Tsim Chai Kee Noodle Shop is just down the road from where I work, it serves only three dishes – prawn dumplings, fish dumplings or beef with either yellow, flat or vermicelli noodles. You can have whatever combination you want – all very tasty of course!
I have had way too much noodles and rice the night before, so opt for some prawn dumplings and fish dumplings without the noodles – I know crazy right? The dumplings are oversized – ping pong balls size crammed with fresh shrimp and minced pork and they were absolutely delicious. The fish balls were even bigger and even tastier – could definitely have had another serving of both!
Mum wanted the egg noodles with fish and prawn dumplings – the noodles are made fresh and they were cooked to perfection – soft just the way she likes it. There are dumplings underneath the mountain of noodles!
Dad opt for the white rice noodles again with fish and prawn dumplings.
We also ordered a serve of vegetables – kai lan with fermented tofu which I loved!
It was a simple and filling lunch. Come early though, as by 12.45pm there are people queuing. However, turnover is quite quick. However, if you can’t be bothered waiting, you can always take away which I have done a couple of times now.
Perfect place to get my wontons and noodles fix and it was quite cheap. For the three of us, I think the bill came to less than HKD100 (AUD12.50) – BARGAIN!
They have opened a couple of branches recently including one on busy Queens Road, service minimal and food came out relatively quickly.
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
Tsim Chai Kee
Shop B, G/F Jade Centre,
98 Wellington Street
Central Hong Kong
Ph: +852 2850 6471
Cabramatta is not a place I go very often, its far and well.. its FAR! However, it has been a very long time since my last visit (a good 5 years?) and thought it was time for a revisit! I have been craving for good crispy chicken with tomato rice and my parents who are frequent visitors suggested Tan Viet – first time that they have ever suggested somewhere to eat!
Tan Viet is a popular restaurant in Cabramatta, you can’t miss it as I was told there is always a long queue outside! Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait for long, the turnover is quite quick and we were seated immediately.
Pretty much everyone on the table was here for one thing, the crispy chicken! Some wanted it with noodles, where as I wanted it with tomato rice. It was served with a bowl of soup and a side of pickled vegetables. The crispy chicken was indeed crispy and the flesh juicy, tender and absolutely wonderful! Definitely satisfied my cravings and secretly I would have happily eaten another serving – the chicken that is, not with the tomato fried rice!
My brother, F, ordered it with dried noodles which were served with a bowl of soup on the side.
My sis-in-law, O, prefers noodles with soup but she also had it with crispy chicken.
Dad ordered the deluxe pork chop rice, (which I forgot to take a photo!). He thought it was ok, the pork chop was not that great, it was a little hard and said that the crispy chicken was infinitely better.
Service minimal, turnover quite quick so don’t be put off by the queue. It does move relatively quickly and the restaurant is quite big.
After lunch, we had a stroll around Cabramatta and I couldn’t help but get myself an avocado and durian juice – it was absolutely fantastic! I know some of you may not like durian but I am a HUGE FAN and the juice totally hit the spot! Exactly what I needed after all that fried goodness!
Of course we got some delicious durian – hello delicious!
I am definitely keen to hit Cabramatta again, this time for some pho!
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
Tan Viet Noodle House
100 John Street
Ph: +61 2 9727 6853
This place has been around for as long as I remember. I used to come here after uni or during my lunch break to get my ramen fix. Now days, there are many other places to get ramen – Gumshara, Ryos, Menya to name a few and I have to say, Ichiban Boshi is probably my least favourite out of them all. I think the broth lacks a little something, a punch of flavour and taste. However, in saying that, I have come here many times for their ramen. The lines for Ichiban Boshi are ridiculously long so they must be doing something right?
I was catching up with the lovely suzchef and suggested this place. I was craving for Japanese, not ramen but for their pork katsu-don. The lines were surprisingly ok, rocked up at about 6.20pm, and within 10 minutes we were seated.
