First Taste, Hurstville

Lately there have been a lot of new restaurants popping up around Hurstville. First Taste is one of these new places, situated along the busy Forest Road near Hurstville Station.

My dad was very, very keen to try this place. He must have heard/read somewhere about their speciality rice hot pots because when anyone even mentioned eating at Hurstville, he would eagerly pipe up that we should go to First Taste.

Rice hot pots aren't really my thing but I figured that they would have some stock standard combination fried noodles that I could order. And so off we went to try First Taste.

It seems like they are actually a chain of restaurants with locations in Melbourne.

Unfortunately for me, it turned out that they didn't have fried noodles! Their menu was divided into three sections: hot soups, rice hot pots and noodle soups. Sigh.

Menu on the outside window

It was quite crowded inside, with all of the tables filled up and a constant flow of new customers. I guess people just love trying a new place.

The inside of the full restaurant

Some greenery on the inside

Complimentary thermos of hot tea

The menu says that rice hot pots take 15-20 minutes to cook. Being a true Asian, my dad ordered the Dried Scallop and Watercress stewed with Duck Kidney soup to have while we waited.

The small pot of soup ($4.20)

It was okay. I wouldn't have ordered any of the soups by myself. They are very traditional Chinese and reminds me of the soup that my mum makes at home. Of course, these are very popular in Hong Kong with people buying them from takeaway stores to drink.

It's a good thing that the menu pre-warns you about the wait because it felt like forever for the rice to arrive!

Chicken and mushroom rice in hot pot ($7.50?)

Seafood combination with rice in hot pot ($9.00)

The seafood combination wasn't what I expected. I thought the seafood would be the same as what you get in a food court, being some frozen prawns, one frozen scallop etc. Instead, there was three or four prawn balls, some hot seafood extender, some fish, two non-frozen scallops. Usually there are some snow peas and tinned mushrooms in the food court fare but there was no greenery in this one, except for shallots.

The chicken and mushroom was nice. The chicken was in small pieces on the bone and served with large chinese mushrooms and a few slices of chinese sausage. Once again, the shallots were there in full force.

The rice sticks to the edge of the hot pot and keeps on cooking while you eat, due to the heat of the bowl. It becomes crispy and hard. Some people like this. (I don't).

My tip is to mush all the topping and sauce around the bowl for extra flavour!

Would I come back to this place? Probably not. It was something different, but there are many other places in Hurstville to try!


We have been writing about food in Sydney since 2009. No place is too far or too wide for us to travel to visit. We always give an honest opinion and love to hear your comments too. Here's to an ever-growing society of foodies!

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