Pepper Lamb Cutlets with fennel and cumin ($32.00 for four) were definitely the star of the show. On recommendation from Wallace who had been to Mr Wong previously, we decided to give it a go, and we were not disappointed.

The crust was crunchy and perfectly seasoned and the lamb was tender and slightly pink on the inside. The presentation was beautiful and as we ordered an extra two cutlets, there was plenty of food for the three of us!

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The white rice came out right at the very end and we were almost finished eating by that point. That said, the rice was tasty (I have a thing for steamed rice), and was well presented in a cute bamboo styled container.

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Overall, the food was very good. We only ordered a few dishes between us to share but we were all pleased with each dish.

The only issue we had during the night was with service being a bit slow.

I would recommend giving Mr Wong a go if you are looking for a different take on the usual Chinese fare.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5
  • Food- 8
  • Ambience- 6.5
  • Value – 7

Mr Wong on Urbanspoon

Wagamama, TGV Sydney ($$)

Address: The Galeries Victoria/500 George St, Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9261 0292

Website: http://www.wagamama.com.au/

* * *

Wagamama first opened in London’s Bloomsbury in the early ’90s and has since grown to over 90 stores across the world.

The name “wagamama” means “naughty child”, or one who is willful and determined., and the word “determined” is certainly one way to describe founder, Mr Alan Yau, who founded the chain along with restaurants Hakkasan and Yauatcha, which both have been awarded 1 Michelin star.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere at Wagamama is that of a Japanese -styled noodle bar and in fact, this is what Wagamama is modelled on.

The kitchen is open and the sleek wood and large glass windows give the space that modern yet traditional feel that is very Japanese.

The paper place mats serve as seating markers, place mats and a place for waiters to write orders so staff know where to deliver them. It is a cool idea which disposes of the need for tablecloths and table numbers.

Service

Service was nothing to rave about. While MDS and I were promptly seated and our orders were taken quickly, there was no friendliness about the service. It was pure efficiency that brought our food out and took our plates away.

At the end of our meal we weren’t sure whether to call a waitress or go to the counter.

We ended up going to the counter and asking a waitress which table we were (41).

Drinks

MDS and I decided to order some juices to start.

I went with a pineapple, watermelon and apple juice and MDS ordered a kiwi, and apple juice.

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Pineapple, watermelon and apple juice

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Kiwi and apple juice

Food

For food, I ordered the Cha Han, a chicken and prawn fried rice with peas, spring onions, corn\, egg and mushrooms. The dish was slightly oily, contained a generous serve of prawns and chicken, was well seasoned and tasty. I really enjoyed the dish and have craved it a few times since. A great replacement for the typical Chinese fried rice!

The dish came with a side of various pickles which added some colour and made the rice a little more interesting.  I’m not exactly sure what all the pickles were but if someone can tell me please comment below! ( I think one was cucumber?).

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Cha Han

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Pickles

MDS was tossing up between Yaki Soba and Teriyaki Raisu. After I explained that Yaki Soba was noodles and Teriyaki Raisu was rice and suggested Teriyaki Soba as a way to combine the best of both, she went with that option.

The dish was well presented and although difficult for MDS to eat with chopsticks, had a generous portion size. However, MDS did mention that she thought there should have been some more beef on the plate.

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Overall, both dishes looked tempting, were made quickly and delivered hot to the table and were full of flavour.

We enjoyed our dining experience and the interesting menu which was different from our usual Thai or Chinese foods.

I’d definitely return here again and would recommend it to friends!

Cost

All up our meals were about $25 pp including drinks.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5.5
  • Food-  8
  • Ambience- 7
  • Value – 8

Wagamama - The Galeries Victoria on Urbanspoon

Din Tai Fung, World Square ($$)

Address: Level 1, Shop 11.04, 644 George Street, Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9264 6010

Website: http://www.dintaifung.com.au/

Opening Hours:

Lunch
Mon-Fri: 11:30am – 2:30pm
Sat & Sun: 11:00am – 3:00pm

Dinner
Mon-Wed: 5:30pm – 9:00pm
Thu & Fri: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Saturday: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Sunday: 5:00pm – 9:00pm

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One of the perks of my new job is the fact that I now have a one hour lunch break and can enjoy this break in the CBD. This means that I am closer to friends, shops, great restaurants and transport and enables me to review some restaurants I haven’t tried before. It also means Friday lunch dates with MC who studies at nearby UTS, and other friends during the week.

On this occasion we decided to try Din Tai Fung (DTF) World Square. Now I had been to DTF a few times before (see here and here) – but always to the Westfield Sydney one, never at World Square.

Atmosphere

Upon arriving, we were greeted outside the restaurant by a staff member at a high table.

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She asked how many (2) and gave us a buzzer, pen and menu to look at while we waited for a table.

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After a wait of about 10 -15 minutes (by which point I began to worry that we wouldn’t have enough time to eat our food), she finally called us in and seated us at a table for four, beside two other diners.

The Atmosphere at DTF is pretty great. A packed restaurant always has a good vibe, but a packed restaurant of happy diners is even better. The place was so busy and the Chinese decor, including bamboo steamer baskets stuck on a screen, huge paper lantern lights, and professionally dressed waiters and waitresses added to the excitement of it all- I couldn’t wait to get started!

3MC browsing the menu- check out the paper lanterns behind him

Service

Service was quick, efficient and prompt, but not friendly. While we our food was delivered quickly, our plates were cleared promptly and our orders taken with no fuss (by using the menu leaflets rather than telling a waiter what we wanted), DTF lacked the hospitality and friendliness that some like in restaurants.

For me, it was fine. I wanted to get in there, eat my food and get out within my 1 hour lunch break-and I am sure there were many others like me who were there in their lunch breaks, so this efficiency is probably a good thing!

4

Food

We ordered a pot of Chinese Tea to start. This tea was delicious and tasted like a Jasmine Green Tea. It wasn’t too bitter either, which was a bonus!

5

We decided to order some noodle soups to keep us warm as it was a very chilly day. I also wanted some dumplings and pork buns so MC could try them out.

I ordered a Spicy Wonton Soup with broth. It was delicious- so spicy and warm, plenty of broth and noodles and a good amount of wontons. The wontons were well cooked and the noodles were great in that oily, chilli sauce. One of my fave dishes!

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MC ordered the Fried Chicken with Noodles and Broth. Unfortunately, the broth was quite bland and tasted like a chicken noodle you would get from the supermarket. The noodles were very bland too, and there was quite a lot of them. MC ended up having some of my spicy broth on top of his noodles to add some more flavour! The fried chicken was crispy and plentiful, but a little pinkish inside.

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The pork buns were next! Although the dough was well-cooked and fluffy, the filling was disappointing. I think I may have ordered the wrong pork bun as I had wanted to order the one with a sweet and spicy filling. Unfortunately this pork filling was a little tasteless and the pork was quite pinkish.

8

The shrimp dumplings were great. Very juicy on the inside, extremely well presented (with a delicate pattern on top), and full of filling. They were delicious and enjoyable- especially with soy sauce.

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Overall. I think DTF World Square is a winner. I will definitely be back for some spicy soup throughout winter and hope to try the sweeter pork bun as well. Great, efficient service, good, warm food and great traditional yet modern decor.

Cost

Overall for MC and I the meal cost $50.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service-7
  • Food-8
  • Ambience-8
  • Value –7

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