I love a good Shandong chicken, but a Shandong chicken is apparently not an actual Shandong regional dish. Here I will describe some dishes that apparently are.
Here is a collection of braised foodstuffs, including braised pork belly ($5), braised meatball ($5), braised soymilk film ($3), braised chilli ($3), and braised egg ($3), cross-sectional imaging to come. I had mixed feelings about this one, and only really liked the meatball out of all of them. The chilli I found was extraordinarily spicy for such a large pepper, whilst the tofu I thought was not very deeply flavoured at all. The pork belly was alright but not super tender, and the egg cooked all the way through and really nothing special.
If I could go back in time in a time machine, I would only get the braised meat ball, which was very soft and tasty, but probably needed a bit of rice to go with it.
I’ve been searching my entire life (or at least ever since Taste Gallery in Parramatta closed – a real loss for Western Sydney) for some good zhenjiang pork ribs. Sadly these marinated pork ribs with sweet black vinegar ($12.80) weren’t it. I thought that these ribs were unusually meaty, but not very tender. Their taste was not what I had pictured in my nostalgia-addled brain (nostalgia for a restaurant that I ate at two years ago – does that still count?) with a rich plum taste with too much sweetness and not enough sourness, as well as an unpleasant oiliness. Oh well, the search goes on.
I was quite keen on some dumplings (a guy on an adjacent table had some incredibly pungent chive ones that he was ripping through by himself), but my partner chose for us to have the shandong soup buns ($12.80) instead. I honestly don’t know why we’re trying to pretend that these weren’t just xiao long bao, and in my opinion inferior to those from the freezer at your local Asian grocer.
I didn’t love what we had to eat, though for some reason my partner still wants to go back in the future. It might have to be by herself.
吃在山东 Taste of Shandong
177 Forest Rd, Hurstville NSW 2220
0431 213 106