Categories
Chinese

Hungry Paulie 愛呷囝仔 – Eastwood NSW Restaurant Review

Tucked away on Trelawney St on the Chinese side of Eastwood is Hungry Paulie, purveyor or fine Taiwanese breakfast foods.

The Traditional Egg Pancake with Fried Bread Stick (P15 台式蛋饼包油条 – $9.50) is similar to but not quite the same as the jianbing guozi (煎饼馃子) that I had in my childhood. Thin pancakes with a layer of egg omlette are wrapped around freshly fried yóutiáo, with a bit of very light soy flavoured dressing on top. The yóutiáo at Hungry Paulie are seriously good and well worth a mention, each hand-prepared on site from scratch by artisans working behind a glass window. I can recommend this.

My partner was a big fan of the Black Pepper Pork Pastry with Shallots (Paulie Pie) (P1 胡椒饼 – $6.50), which was essentially a large spherical pie with a huge amount of peppery beef steak filling. There is little in common between this meat pie and the classic Australian meat pie. The shape is almost spherical, with a more dough-reinforced base at the bottom and minimal crust up top. The filing is steak-dominated, with big chunks of chewable meat in a black-pepper rich semi-solid gravy. It was pretty good, and at $6.50 good value and worth a try.

My partner, keen on a dessert dish, ordered the hot Roasted Peanut Rice Milk (D2 – 花生米浆 – $4) This wasn’t quite what she expected. Rather than being a dessert, it was more of a staple meal, with quite a significant size and warmth to it. It had a distinctive peanut flavour and it wasn’t too sweet, but neither of us was a big fan of it. Perhaps it just wasn’t what we were looking for this morning.

The Taiwanese Anchovy Congee (C16 – 台式吻仔鱼粥 – $12) is a loose, wet congee flavoured with little dried anchovies. It is much looser than the congees of my childhood, though not to its detriment. The toppings of youtiao and fried wonton skins added a nice amount of crunch, but unfortunately the anchovy added only a slight almost-imperceptible umami flavour. Though this was a nicely warming bowl overall, I don’t think I really got much out of the anchovy flavouring. I think that if I were to come back I would get a more standard congee, like the one with preserved egg and pork, which is a known favourite.

The Braised Combo Noodle Soup (N6 – 红烧手工牛肉三宝面 – $18.50) was ordered essentially because there was a portrait of it sitting in front of me at the bar seats. It was probably fine, but to be honest at this point in the meal we were a bit too full to enjoy anything properly. The noodles had a slight mala flavour, which I normally don’t mind (and even enjoy) but didn’t appeal to me today. It was packed with protein of multiple bovine sources – muscle, tendon, rumen, and probably some reticulum too. Whilst I enjoyed the muscle, I could only bring myself to nibble on the other beef parts – I think it really is a dish best ordered hungry. The noodles were otherwise good, and the baby bok choy was very tender and sweet. I feel like I disappointed this dish, not the other way around.

The Savoury Rice Pudding (T1 – 碗粿 – $7) was a creamy, almost radish-cakey lump of starch in a bowl of gravy and mince. It was tasty and good, though I’m still not really sure what was inside

SUBSEQUENT VISIT
We re-visited Hungry Paulie around 7 months later, under a cloud of general malaise (short-lived, and well worth the extra protection) following the third dose of a COVID vaccine.

The Soy Bean Jelly with Sweet Soft Peanut (花生甜豆花 – $5.50) was like a wet, loose dou fu nao. There was less tofu than I would’ve liked, but I felt it was still adequately soft and silky, suspended in this soy milk soup. My partner, in a moment of surprisingly conviction, said that she thought that the tofu in this was still not as silky as what she gets at yum cha.

The Braised Soy Egg (滷蛋 – $2.50) was a soy egg, cut into quarters, and presented with a bit of garlic and chilli sauce. While there were no surprises with the egg itself, the addition of sauce was completely unexpected, as was the addition of shallots and lettuce. The sauce was ultimately quite tasty, and added to the experience. It’s interesting that there is a price differential between ordering this in the restaurant and via an online ordering app. It appears to be cheaper delivered, which is just strange.

