Home > Chinese, Syd: Kensington, Sydney > Chairman Mao, Kensington

Chairman Mao, Kensington

I have wanted to go to Chairman Mao for a while now. The name attracted me, Chairman Mao, commonly known as Mao Zedong. He was held in regard in China as a ‘great revolutionary, political strategist, military mastermind and savior of the nation’. I won’t go through the history, as this is not a history lesson, but I have heard many discussions about him during family gatherings from my grandparents and my parents.

‘The Mother’ and I were catching up for dinner with a couple of friends, MG and his lovely finance, A and I suggested Chairman Mao, Hunan province food.

I am glad that I made a reservation that night, it was extremely busy, and the place was buzzing. The restaurant was decorated with Chairman Mao memorabilia, as he was born in Hunan. I couldn’t take a picture of everything that was up on the wall as one, I was hungry and two, there were so many people and three, I was hungry!

We were given complementary cucumber which was soaked in chili oil. It was deliciously tender, juicy, a little tangy and spicy.

We started with the chopped green onion pancake, it was thin, crispy and perfect way to start the meal.

I couldn’t go pass the braised pork belly with preserved vegetables. This dish is very close to my heart, not only is pork belly one of my favourite dish, but it’s one that my grandmother used to make. The dish was ‘homely’ and simply outstanding. The tenderness, the juiciness of the pork, it just melted in your mouth. I really could have eaten the whole dish on my own. MG, however, prefered the one from Red Chili Sichuan they ‘have a better texture, like crisping up the skin, and had more spice and peppercorns.’ I personally haven’t had the one at Red Chili Sichuan so will definitely have to try it one day.

I absolutely loved it. It was delicious – I love the slither of fat, the skin and meatiness of the pork. I still do prefer Mum’s though, she makes this dish well and I really do need to get the recipe of her! Oh YUMMMMM.

The steamed fish fillets with pickled hot green chilling were wonderful. Underneath all the ‘greens’ were tender fish fillets which were fresh, spicy, a little bit on the oily side but absolutely stupendous.

Stir fry mushroom with celery, carrots and onions were seriously spicy. It was numb tongue spicy and absolutely deceiving. We didn’t realise how spicy this was going to be, we couldn’t see any Szechuan pepper but the more we ate, the more numbing our tongue became. ‘A’ is not a massive fan of spicy food and for her, this was over powering. We originally thought it was the fish, but no… it was definitely the stir fry mushroom.

The beer braised duck was tender, there is a hint of beer flavour, which was subtle but excellent. It was spicy but not as numbing as the stir fry mushroom. MG thought they could have ‘turned the duck dish into something a little less ‘homely”.

Some of the dishes I thought were a tad oily but I love the spiciness and how my tongue tingled whilst I ate the mushroom stir fry. It wasn’t the spiciest dish I have eaten, but it sure was the tastiest stir fry mushroom I have had in a long time.

Deliciously full we sat there chatting and laughing, waiting for our tongue to become normal. A glass of mango lassi or ice cream would have been perfect, and we did just that. We continued to a convenience store, and purchased an ice cream to get rid of the numbness.

MG did prefer Red Chili Sichuan compared to Chairman Mao – he thought the ‘flavours were more explosive and tastier’. I quite like Chairman Mao and the ‘homely’ food that it brings.

It was so lovely so catch up with both of you, we should definitely do it again. Another spicy Chinese restaurant then?

The total bill came to less than $80 which we thought was quite reasonable! I really did enjoy the meal here, the service was friendly and efficient, and food quite authentic. Will definitely be back with the family to try other dishes.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

‘The Mother’s’ ratings: 7 / 10

MG’s ratings: 7 / 10

Chairman Mao

189 Anzac Parade

Kensington 2033

Ph: +61 2 9697 9189

Chairman Mao Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

  1. February 25, 2011 at 5:00 am

    Gah, I typed an entire comment and then shut the browser.

    I’d love to listen in on a conversation your family have about Mao. I’ve read a few books about him written by people that are not his biggest fans. I suppose there are people out there that love him but I’ve never read one of those stories…yet.

    I love shallot pancakes – yummy! And I wonder if the beer braised duck is traditional, or are they channelling us Aussies who like to put beer in/on/over everything?

    • February 25, 2011 at 5:25 am

      hey mel, happy to share with you one day 🙂 the shallot pancakes were absolutely yummy! i dont think the braised duck was that traditional, the pork however was!

  2. February 25, 2011 at 10:23 am

    that pork belly is the best.. although i found it really filling! the place looks so cute!

  3. February 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    I have to agree with the pork; I prefer crackling to just a lump of chewy fat on top. Have to come here one day when I feel brave enough to tackle the spicyness of the dishes! Maybe winter? LOL

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