Categories
Chinese Vietnamese

Lee Chef – Parramatta NSW Restaurant Review

Lee Chef is your friendly neighbourhood ethnically ambiguous Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant. Open until 10PM, they have, on multiple occasions, patiently remained open as we slurped up our post-shift pho and eaten our fill of authentic Asian classics.

The fried chicken wings were great. They were lightly battered and freshly fried, seasoned with 椒盐 (jiao yan), which is a traditional Chinese salt and chilli pepper seasoning. Each wing was crispy on the outside but moist on the inside – perfectly executed.

The vegetarian spring rolls were not great – in fact they teetered on the edge of actively bad. They were brought out very quickly and didn’t really feel like they had been heated all the way through. The filling inside the spring rolls were lukewarm at best, and displayed a mushy texture. We didn’t end up finishing these spring rolls – they were simply calories for punishment.

The Combination Beef Pho was wholesome and authentic. All elements were good. The protein component consisted of rare beef, beef balls, tendon, and beef rum. The soup was full of umami flavours and not too sweet or salty – just right. The side of Vietnamese mint and bean sprouts was not only adequate but generous. I am blessed to live near a restaurant that can deliver such consistently good pho.

I was less impressed by the Hainan Chicken Rice. I found the chicken too bland and tasteless and the rice a bit too hard, though I did appreciate the soup and the generous serving of chilli and ginger and shallot condiments. My partner was a much bigger fan of this dish than I was.

The combination bean curd hot pot was of quality and taste commensurate with its price. I do love myself a combination bean curd hot pot.

VERDICT
Quality neighbourhood eatery
Hits all the classics right in the bullseye
Wouldn’t travel for it, but will keep coming back again and again this year.
4/5

Lee Chef
1/140 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
(02) 8677 4425

Categories
Bakery Café Chinese

Bengong Black – Darling Square Haymarket NSW Bubble Tea and Bakery Review

Let me tell you about a vibe.

Back when my partner worked in Concord, she would often come home with milk tea from Bengong. We always enjoyed their milk tea, imbued with a stronger tea flavour than most outfits. We were therefore suitably surprised and a little bit proud when we found that they had opened up a branch in Darling Square. The Concord Hospital boba tea shop had finally made it.

I really enjoyed this Tea Cube Milk Tea when I first had it. I was confused when they asked me to choose a flavour, and I chose lychee. I thought it was so cool that they had somehow created this drink where they put concentrated tea into jellies. I went back a couple of days later and asked for one but without fruit flavouring, and the staff member looked at me as if I were crazy but was ultimately happy to oblige. What I got was a simple milk tea with a lot of ice. I was an idiot. The tea cubes weren’t actually tea cubes, merely fruit cubes.

The Wuwu Oreo Sundae was pretty good! Just a soft serve over hot brown sugar and boba syrup, with an oreo on top. It melts quickly so be sure to eat it just as fast.

Bread is bread. This particular strawberry flavoured bread was not that good.

Bengong Black Haymarket
91 Harbour St, Haymarket NSW 2000

Bengong Black Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Categories
Chinese

JKG Shancheng Hotpot King 山城火锅王 – Haymarket NSW Hot Pot Restaurant Review

Tucked away at the back of a shopping centre in Sydney’s Chinatown is JKG Shangcheng Hotpot King. It is a relatively budget hotpot restaurant, with a wide selection of meats and seafoods but a lower emphasis on cleanliness and service.

Ordering is via a tablet-based system. Make sure to scroll down the page to view all offerings, as we were initially very confused as to why our options were so extremely limited.

Sauce attracts an extra charge, however as I’m not a big fan of sauce we were able to convince them to let us only pay for one serving. The sauce station was very dodgy and had a bug-zapper lamp next to it. I don’t know if this was the best decision, as while it would be good at killing bugs it was probably also part of why there were so many flying bugs near the sauce station.

The wontons in chili soup were yum. The filling was evidently housemade, which is preferable to store-bought.

For our soup bases we got mushroom and chicken broths. The mushroom broth was very shroomy with many assorted shrooms – perhaps superfluous as we also ordered a number of shrooms to cook ourselves. The chicken broth we felt was flavourless apart from being salty.

The serving sizes for fresh vegetables, mixed mushrooms, and mixed tofu were quite large, and good value for the price. Having full sized servings of all three was a bit too much for us as a couple however , and we wish that they would do half sized servings for half the price. Nonetheless, it would be good for a party of three or four.

A metre of beef was too much for us. The beef was a bit too fatty.

No complaints about the chicken.