The Fried Radish Cake in Garlic Sauce Dressing ($5.50) was unexpectedly enjoyable. I’m normally not a believer in the radish cakes, but this one had me surprised. The outer layers were crispily fried, whilst the gooey inner layer was only modestly thick and barely noticeable. These radish cakes were drenched in a similar sauce to the eggs, which was very valuable to adding flavour. I think that with optimal frying dimensions and garlic sauce dressing these radish cakes were able to be enjoyed even by the non radish cake lover.

The Traditional Shallots Pancake with Braised Beef (牛肉捲餅 – $11.50) was not as good as the egg pancake, and not as good as I hoped. The actual pancake itself was stellar – thin, hot, and crispy, and with good shallot flavour. What was unfortunate was the filling that the shallot was wrapped around – a huge mass of lettuce, with a small amount of dressing and some cold braised beef. I think some warmth on the beef would’ve gone a long way, and it was certainly not helped by the mass of cold, internally wet lettuce. They really need to rethink this one.

The Taiwanese Pork Thick Soup with Bamboo and added Rice (嘉義赤肉羹 – $17) was quite enjoyable. It had a quality similar to a hot and sour soup, with plenty of white pepper flavour as well as something similar to bonito flake on top. It was thickened, with a reasonable amount of meat, bamboo, and mushrooms for the price. We were almost going to riot for not getting our rice, until we realised it was actually hidden inside the soup. So it was essentially a kind of congee.

This Wintermelon Iced Tea ($3.50) was super fresh, a bit sweet but not too sweet, and quite importantly, cheap. It makes a joke out of Hong Kong Bing Sutt charging $7 for a (delicious) iced milk tea.

VERDICT
I quite liked Hungry Paulie, and I’d like to take my parents to the Mascot branch once they feel safe enough from a COVID-19 to leave the house. There are plenty of things that I remember from my childhood on offer at Hungry Paulie that I think they would enjoy.

Hungry Paulie 愛呷囝仔 Eastwood
Shop 3/3-5 Trelawney St, Eastwood NSW 2122
0411 660 866

Categories
Thai

Old Town Delights – Mascot NSW Restaurant Review

OLD TOWN DELIGHTS is a Thai restaurant in Mascot with a very focused but delicious menu consisting of only a few choice options.

The interior of the restaurant is a strange layout of a few tables for dining in and a couch for those waiting for their takeaway orders. There is a string of televisions behind the counter, but only one was on, playing YouTube videos of acoustic guitar music. There are also two electric guitars and an amplifier – not being skilled in music myself I did not try them.

Old Town Delight’s traditional duck noodle soup ($15.90) was excellent. The soup had a really deep, rich, umami flavour thanks to its inclusion of an array of Chinese herbs. The noodles themselves were surprisingly tasty, having been infused with some of the same flavours that makes this dish so great. There was a generous serving of gai lan and bean sprouts which added a degree of freshness to contrast with and complement the soup’s flavours. Unfortuantely the soy duck leg itself wasn’t really great – I felt it was a bit too lean and dry, but the beef balls that came with the soup were delicious. Despite the duck being a bit disappointing I can definitely recommend this dish. Absolutely wonderful flavours.

The spicy fried rice with chicken ($13.50) was also very good. It had a bit of pad kee mao quality, with basil and chilli flavours mixed into the rice. The chicken pieces were quite thick and juicy. I had a few mouthfuls in the restaurant fresh, and a few around 4AM that night at work and the food maintained its good quality despite microwaving.

THOUGHTS
Old Town Delights in Mascot is an absolute hidden gem. Both dishes I had were really good, and I would readily recommend them to a friend or colleague.

Old Town Delights
830 Botany Rd, Mascot NSW 2020
(02) 8339 0889

Old Town Delights Thai Food Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Categories
Asian Fusion Vietnamese

Banh Xeo Bar – Rosebery NSW Vietnamese Restaurant Review

Banh Xeo Bar in Rosebery is a mixed-race family affair. Helmed by Benjamin Sinfield and Tanio Ho, the restaurant serves up Vietnamese inspired dishes with a dash of Western flare. This sense of co-operation is also seen in the staffing at the restaurant – with front of house being run by Caucasians and the kitchen run by Asians.

We were initially skeptical about this hip looking bar with a clientele of mostly Eastern Suburbs types (although we ourselves are technically Eastern Suburb locals at this point) and $15 banh mis, but quickly settled in to an authentic and tasty meal.

