Taste of Shanghai, Hurstville, Sydney

>> October 17, 2014

Guest blogger edition

The problem with Shanghainese restaurants I find these days is that everything on the menu looks so good! This basically means that we end up ordering waaay too much, having to stuff ourselves to the brim or takeaway a doggy bag.



Taste of Shanghai is no exception. The restaurant that originally started in Ashfield (I think) now has chains all across Sydney. On this occasion, we visited the Hurstville branch located on Forest road. Despite it being an early Thursday night, the restaurant was pretty much booked out with lines beginning to run out the door. Lucky for us, we managed to snag a table for two before the crowds descended.



Steamed chicken in red chili oil - $12.80 - a sesame and chili oil sauce lathered over steamed chicken. A dish served cold, however the heat of the chili contrasts nicely with the temperature of the dish. A great starter. Not as good as the version at Waitan though I think



Crab meat Xiao Long Bao - $12.80 - the combination of sweet crab meat with tender pork meat encapsulated within these paper thin dumplings is unbelievably tasty. The trick is to get it all in your mouth without letting the soupy juices inside escape.




Pan fried pork bun - $9.80 - A bargain dish - 8 of these huge buns pan fried till the base is a crispy golden brown colour. Again, there is the mouthwatering soupy juices inside.


Salty fish and diced chicken fried rice - $11.80 - A dish ordered to fill us up in case the first few weren't enough (but they were easily enough). This fried rice was choc full of chicken and salty fish pieces. A tad too fishy for my liking but we demolished this nonetheless.



We staggered out of the restaurant having completely stuffed ourselves .

A great meal.


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Chefs gallery, Wynyard, Sydney CBD

>> October 14, 2014

Guest blogger edition

'My chefs gallery' is a spin off of the 'Chefs gallery' restaurant which originally started next to KFC on Bathurst St in the city. Similar to  Din Tai Fung and other Shanghainese inspired cuisines, it was and still is quite popular.



My chefs gallery is a smaller restaurant, located inside the Metcentre in Wynyard. As an opening special (it was recently rebranded, refurnished and refreshed with a whole new menu), they have an offer where if you book online (at least 24 hours in advance), you get 30% of your bill. Not bad at all.

We actually ended up going here twice to try a few more of the dishes on offer. Below are some of these dishes.


Dan dan noodles with fried pork ribs - $16.90 - fantastic rich, nutty dan dan soup base with silky smooth noodles. A tiny bit of spiciness to the dish.


Deep fried pork accompanying the noodle was golden perfection. Juicy pork cutlets deep fried and sprinkled with sesame. Dipped into the salt and pepper, it was really salivating to eat.


Handmade noodles, shredded roast duck, egg, shitake mushroom, chinese brocolli - $17.80 - slivers of duck meat, ribbons of thin egg slice and slippery noodle tossed together with shitake mushrooms. A great combination of flavours and they did not skimp on the duck!


Flash fried medium wagyu beef with pepper sauce and lettuce salad - $25.90 - I thought this dish was somewhat overpriced. Sure the beef cubes were tender and cooked well, but the sauce was just a pepper sauce and the salad was just some lettuce. A tad disappointing I found given the hefty price tag.


Shredded duck meat and mushroom dumpling - $12.90 - Not an appetising look (they kinda look like brains), but inside is that lovely duck meat and mushroom flavour again - like the noodles above but stronger.  The sauce was a mild oyster sauce I think.



Vegetarian spring rolls with a spicy mushroom dipping sauce - $11.90 - I love the crispiness of this spring roll interpretation - the deep fried lattice pastry simple shattered inside your mouth to reveal the bounty of vegetables inside. Spreading the mushroom sauce onto the spring roll, added another dimension of flavour.


Fried rice with 3 eggs (Salted duck egg, century egg, and chicken egg) - $15.90 - A signature dish that I've had before at their mother restaurant on Bathurst St. You can really taste the different egg flavours in there. The best egg i think is the salted duck egg, which has a really nice saltiness, oiliness, creamyness as well as a granular texture at the same time.


Get in quick to take advantage of the discount cos the regular prices aren't cheap for this place! I think they also have a entertainment card offer as well.

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Ken's sushi bar dining, Bexley North, Sydney

>> October 11, 2014

Guest blogger edition

A small, unassuming Japanese restaurant located in the small suburb of Bexley North begets another hidden suburban gem. Much like Sushi Hiro in Beverly Hills, Ken's Sushi Bar Dining is a cozy little Japanese restaurant with owner operators bringing their culinary skills direct from Japan to our shores.



The restaurant is usually very busy with customers on weekends and Friday nights and as it only sits around 20-25 people, booking is a must if you plan to come here for dinner. Your other option is to rock up for lunch and although there is a steady stream of customers even at lunch time, your chance of getting a table is much better.

And so here we were on a warm Saturday afternoon sitting at Ken's and ordering our lunch whilst watching the busy traffic of Bexley Road. They have a special lunch set (shown below) which provides a 2 course meal with or without a drink. It's pretty good value so we opted for this.



Miso soup - your standard miso soup, no qualms having this as a starter.


Two steamed gyoza dumpings and two sushi rolls (per set) - doesn't look like much, but the gyoza is surprisingly plump and juicy, whilst the tuna sushi is also quite nice


Fish Katsu - lightly crumbed fish fillets, piping hot, crunchy with a homemade mayo and side of garden salad, this was sooo moreish.


Whiting tempura with dipping sauce and salad - fresh whiting fillets (although I did have some soft bones in mine) fried to perfection. Really nicely done.


Definitely would go back again for lunch or dinner to try their more extensive menu.

Two word summary - authentic and delicious.


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