Categories
Chinese

The New Dong Dong Noodles – Kingsford NSW Restaurant Review

It pains me to not be able to write a proper review for The New Dong Dong Noodles in Kingsford, it having been almost a year since I last had their food.

The overall theme for this restaurant was good quality, authentic Chinese food at good prices. I will provide you with some photos of takeaway meals but unfortunately not much commentary.

I’m a big fan of Hokkein fried rice ($17.80), and The New Dong Dong does it well.

The brisket in the beef brisket and dumpling dried egg noodle soup ($16.50) was plentiful and authentic, though I was not a fan of the egg noodle’s flavour themselves.

I think this Shandong (Shan Tung) chicken ($19.80) was OK, though I have had both better and worse.

I’ve never been able to keep my girlfriend away from salt and pepper pork chops ($18) and The New Dong Dong Noodles’ were no exception.

The beef with egg gravy and fried rice ($16.30) was good with good flavours, though I think the balance would’ve been better with just a little bit more topping or just a little bit less rice.

CONCLUSIONS
Overall, very good and very satisfying place to order Chinese food from in the Eastern Suburbs.

The New Dong Dong Noodles
428 Anzac Parade, Kingsford NSW 2032
(02) 9662 1877

Categories
Chinese

Haidilao – Chatswood NSW Restaurant Review

Haidilao’s food isn’t really all that special to nearby competitor Memory Tongue. The meats are good quality, and there are plenty of soup bases and sauces to choose from. It fits firmly one tier below Market City’s The Dolar Shop both in price and the availability of truly premium cuts of meat, however on equal standing with other more upper echelon offerings.

I appreciated the communal style hot pot divided into portions based on soup base, as well as the electronic tablet-based ordering system. While the electronic ordering system helps to bridge language barriers and reduce the need for imagination with its photos of each menu item, I found that in this particular situation it did not achieve the third desired effect of minimising human contact with the wait staff.

I must preface this by saying that I have absolutely no complaints about our host, who was polite, courteous, and friendly. What I did not enjoy was the overbearing, helicopter style service, which made me feel watched and uncomfortable. Our waiter’s impeccable attention to detail was more of a hindrance than a help. His hawk eyes would not allow us to pour our own prune juice. He was extremely capable of keeping track of when we were sipping prune juice and would top up our glasses after almost every swig. There is a very thick line between good service and being too up in one’s face, and I think that despite any good intentions he may have had this crosses it.

The food was good, but in the interest of keeping my choppers on the helipad I probably won’t be coming back. Some people probably like it. I didn’t.

Haidilao
Shop 607/1 Anderson St, Chatswood NSW 2067
(02) 9411 2006

Categories
Chinese

Crystal Seafood Restaurant – Strathfield NSW Yum Cha Restaurant Review

It’s been a recurring joke within our household that the names of most formal Chinese restaurants are essentially some permutation of the words “Jade”, “Empress”, “Crystal”, “Golden”, “Dragon” in front of “Seafood Restaurant”. Crystal Seafood Restaurant skips all this nonsense and has chosen just one word to put in front of Seafood Restaurant, across branches throughout Sydney.

We had a thoroughly adequate yum cha meal at Crystal Seafood Restaurant one Friday afternoon. Whilst I won’t go through every dish that we ate in detail, just imagine that the meal was generally very good and if I haven’t mentioned something that means there was nothing wrong with it.

The selection of food available for Friday lunch was quite limited, especially for the size of the restaurant and the significant size of the patronage. Whilst , as you will see, most yum cha favourites were available, items that were even slightly less standard, for example beef tripe, were nowhere to be found.

Steamed chive dumplings (韭菜饺) were good. Huge, full of prawns and chives.

Steamed spinach dumplings (菠菜饺) were also good, though I think less so than the chive ones. They had lots of garlic within.

Siu mai (烧卖) was very meaty with lots of meat and prawn. Good.

Both of these were also good.


And now to the bad.

The egg tarts (蛋挞) were cold, not warm, and one of them had pastry that had been ripped or torn off. How strange.

The pork ribs (排鼓) had a really odd smell that made me not want to eat them. They smelled like they were a bit off. This didn’t bother my partner very much, but then again she generally doesn’t refrigerate her food.

VERDICT
Pretty good, not bad, range very narrow, paigu not good, dan ta not good.

Crystal Seafood Restaurant Strathfield
29/11 The Boulevarde, Strathfield NSW 2135
(02) 9763 7738

Categories
Asian Fusion Café Chinese

Quick Brown Fox Eatery – Pyrmont NSW Café Review

There are few things I love more in a café than a competent all-day menu with Asian-fusion dishes. Quick Brown Fox Eatery in Pyrmont, owned and run by siblings with a menu designed by consulting chef/wizard Tomislav Martinovic, fits the bill perfectly.

