Nestled on a side street off Waterloo’s Gadigal Avenue is Mr Sun’s Fried Buns, a homely neighbourhood restaurant serving a variety of both bun and non-bun fare. A surprising amount of care has been put into the restaurant’s decor, which features bamboo steamers hung upside down in stacks from the ceilings as well as stuck onto the walls.
Mr Sun’s fried buns are not your regular shengjian bao. Though their fillings are authentic to the standard, the wrappers used by Mr Sun in his headline buns are much thinner, providing an optimal meat to juice to bread ratio that both delights the senses and allows the lucky patron to eat fit more buns into their digestive tract.
We had a combination of pork buns (left) and prawn buns (right) (4 for $10). A deeper dive is not possible at this stage as I’ve just forgotten how they tasted, however I can promise you that they tasted good. I thought it was a shame that they only offer two different flavours of buns cooked in this style, and I think that they would even benefit from offering all of their dumpling fillings in buns cooked this way. They were just great. I could have easily filled up on these.
The Chinese Spinach and Pork Wonton in Soup ($14.50) was a warming and wholesome dish. The soup was a nice semi-clear broth with a good but not too strong flavour, probably packed more with MSG than NaCl. It was topped with some bean cured, shallot, and seaweed, the last two elements adding additional umami. The wontons were a good size and had a nice, large, meaty filling. This wonton soup is better than that at nearby Yummy Duck BBQ.
I have no complaints about these boiled Scallop and Prawn Dumplings (12 for $15.80), though again I wish they would make all of their different dumpling varieties into their fried buns. I think it would be a real winner.
The Steamed Rice in Claypot with Braised Pork ($18.50) really didn’t look like the image provided, nor was it really congruous with the name of the dish. While I can accept this kind of thing as a takeaway or delivery meal (no restaurant is going to give you an actual claypot to take home), I don’t really go to a restaurant so that I can eat in a foil tray. Indeed there was nothing about this dish to indicate that it had ever even met a claypot, let alone been in one. To its credit, the dish did taste good, with a some of the rice having been made crispy, and not only the right sauce and pork to rice ratio but also the right amount of cabbage to keep things fresh. Regardless, they shouldn’t have shown a picture of food in a claypot if they weren’t going to serve it in one.
The food, particularly Mr Sun’s signature fried buns, tasted quite good. Unfortunately cleanliness, particularly of the cups for drinking water, was an issue, and I think it’s a restaurant best approached in the style of the Middle Ages, where beer was safer to drink than water.
4/5 with cleanliness negative modifier
Mr Sun’s Fried Buns
15 Hatbox Pl, Waterloo NSW 2017
0414 598 188