Sunday, 10 February 2013

Wokking Inn - 282 North Road, Eastwood

Gung Hei Fat Choy!  Happy Chinese New Year!  It's the first day of the year of the snake and so I think it is only apt to write about another new Chinese restaurant my family and I dined at.  Despite it also being Mercedes Benz Fashion week in New York.  I would love to share some pics of that but it's fair to say that my food posts outweigh the fashion and also get more reads. . . .  So here is a review of this awesome little restaurant in Eastwood.

We wanted to go here at the end of last year but it was closed for renovation so we went here for my sister's and auntie's birthday a few weeks ago.  My mum knows the owner Helen and knew that they had some pretty awesome entrees and dishes that we had to pre-order.  We didn't want to miss out on the night!

Mango and Prawn Spring Rolls, $60. This was the pre-ordered house special entree. It was special indeed! The pastry was really light and crispy kind of like roti bread but the deep fried version and a little sweet but had some salt sprinkled lightly on top. The dipping sauce was mango puree. They were very generous in size, one per person, although I could've eaten 2!

You had to see the inside, nice big juicy prawns and fresh mango slithers with a subtle white sauce which was a Chinese style mornay sauce? Kind of.  The mango inside was sweet enough you didn't really need the sauce. 9/10.
Dried Scallop Poached Chicken, $38.  This was another pre-ordered dish.  It is a course that is served cold.  The display of the whole head always causes a stir amongst us young ones, so my brother covers it with the coriander but to our amusement our Grandad unknowingly eats the coriander and the head is revealed again!!!  Aargh!  Anyway I like this dish cold, it makes it more of a summer dish.  The chicken and soy sauce is flavoured with other spices and is a different take on the Shaoxing wine drunken chicken dish we always have.  7/10.

Pippies in XO sauce served with crispy vermicelli noodle pancake.  I love this dish although pippes are not the meatiest of sea foods, this dish makes up for it in flavour.  The sauce is thick and salty and the vermicelli noodles are used to mop up this. The best bits are the cripsy edges which always get eaten quickly. 9/10.

8 Treasure Whole Duck, $78.  This was the pi√©ce de resistanc√©!  The dish was massive.  It was so different to anything I have ever eaten in a Chinese restaurant before.  The waitress had cut into the duck before I could snap it unscathed.  The body of the duck was so soft and I was like c'mon what is this? It had no bones and was so so soft to cut up!  The skin was soft and the treasures inside were all so soft as well.  It must have been slowly cooking for ages.  The meat was so tender and flavoursome.  The stuffing comprised of water chestnut, shitake mushrooms, Chinese sausage, lotus root and some other ingredients which I don't know.  The duck was surrounded by baby buk choy which made it a more visually pleasing dish.  8/10.

Sweet and Sour Pork.  Always a favourite.  The sourness builds the appetite.  The sweet cuts into the fatty bits of pork, which weren't too fatty at all.  The batter was light and crispy.  The addition of pinenuts was new.  Delicious.  8/10.

Chilli Soft Shell Crab.  This was my choice.  The little crabs were yummy and the batter which I was expecting to be really hot as it had three chilies next to the dish on the menu wasn't as hot as I wanted it to be despite the dish being covered with a variety of chillies.  It was a generous sized dish though.  7/10.
Re-hydrated scallops with enoki mushrooms and snow pea sprouts.  The vegetable dish of the night served in a broth which was unusual. The scallops were subtle tasting but added a nice saltiness to the veges.  7/10.
All these dishes were eaten with white rice and we were so full by the end as there was so much food, the servings were big.   We all got a take-away container for our lunches the next day!  Yay!
Wokking Inn is a hidden jem.  It is quite expensive compared to the other local Chinese restaurants I go to in the suburbs, but it's also a great change of the style of Chinese we are used to.  All up it was $360 for 10 people which is very reasonable by Sydney standards but twice the amount for a regular Chinese suburban meal.

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