The Vietnamese iced coffee ($5.50) was really good! It was not too sweet.

We started with the crispy pork trotter in salt and vinegar butter ($12.50). This dish consisted of two deep fried pork trotters in a butter sauce with a slice of lemon. The pork was very deep friend and crispy, and the internal fats were nice and rendered. The meat itself was very oily, and I thought that the lemon was absolutely necessary to cut through the fat a bit. The butter was a bit of a superfluous addon to such an already heavy and oily dish. Overall a recommendation.

Our first main was the Banh Xeo with roast berkshire pork ($26.50). This was the first time I’ve ever had Banh Xeo, and I didn’t quite know what to expect. The egg pancake was fried to a very good warm and cripsy level. The filling inside, with pork and bean sprouts, had varying textures that amused the tongue, with a good umami flavour. The banh xeo was served with lettuce wraps and BXB’s marinated carrots and pickles, which when eaten together were able to provide multiple levels and types of crunch, crispiness, umami, and cut through the fat. This was an absolutely delicious dish.

The Combination Special Bun Bo Hue – beef flank, beef tongue, and pig head nugget noodle soup ($22.50) was a delight. We optioned it with 2 additional eggplant croquetas (on the plate in the photo), to be described separately.. I really like all the different types of meat in this soup – and also that despite being in the Eastern suburbs they didn’t shy away from serving things like beef tongue and pig head. I loved the varied textures of the meat, and also the high meat and vegetable content of the soup – there was never really a boring spoonful. A special mention goes out to the pig head nuggets, which were just delicious parcels of meatiness and fatiness that added a whole different dimension to the beef tongue and flank. The soup itself unfortunately doesn’t make it into my top soups, as my personal feeling was that it had too strong a soy flavour for my liking, but I recognise that this probably just a personal preference – I enjoyed the The Combination Special Bun Bo Hue more with the supplied lemon squeezed in. The lemongrass and chilli condiment, allegedly made by Ho’s mum, was good however didn’t find much use in this dish.

The eggplant croquetas (2 for $5) were enjoyed by my partner but not me. They were very smooth inside, and the form is made purely by the fried exterior, which I guess is a technical achievement. I think I’m a little bit allergic to eggplant.

Overall I can really recommend Banh Xeo Bar in Rosbery. It manages to straddle the line between authentic Asian cuisine and the rice paper rolls and banh mi that are more easily palatable to the South East Sydney populace. There really is something for everyone, to post gym yoga mums to two hardened deep-Asian diners.

4.5 Yums.

Banh Xeo Bar
11/61-71 Mentmore Ave, Rosebery NSW 2018
(02) 8542 5259

Categories
Chinese

China Bowl – Waterloo NSW Chinese Restaurant Review

This review is about China Bowl in Waterloo (Sydney) NSW Australia, not China Bowl in Waterloo Ontario Canada.

The pan-fried pork and cabbage dumplings were minimally fried, with juicy insides and no breakage in the pastry. Pretty good. Also comes in boiled.

shredded pancake with beef

My partner’s order of shredded pancake with beef was not our favourite. It was a huge portion of food, but taste did not meet the expectations set by the other dishes.

The Biang Biang Noodles were yummy, a large portion with lots of toppings. It’s important to eat this with a spoon as otherwise the toppings sink to the bottom and you end up just filling up on noodles. The noodles themselves were very jin dao (bouncy)

cold poached chicken in chilli oil and peanuts

The cold poached chicken in chilli oil and peanuts (口水鸡, mouth-watering saliva chicken) were delicious. My partner’s second favourite dish, even though she doesn’t normally like Sichuan cuisine. It was also a large portion.

All in all China Bowl is good food at a good price. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to a colleague for a quick late night meal, especially if you live in the area.

4/5

China Bowl
5 Gadigal Ave, Waterloo NSW 2017
0432 521 980

Categories
Chinese

Slurp! Slurp! Noodle – Rosebery NSW Chinese Restaurant Review

Slurp Slurp! That was the sound I made as I tucked into my lunch at this Chinese noodle and dumpling restaurant in Rosebery today. Spoiler alert, it was excellent.

