Categories
Chinese

Mr Sun’s Fried Buns – Waterloo NSW Restaurant Review

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.

DISCUSSION

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

Categories
Malaysian

Albee’s Kitchen – Kingsford NSW Restaurant Review

Albee’s Kitchen is a Malaysian restaurant in Kingsford. Situated close to the UNSW campus, I’m told that it was a very popular spot for students prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I was a big fan of the Kuching Style Claypot Noodles ($14-$15). The soup was perfect and the noodles an excellent texture. This is one dish that I would have again and again.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Albee’s Hainanese Chicken Rice ($12) didn’t quite fit expectations. It’s hard to articulate why – it just didn’t taste as classic 海南鸡饭 is meant to taste. Maybe because it was swimming in soy sauce.

The karipap (curry puff) ($3.50 each) is a fan favourite, very large and stuffed full of ingredients. You will find rave reviews for Albee’s curry puffs online but unfortunately (perhaps because it was a bit cold) it was not to our taste.

After enjoying our first meal at Albee’s (pictured) we tried unsuccessfully to visit again twice. One time at night they had already closed prior to their advertised closing time. We ate at No.1 Malatang instead that night, which was truly disappointing. The other time we went in the morning and they were yet to open, even though it was past their advertised opening time. This was a bit of a let down on both occasions.

Overall some of the dishes are a bit hit and miss, but the inclusion of some true winners leads me to recommend giving Albee’s Kitchen a go.

UPDATE – 25/11/2020

We went back! One of our Malaysian friends happened to be in the area and had a hankering for his favourite Malaysian restaurant. We took this opportunity to gather a few of our intensive care colleagues for a lunch with a menu curated by the sedap master.

Half Hainan Chicken

The Half Hainan Chicken ($18.80) was better than I remembered! The chicken was soft and tender, and if you look to compare with the above image you can see that the chicken to soy sauce ratio is not that as much as it was before.

Nam Yu Pork Rib

The Nam Yu Pork Rib ($19.80) is pork rib, marinated in fermented bean curd, and deep fried. It is quite delicious and brimming with umami taste. They are easy to pick up with chopsticks in a shared eating scenario and I found myself coming back to it again and again.

After having quite good Loh Bak at Ho Jiak in Haymarket I was keen to try Albee’s version. While good, I didn’t quite enjoy Albee’s Lor Bak/ Ngoh Hiang (2 for $18.80) as much. The filling of pork and prawn mince with vegetable just didn’t feel as premium as Ho Jiak’s. The bean curd exterior was also not as deep fried and crispy, which is both a plus and minus. It was still good but not as good.

As a potato lover, the Curry Chicken and Potato Hot Pot (Large) was my girlfriend’s favourite. She really enjoyed the yellow curry soup mixed with rice, and also how the potato fully soaked up the flavours. Even though she doesn’t usually like to have chicken while eating out (she thinks chicken is a non-special animal, having grown up eating a lot of chicken at home) she really enjoyed the chicken here, particularly how fall off the bone tender it was. Definitely a highlight.

Sambal Water Spinach

The Sambal Water Spinach ($17.80) was really no more special than other wok tossed vegetables with sambal mixed in. Quite good with rice. A special mention needs to be made for the sambal sauce at Albee’s, which has a deep umami flavour but isn’t so spicy that it is remote and inaccessible for the weak tongued.

UPDATE 4/12/2020

My girlfriend liked the curry chicken and potato so much that she made us go again. We ordered a bit too much between the two of us, and had plenty to take home.

The Wonton Soup ($12) was good. A huge serving that is a meal in and of itself. The soup was tasty but not too salty (as it was at Yummy Duck BBQ) and the wontons large. I enjoyed the bonus greens that came with the dish which added a degree of healthfulness to the meal. If I had one complaint it would be that the wonton wrappers are a bit thick and extensive.

Ipoh Chicken Noodle Soup

The Ipoh Chicken Noodle Soup ($14) was again a huge bowl for a cheap price. It was a bowl of rice noodles in a slightly spicy broth with sliced chicken, prawns, and bean sprouts. I found the mixture of chicken and prawn pleasing as it provides a bit from column A and a bit from column B – good if you’re not looking for a fully prawn noodle soup. The serving of noodles is very generous – don’t feel like you have to finish it all!

Pandan Chicken (3 for $5.80) was yummy and flavourful. Essentially Malaysian style fried chicken wrapped in pandan leaf. You’re not meant to eat the leaf but honestly it’s all deep fried and flavoured so it’s not bad.

Traditional curry chicken and potato with rice

A reprise of the curry chicken and potato but this time with rice and at a cheap price for a solo meal ($12). My partner didn’t actually enjoy this as much as last time. Perhaps the stone pot provides some additional flavour characteristics?

TO CONCLUDE

Albee’s Kitchen provides delicious and affordable Malaysian food. Our group meal came to around $20 per person and we left feeling happy and satisfied. I can definitely recommend Albee’s for your next lunch.

Albee’s Kitchen Kingsford
470 Anzac Parade, Kingsford NSW 2032
0452 077 118