I do however like their non-ramen dishes. The pork katsu-don is one of my favourite, but then again, you can’t really get that wrong now can you? Bowl of rice topped with deep-fried pork cutlet, and egg – YUM! The pork cutlet was tender and had the right amount of fattiness, and the egg on top – perfect!
S had the wonton ramen – thin noodles with a generous serving of juicy pork and prawn wontons and choy sum. It looked a little oily though – too much chili oil!
We also shared a serving of gyoza – pork gyoza which we both loved. I love the tang of the sauce, could have easily eaten a dozen of these babies on its own – of course without the pork katsu-don! I am not that greedy!
The unagi with rice is another favourite of mine and the chicken karaage. Unfortunately, it is not a place that you can sit for hours. When and if busy, they do usher you out. Still service is quick and efficient and food is good and reasonably priced.
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
500 George Street, Level 2
Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9262 7677
Noodles and self serve tempura – I had to visit!
Mappen, is a tiny self service restaurant situated inside the Skyview Plaza, the former Optus store which is behind the 85C cake shop on George street. The concept is quite simple really, self service. As you walk towards the restaurant, there is a poster / sign with instructions on how the whole concept works.
Instructions is quite simple, you choose a drink, select your type of noodles (udon, soba, ramen, hot, cold, small, large), pick your toppings, grab a bowl of tempura sauce, eat it and when you are done, return the tray – sounds simple enough right?
‘The Mother’ and I joined the queue, and it was BUSY as it was dinner time.
We waited patiently as our noodles were being cooked; I opted for the bukake with udon.
Once the noodles are cooked, you then help yourself to some chopped shallots and tempura flakes. Get yourself a tray, accept the bowl of noodles and then decide on one or more of the delicious tempura in front of you. I was in tempura heaven! They had a variety of tempuras ranging from sweet potato, onion, prawns, white fish, chicken, egg and vegetable kakiage – tempura galore!! YUM! There are also cold salads and condiments to choose from and onigiri rice balls should you wish to order more.
My bukake udon, was heavenly, it was cooked perfectly! Unfortunately, they don’t make their own noodles which is a shame. The soup was a little tangy from the lemon which gave it a nice kick. I took some fermented tofu – which was deliciously thin and light and was a great compliment with my udon.
Now, the best part of the meal – tempura! I took a prawn tempura and a vegetable kakiage which was a tower of grated vegetables. It was huge and absolutely fantastic. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish it as it was just too big, but it was deliciously good! The prawn tempura – perfect! It was with serious control that I only took TWO tempuras!
‘The Mother’ saw someone ordered beef udon and it looked fantastic! The soup was not tangy like mine but was delicious and full of flavour. The beef was tender and succulent. It did not disappoint!
I forgot to take a photo of ‘The Mother’s’ tempura – I was too hungry! ‘The Mother’ got himself an egg and a zucchini tempura. I didn’t try the egg tempura but it was soft boiled then deep fried. He said it was weird but deliciously good at the same time. The zucchini tempura – sensational!
I LOVED the concept, the meal and of course the tempura. My only gripe would be the limited seating. Diners would come and reserve seats before ordering, which meant that people who had ordered and collected their food were left standing around aimlessly. Good thing is that Mappen staff would come out and ask people to leave politely. If the restaurant looks full, don’t worry, you will be able to find a seat as the turnover is quite quick! However, diners, please don’t reserve yourself a table before you order, it’s just not cool!
The décor was seriously cool, it had vintage Japanese movie posters pasted on the walls. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to take a photo of this as one, we were running late to see our movie and two, it was seriously buzzing and we wanted to leave so other diners could eat. Total cost for our meals was less than $25, which is a bargain and easy on the wallet. ‘The Mother’ and I will definitely be back!
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
Menya Mappen Noodle
Shop 11, 537-551 George Street
Ph: +61 2 9283 5525