Chef’s Gallery.

Din Tai Fung is customarily the first stop for us when arriving in Sydney, conveniently located a few short blocks from Central Station where the cattle car bus leaves us. However, I’d been told of another central city Chinese yum cha joint, located in the Regent Place arcade next to Town Hall. We came across it quite by accident after leaving Kinokuniya and decided to fortify ourselves for the trip home.

It was quite busy, so we were given seats at the counter. Fortunately, this gave us primo views of the kitchen, where the noodle-makers, wonton-makers, and wok cooks were industriously practicing their crafts. In particular, the noodle maker’s graceful tossing, spinning, twisting and rolling made him look weirdly balletic, a Nureyev of flour and water.

First up were some charsiu buns: those steamed breads filled with a mouthful of sweet-sauced barbecued pork. We ate these so quickly that I honestly forgot to photograph them. Oops.

The rest of our dishes arrived in quick succession.

WP_000365

Dan Dan noodles, seductively fragrant of sesame and floating in a luridly orange broth, declared by the Mr. to be even better than Din Tai Fung’s version. High praise indeed. The noodles were just, just right. I tipped my chopsticks to Nureyev, but I’m not certain if he saw me.

WP_000369

 

Oblong potstickers were crunchy once from the crust, and crunchy again from the miraculously not-gloopy cabbage filling. Dipped in a little soy/vinegar and slurped down with alacrity.

 

The odd-looking thing above is a pork floss roti. It’s a roti (of the Southeast Asian flaky/crunchy variety, rather than Indian), topped with a heap of…well, pork floss. What the heck is that, you ask? Imagine cotton candy or candyfloss. Now imagine it made of meat instead of sugar. Seriously. Same dissolving-fibrous texture and everything. If I sound incredulous, well I am. I have seen this in Asian supermarkets but I never tasted it before, and now I wonder why I waited.

It’s like cotton candy! But it’s PORK!

Will wonders never cease?

Anyway, it’s extra-tasty when piled into a freshly cooked roti.

Finally, the fried bread. Because the words “fried” and “bread” exert numinous powers over me. I can’t say no.

WP_000367

 

Four golf-ball-sized fritters of deeply crunchy and barely sweetened dough. The green stuff in the dish turned out to be sweetened condensed milk for dipping. I don’t know why it was green.

Unfortunately we were too full and too pressed for time to try their famous “piggy” dessert buns. But that’s okay, because sure as sugar this won’t be our last visit to Chef’s Gallery. I look forward to many more of their delights.

 

Chefs Gallery on Urbanspoon

Advertisements

6 comments

  1. tarnishedsophia

    Ah, I’m so jealous! It sounds so wonderful and fragrant…even the meaty things! *sigh* New foods like you describe truly test my vegetarian resolve, lol. 😛

    I’ve recently encountered a number of people who, in passing, have mentioned that they “hate” Asian foods of all kinds. Supposedly this is due to the spice palette they share…Often I look at them quite incredulously, since Thai vs Mongolian vs Korean vs Japanese vs Chinese is (in my mind) VERY different. Obviously they have not been given the chance to partake of the finely crafted edible wonders that you and I have, Sasha.

    Do you ever meet people like this?

    • Sasha

      Sophia, they had a nice selection of vegetarian stuff. Tofu and vegi dumplings and noodles and rice. The roti also comes plain. So when you come to Sydney to visit and shop, we can go to Chef’s Gallery and eat hearty! 🙂

      “Asian food” is too big a category. I tend to like Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Indonesian, Indian and Filipino, but I’m not so crazy about Thai or Korean (since I’m not a seafood eater, and kimchi just grosses me out). Anyone who says that they flat-out don’t like “Asian” hasn’t had enough of it. I guess if you don’t like the taste of soy sauce that might wipe out a wide swath of Asian cuisines but still, it’s too general.

  2. cabrogal

    In Vietnam the bánh mì (baguette sangers) generally has pork, chicken or even fish floss on it. Yum.

    Sadly I’m yet to find an Australian eatery that does them like in VN, though the restaurants around Bankstown have long perfected every other dish I ran across in Vietnam – especially the wonderful pho bo which you can even get excellent examples of in Newcastle (it’s generally a bit of a culinary wasteland up here for a Sydney boy like myself – the unjustly famous Darby St restaurant strip is a joke and as for Beaumont Street in Hamilton … the less said the better).

    Oh, and the roti chennai I used to get for breakfast from an Indian guy on Tioman Island – perfect SE Asian roti with a thin curry sauce to die for. No restaurant, just an old guy wheeling his trolley along the beach at about 7am getting mobbed by the local Malays.

    But if you ever get to Malaysia, Sasha, all I can say is “Kota Bahru night market”. Every foodie should make the pilgrimage.

  3. cabrogal

    One Vietnamese side dish you can’t get in Australia is deep fried silkworm pupae.
    I know what you’re thinking but you’re wrong – it’s even better than witchetty grubs and nearly as good as the honeyed locusts they served on Burmese trains when I was there in 1987.

Tell me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s