The little copper pot rice noodle ($12.80) with pork mince and an additional tea egg ($2.50) was delicious. The flavour of the soup and mince were the right amount of saltiness, and helped along by the copious serving of shallot. The tea eggs were perfectly cooked and a real treat. We had a small amount of chilli added in as well. The rice noodles themselves were very bouncy and 筋道. Definitely easy to slurp. Overall a great dish. My only regret is that I had to share the one egg with my partner.

I quite enjoyed the Pan Fried Shrimp Dumplings (6 for $13.80) the filling inside was light flavoured with a lot of prawn and ginger. It was almost the same as a 蝦餃 but inside of a fried dumpling. Even my partner, who hates prawn, finished an entire dumpling. The dumpling shell was fried perfectly and crispily. I do wish that they had offered a boiled variant however.

The Pan-fried Pickled Chili Coriander and Beef Dumplings (6 for $12.80) are part of their limited seasonal menu. I found the fillings tasty, with a strong coriander flavour. Again the dumplings were well pan-fried, and again I wish there would have been a more wholesome option for this one, like boiling or steaming.

The Steamed Pork and Chives Dumplings (10 for $11.80) were cheap and wholesome. My partner liked them more than me, but I did appreciate that they didn’t drench these ones in oil.

The Fried Pork Buns (6 for $8.80) were really cheap and filling. Like everything else at the restaurant they came out piping hot and fresh, and gave a good splash of the juices inside!

I think that overall Slurp! Slurp! was a very impressive, small, and clean Chinese restaurant. Their noodles were the star of the show, and if I were to go back I’d definitely try and make it through their extensive noodle menu. Their dumplings are good, but their over reliance on pan-fried dumplings over boiled or steamed dumplings makes it less impressive than if they were able to deliver delicious and wholesome boiled dumplings.

The service at Slurp! Slurp! was perfect for my liking. Attentive enough when you want things, but not so attentive like at a Western restaurant where they ask you how your food is every five minutes. Thanks for leaving us alone to enjoy our delicious meal.

5/5 dumperonis.

UPDATE 23/12/2020

We went back to Slurp! Slurp! last night to try a few more items. Our meal, whilst good, was not that great. My partner remarked that if we had had this meal the first time we probably wouldn’t have gone back for seconds.

Minty Beef Rice Noodles

The minty beef rice noodles ($13.80) were, true to their name, quite minty and beefy. I enjoyed the broth with its beefy flavours, and thought that the serving of beef was reasonably generous (however if ordering this again I would option it with extra beef). The addition of a tea egg ($2.50) is an absolute must. While not as good as the copper pot noodles, these minty beef rice noodles had the same kind of noodles, which remained tasty when paired with the broth even after the meat and other toppings were eaten. I can recommend this dish.

The unforgettable ghost chicken ($8.80) ended up being quite forgettable and neither spooky nor very good. It was cold chicken in a salad of onions and cucumber with a tangy vinegar dressing. Though billed as two chillis in heat the dish wasn’t really very spicy at all. The quantity of chicken was small, though I guess just on the cusp of reasonable given the dish’s low price. Don’t get this.

The pan fried shrimp and bamboo shoot dumplings ($13.80), distinct from the prawn-only dumplings from last time, were again a very strong dish. Given my goal of trying new dishes I wasn’t going to order these dumplings, however the lady ahead basically incepted me with her order consisting of two servings of these babies. The dumplings were perfectly pan fried, this time in a reasonably open wrapping as opposed to a fully sealed wrapping. The flavour of the filling was good, though I thought not as tasty as the prawn dumplings from my previous visit, and not as prawny. My partner, hater of prawn, ate two whole dumplings – perhaps as she also agreed that these weren’t as prawny as before.

The big wonton in chilli sauce ($10.80) was pretty good but pretty standard. They were indeed quite big, with a large and generous meaty filling. Compared to other similar dishes that I’ve had – for example at Lilong by Taste of Shanghai – this dish was a bit more spicy, with its heavy smattering of chilli paste. Pretty tasty, but wasn’t a standout.

The cabbage and pork dumplings ($11.80)were pretty standard fare. More wholesome than the more fancy pan fried dumplings. I think of equal quality to their pork and chive dumplings.

Slurp! Slurp!
R1/57 Rothschild Ave, Rosebery NSW 2018
(02) 9663 3817