Quick Brown Fox is set up in what feels a lot like a gingerbread house, with both internal and outdoor seating. The café was decorated with lots and lots of Christmas themed decorations (in early January), and had a board which read “364 days to Christmas” in storage at the back between the main café and the restrooms. I’ve typically put off trying out restaurants within the CBD on weekdays, however there is surprisingly plentiful two hour ticketed street parking located within a short walk, and if you’re having problems there’s also the nearby fish market parking at a reasonable price.

The Koshihikari Rice Congee ($24.50) with confit ocean trout ($9) was expensive and delicious. It was warm and wholesome, as all congees should be. The general flavour of the congee was mild, not overseasoned, however with a hint of unexpected ma and la added by the fermented chilli relish. We loved the familiar Asian tastes of coriander and enoki mushroom, though thought that the chilli fried egg was just a touch too fried and wonder if this already very good dish would have been even better with a slow egg instead (a la 3 Rōnin). The maple glazed bacon was so thick cut that it was basically pork belly at this point, though no complaints from us at all. I think it was probably too much to expect that a $9 piece of confit ocean trout would live up to the standard set by Tetsuya’s, though a hungry man can dream. It was fine though – the serving size was a bit small, but the taste, especially the additional umami and variety it added to the dish, was good. Overall a really great dish.

The Buttermilk Pancakes ($23.50) were my partner’s choice, and in my opinion the inferior choice. It consisted of a very generous serving of 4 buttermilk pancakes (although for $23.50 what is generous and what’s just to be expected?) topped with toffee, blackberries, salted pecan crumble and served with some passionfruit ice cream. The pancakes were adequately sour, and the toppings did not make the dish too sweet. I enjoyed the pecan crumble and the ice cream, which were in a league of their own compared to the rest of the ingredients. My partner thought that the toffee sauce tasted a bit stale, and while I could see what she meant I’m not certain that that wasn’t just the intended taste. Faced with a number of delicious looking and sounding savoury items I wouldn’t order this again.

My partner did indulge in a pretty standard Mimosa ($13) whilst I as the very responsible designated driver had a very good soy latte. Quick Brown Fox does offer bottomless mimosas for $30 per person for 90 minutes, or bottomless cocktails (bloody mary, aperol spritz, espresso martini) for $40 per person however we decided against this as my partner never really uses up her full allocation of alcoholic beverages.

VERDICT

Part time chef, part time wizard Tomislav Martinovic has essentially done it again with a beautiful menu of Asian-fusion delights, even better than at Three Williams. There are many more things I’d like to try at Quick Brown Fox and I can’t wait to go back.

Five tomislavs.

Quick Brown Fox Eatery
22 Union St, Pyrmont NSW 2009
(02) 9660 6345

Categories
Café Chinese

White Rabbit Teahouse – Chippendale NSW Cafe Review

Following on from White Rabbit Gallery’s theme of white women collecting items of Chinese cultural significance is the White Rabbit Teahouse, located in the gallery’s foyer. The teahouse offers snacks and tea to gallery patrons and passers-by alike, however its coffee-free menu will not suit anyone looking for a rapid caffeine hit – the staff at White Gallery Teahouse earnestly recommend the cafe across the road for that.

The tea at White Gallery Teahouse is served in small glass pots with unlimited refills. The prices are quite reasonable compared to other specialty teahouses (for example Zensation in Waterloo), with our Taiwan Gingseng Oolong tea coming in at $7 for two. We were the only patrons in the teahouse at the time and service was brisk, with our waitress readily topping up our water as required.

The Lychee Iced Tea ($4.50) was nice, refreshing, and not too sweet. I regret getting a glass and not a carafe ($13).

The chicken and coriander dumplings ($13 for 10) were not very exciting. I like that they were boiled rather than steamed or pan fried, but thought that they didn’t have much taste to them. The teahouse prides itself on serving MSG-free dumplings and the avoidance of glutamate is probably the reason for the dumplings’ lack of taste.

The large soy sauce bottle lamp ($579) was located next door in the gallery’s gift shop. I took a photo purely because it reminded me of a story of a guy who recently came in hyperthermic and obtunded and all they could find was a bunch of little soy sauce bottles in his pocket.

VERDICT

If you’re at White Rabbit Teahouse for dumplings I wouldn’t bother. Shanghai Dumpling Bar in Spice Alley, a mere 2 minute walk from White Rabbit does much tastier dumplings. If you’re not that keen on food and just want a nice place for a cup of tea after a stroll through the gallery it is absolutely fine.

3/5

White Rabbit Teahouse
30 Balfour St, Chippendale NSW 2008
(02) 8399 2867