Overall my partner and I spent around $120 on our meal including a beer. This is around the same price that we paid at YX Mini Hot Pot, however we got much more food (of somewhat lesser quality) for the money. I would recommend JKG Shangcheng Hotpot King to a more price-conscious market, for example students, who at the same time do not expect much service (it took a very long time and multiple visits for our hot pot soup to be topped up).

JKG Shancheng Hotpot King (山城火锅王)
Shop 8A/363 Sussex St, Haymarket NSW 2000
(02) 9267 6366

JKG Shancheng Hotpot King 山城火锅王 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Asian Fusion Café Chinese Latin American

Three Williams – Redfern NSW Cafe Review

While the name of Paddington’s Ten William cafe indicates its address, Three Williams in Redfern is not so straightforward. Situated in a dimly-lit semi-basement space on Elizabeth St in Redfern, Three Williams is named not after something with any contemporary relevance, but rather after three dead white men who already have plenty of things named after them – including entire suburbs.

Ceviche

The ceviche ($25) was a tangy bowl of tiger prawns, sashimi kingfish, pickled red onions, roast tomato, coriander, charred corn, lime & avocado, baby cos served with blue corn tortillas. I first heard of the term ceviche back in 2009, during the season six premiere of Grey’s Anatomy. Ceviche was the nickname lovingly bestowed upon a trauma patient with multiple water-sport related traumatic amputations, and while I learned nothing of medicine from this show it gave me a step up in being able to pronounce the name of this dish when ordering it (something my partner could not). Having never had ceviche I didn’t really know what to expect from this dish. It was certainly quite tangy and citrusy, however I didn’t quite like how soupy it was – and I wasn’t sure if I was meant to drink the soup or just use it as sauce. The blue corn tortillas (though more visually brown) were actually quite nice, and maintained their structural integrity well despite being semi-soaked in this juice. It was probably a fine dish but not one I’d order again.

Peking Duck Pasta

I thought Three Williams’ Peking Duck Pasta ($28) with angel hair pasta, chilli, coriander, onion crumb and shallots was really special. Every strand of pasta was perfectly coated in delicious sauce, and every mouthful full of umami flavours. I was initially quite skeptical about ordering a peking duck based dish from a restaurant that’s not expressly Chinese, but my partner wanted to try it and we were handsomely rewarded. I can definitely recommend this. It was delicious.

Chicken Katsu

This piece of chicken katsu ($6.50) was quite bad. The chicken meat was very thin and dry. The product was more batter than chicken, and probably some of the worst chicken katsu I’ve had the displeasure of eating.

The coffee was from Single O. The strawberry mimosa was cheap at $11 but not great.

VERDICT
It’s not everywhere that you can get hearty, complex meals for breakfast, and I really appreciate a cafe with a substantial all-day menu. Ample parking outside the restaurant makes Three Williams a pain free dining experience.

Four Williams out of five

Three Williams
613A Elizabeth St, Redfern NSW 2016
(02) 9698 1111

Three Williams Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Chinese

Po Po 面婆婆 – Hurstville NSW Chinese Restaurant Review

Po Po is a small and authentic Northern Chinese diner in Hurstville. It’s been on my hitlist for some time now, and we finally were in the area and able to hit it up for some dumplings and noodles.

I really enjoyed the friendly, homely service, as well as the delicious dumplings and beef brisket noodle soup. We got all of our dumplings boiled as that is my favourite way to have them, and I feel that boiled dumplings are really the best test of the chef’s skill and expertise.

The pork and chive dumplings were good!

Pork and chive and prawn dumplings – also good

Unfortunately the xiao long bao were not very good. I wouldn’t recommend them.

The beef brisket noodle soup we found to be quite flavourful and delicious. There were big chunks of beef, and the flavour of the soup was neither too strong or too weak. I can recommend this dish.

I wish you could see how happy my girlfriend is in this photo, guys. This is why I do it.

Eating at Po Po really felt like eating in an authentic Chinese diner. There were plenty of other groups, mostly older Chinese couples, eating at the same time as us, and this is a group which seems an excellent barometer for cheap and filling food. One funny thing we saw was a Caucasian gentleman come into this obviously Chinese store and ask for pork rolls (which they did not have), and then ask for pho (which they also did not have). He ultimately, after much patience from the owner, settled on some pork buns. I hope he enjoyed them, although I guess he may be disappointed if he was looking forward to some Vietnamese food.

I can recommend this place.

PO PO Hurstville 面婆婆
238 Forest Rd, Hurstville NSW 2220
(02) 9580 6218

Po Po Hurstville Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato