Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken – Liverpool St, Sydney CBD NSW Review

My first ever experience of Taiwanese Fried Chicken Steak was at the now defunct 3Q Fried Chicken on George St many many years ago (or was it at Hot Star in Melbourne 2013 ? I can’t remember but I don’t want to lie to you, and especially not to myself). Since then I’ve had many different styles of Taiwanese fried chicken, at many different places. The sheer ubiquity of the Hot-Star brand, and the generally dependable quality of its food make them one of my go-tos.

While I’ve eaten at Hot-Star on Liverpool St many times, most of which have been late at night, I only have this single, poorly mosaiced photo to share. Hot-Star, for the uninitiated, specialises in large fried chicken, basically breast that has been butterflied and beaten into flat submission, battered, fried, and offered with either regular or spicy seasoning.

The result is delicious and always fresh. While no doubt offensive to the cardiovascular system, they are quite appealing to the senses.

Hot Star Large Fried Chicken – Liverpool St
96 Liverpool St, Sydney NSW 2000


Long Men Zhu – Mascot NSW Malatang Restaurant Review

Long Meng Zhu is one of many restaurants that serve Ma La Tang in Mascot’s recently developed high-rise area, located mere footsteps away from its nearest competitor.

The concept is much the same as every other Ma La Tang restaurant. There is a refrigerated display of a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetables. The selection is a bit narrower than what you would find at a larger competitor like Yang Guo Fu Ma La Tang, but still reasonably appropriate. The meat are fresh and were still being actively topped up by the time I visited at around 10:30PM. What sets Long Men Zhu apart from many of its competitors is the array of soup bases on offer. Along with the classic spicy malatang soup, Long Men Zhu also offers a pork bone broth, a laksa broth, and a chicken broth.

I had a selection of sliced meats, vegetables, balls, and tofu in the pork bone broth. Service was fast however I did notice that one of my fish balls was still cold inside. The rest of the food was thoroughly cooked, and I did not get sick afterwards. The pork broth was quite nice and umami, a lighter option in terms of flavour than the usual malatang soup. It was actually so good that I drank most of it at the conclusion of my meal.

A shoutout should also go to the nice man working front of house, who was friendly and made me feel welcome as someone who pretend not to speak Chinese. He is probably the reason why there is a reasonably multicultural patronage at Long Men Zhu.


Pretty good, worth a try! The boss asked me if he would be seeing me at his restaurant more, and I told him to be honest probably no as I’m moving away from the area soon. I do want to bring my girlfriend back though.

Long Men Zhu
1/56 Church Ave, Mascot NSW 2020
0449 964 886


Yummy Duck BBQ – Zetland NSW Restaurant Review

Yummy Duck BBQ and Brazilian Flame Barbecue sit on either side of a particularly long traffic light. It was this extended wait at a traffic light on my way to Brazilian Flame that first put me on to Yummy Duck BBQ, and I am glad that it did.

I visited Yummy Duck BBQ just before a night shift in the emergency department. I ordered in English, and asked to eat in but with an extra takeaway box in case I couldn’t finish my meal either due to abdominal or time constraints. It seems like something got lost in translation, however, as I ended up getting my meal served directly in those takeaway containers.

Roast duck and rice

The roast duck and rice ($13.80) was very cheap and very tasty. The amount of roast duck provided was extremely generous for the price, not to mention quality. The skin was nice and crispy, and the meat the perfect amount of juicy and tasty. The greens on the side were a nice touch, and the juices from the duck seeped into the rice below, providing it with a nice quacky flavour.

The wontons ($10.80) are your average meat-focused wontons served in an extremely salty clear broth with seaweed and shallots. While the wontons themselves are good with plenty of meaty filling, the broth does let the dish down and takes it from a recommend to a don’t recommend.

Yummy Duck BBQ seems to have its own cohort of faithful locals. During my brief visit to Yummy Duck I witnessed warm interactions between the staff and not only the predominantly student-aged Asian crowd but also middle-aged Caucasian men in high-vis alike. I would characterise this loyalty to Yummy Duck is well deserved – they have some of the best roast duck I’ve had in the past three years, and will definitely be my go to while I’m still living in the area.

Yummy Duck BBQ
392 Botany Rd, Zetland NSW 2017
0415 773 777


Yummy Seafood Chinese Restaurant – Beverly Hills NSW Restaurant Review

There aren’t that many restaurants that take new customers at 1AM, but Yummy Seafood Chinese Restaurant in Beverly Hills is one of them. To the annoyance of the restaurant’s staff, we ordered only one dish between the two of us. Looking around us however we saw multiple groups of young Chinese in their early 20s eating lobster in the dead of night.

500g Pipis in XO Sauce with vermicelli ($44.80)

I’ve been wanting to go to XOPP or Golden Century to try their XO Pipis for some time, but a whole constellation of reasons have meant that I have yet to go. I took the opportunity of eating without my seafood-averse girlfriend to order the the Pipis in XO Sauce ($59.60/kg – market price) with vermicelli ($15 add-on).

The meal was really just OK. The vermicelli was nicely fried, and the XO sauce which coated the pipis and noodles added a good slightly spicy flavour to it. The pipis were fresh from the tank but honestly didn’t taste that fresh or flavourful.

We were served watermelon and orange after our single dish meal and hurried out with some looks just as their closing time of 2AM hit. (There were some high rollers still eating.)

3.5/5 late night special

Yummy Seafood Chinese Restaurant
477 King Georges Rd, Beverly Hills NSW 2209
(02) 9580 0788

Yummy Seafood Chinese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taste of Nanking (老南京) – Waterloo NSW Restaurant Review

One tried and true formula for naming a Chinese restaurant is rolling the dice on different combinations and permutations of the words “Golden”, “Empress”, “Dragon”, “Jade”, and finishing off with ” Seafood Restaurant”. Another familiar technique is to name a restaurant after one’s hometown and append “Taste of” in front of it. Taste of Shanghai is one famous example. Taste of Nanking is another.

TASTE OF NANKING is located on Gadigal Avenue in Waterloo, a recently developed strip of Asian (mostly Chinese) restaurants and groceries with quite a few gems to find. It is somewhat down the street from U STORE, an expensive but fun Asian grocery store with a wide array of snacks and a good mix of not only Chinese but also Korean and Japanese goods.

Taste of Nanking’s Mixed Noodle with Scallion Sauce and Minced Pork ($13.80) was really good. It is a dry noodle dish with a delicious sauce base and a generous helping of mince. The serving is huge, and I enjoyed the addition of the steamed bok choy which provided a fresh and moist counter to the thick saucy noodle dish. There’s a chilli symbol next to it on the menu, but it has more of a sweet taste than a spicy taste. I can definitely recommend this one.

Crayfish topping on steamed rice (Luxury)

The Crayfish Topping on Steamed Rice dish comes in three different grades – Original, Luxury, and Supreme – denoting the quantity of crayfish topping added. I had the “Luxury”, level with 120 grams of crayfish topping, coming in at $22.80.

My feelings about this dish were a bit mixed. This was my first time having small crayfish like this, and I appreciated the small prawny flavour but wondered what kind of hell it was to have to hand peel these tiny crayfish that I was eating multiple of in each mouthful. Apart from the yummy crayfish, the sauce that swam in was a bit too salty and tasty for me, and in this sense the rice definitely came in handy. The egg was yummy, and the dish did benefit from the addition of extra egg. The preserved vegetables added a sweetness to the otherwise quite salty dish. Again this was quite a large serving and like the mixed noodles we took what we couldn’t finish home. If I had one alteration to suggest I would either only get the Original variation (assuming that with only 90 grams of crayfish topping there would be less salty sauce) or add some additional rice.

Nanking Special Egg

The Nanking Special Eggs ($2) were a little bit special. They are your classic marinated soy/tea eggs, served cold, and really good eaten with the mains.

The Braised Jumbo Meat Ball in Brown Sauce ($6.80) have a maximum order of 1 per customer, which I don’t really think makes sense unless there is a good reason for scarcity – normally more orders mean more income for the restaurant. They are a large ball formed out of minced pork. My partner quite enjoyed their soft internal texture, however I thought that they were a bit too salty to have on their own. They’re not bad, but if you are ordering these balls I’d highly recommend you have them with some rice.

Signature Nanking Soup Dumplings

The Signature Nanking Soup Dumplings (6 for $7.80) were pretty much Xiao Long Bao but without the folds in the pastry. I’m not really sure what else is different – perhaps a difference in the filling, but given the reasonably wide variation of XLB fillings in general I think it still fits in the same spectrum. The soup of Nanjing soup dumplings is also meant to be more prominent, and while these were quite soupy I think again they fall within the same spectrum as the XLBs of Sydney. They are cheap, juicy, and cheerful.


Taste of Nanking is not generally well-rated online, but I’m not too sure why. One one star review on Google Reviews was because their air conditioning wasn’t cold enough one Summer day, which I don’t really think is enough to poo-poo an otherwise good meal. Service seems to be another common complaint I thought the guy running front of house was really enthusiastic, although agree that it was a bit odd that we were given one cup to get water from the water cooler between the two of us.

Overall I think the food was good, and any of my gripes about it being too tasty could have been solved by ordering some extra white rice. Portions were huge and the meal was generally quite good value.

4.5/5 – Not for a business lunch or romantic date, but good for a quick casual meal or takeaway.

Taste of Nanking 老南京 Waterloo
1/18 Gadigal Ave, Waterloo NSW 2017
(02) 9313 8450