I’ve wanted to eat at Flour Drum for some time, but had avoided it in view of the terrifying parking situation in Newtown. I was finally able to bundle up the spoons to brave the King St parking situation this weekend, only to find that parking isn’t so bad on a Sunday morning. We had a dish from their regular menu, and a dish from their Spring inspired menu. Allow me to discuss.
The handmade pappardelle with 8-hours slow braised South Australian Lamb Shank Ragu shallot and chili infused olive oil and Cyprian volcanic black sea salt ($26.50) is a very long name, but one which adequately describes the components of this dish. This was a safe choice, and a very delicious one. The pasta was cooked softer than al dentre, which was good for me, because I’m basic. I really enjoyed the flavours, and the fresh chopped chilli gave the ragu the perfect amount of spice. I couldn’t identify the volcanic black sea salt, but have no doubt it was present. I don’t know what this really added to the dish over and beyond what normal salt would have added.
I’m going to be honest, I was highly skeptical of the Handmade Pork and Prawns Dumplings with Egg Noodles in a Chicken Broth, Chinese Bok Choy, Japanese Roasted Seaweed and Parsley. I am often wary of Asian food in a predominantly Caucasian restaurant, as more often than not it is more expensive, and less good. Flour drum’s pork and prawn dumplings were the exception to the rule. The dumplings were bursting with umami flavour, and could compete with any other dumpling and wonton in wide circulation. They were really the star of the show, with the fresh bok choy a close second. I thought that the noodles and soup were a bit too plain and mild-flavoured, an opinion my partner originally held but subsequently changed her mind on. I would recommend this dish for the taste of dumplings alone, however the price ($22-25 from memory) is far too much, and a dish of similar quality and construction would not surpass $12 at your local Chinese restaurant (I’m aware one of the co-owners of Flour Drum (Victor Li) is of Asian descent)
This giant M&M cookie was like $7. It was fine. Its structural rigidity was poor but I don’t know how they could have done better with such a large surface area.
Overall I think Flour Drum is just fine. The food is good, and I’m impressed by how they are able to create both Eastern and Western dishes quite competently. My big criticism has to be the price however, especially for strictly Chinese dishes that have an obvious and equally high quality counterpart in your local Chinese restaurant for half the price.
3.5/5 (including price adjustment)
Flour Drum Newtown
531 King St, Newtown NSW
(02) 9565 2822