Lantern by Wagaya can be found on the busy street of George Street on the second floor of the Sun Tower complex. It is a newish restaurant by Wagaya which is the latest Izakaya-style restaurant. I love the little booths and the touch screen and you can also book karaoke room and eat at the same time.
I was catching up with a friend, A, for a quick lunch and suggested this place. I have seen pictures of their chicken karaage and deep fried salmon skin that I had to try! The lunch menu had a lot of lunch box option which suited us fine, there were also some starters or noodles for those who want something warmer. We started with the deep fried salmon skin, which I thought was more flesh than skin but it was tasty and crunchy.
I couldn’t go past the chicken karaage set for lunch and had it upgraded with sashimi for an extra $5.
The chicken karaage pieces were tender and succulent. It looks more dry than it tastes.
The sashimi was definitely a good idea, too much deep fried food that I needed something to balance it out.
A opt for the pork katsu set, which was served with rice, miso soup and a couple of takoyaki gratin. The pork was tender albeit thin.
I loved the takoyaki – the inside was definitely creamy and had a crispy but soft shell.
I came back a couple of weeks later with my parents but forgot to take my camera. The agedashi tofu I thought was quite good, the batter was thin and the tofu was deliciously silky. Dad had the salmon lunch set which he thoroughly enjoyed, the salmon was cooked to perfection and was absolutely delicious – you will have to trust me on this one as I forgot to take pictures.
I do love the idea of touch screen menu and ordering. Service minimal but food came out relatively quickly once you have entered your order. Definitely keen to go back for karaoke and have dinner at the same time!
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
Lantern by Wagaya
Level 2, 591 George Street
Ph: +61 2 9283 8828
It’s hard to find good Peking Duck in the city so when I heard that Dan’s House has opened and they had Peking Duck, I had to give it ago, so dragged my partner in crime S for some delicious duck!
Dan’s house is a newly Chinese restaurant which can be found on George Street, it reminds me a little like Chefs Gallery and Din Tai Fung, especially the glass kitchen where you can see the chefs in action. The interior is modern and clean, a lot of bling, I am not sure if I quite like the plastic chairs though – I didn’t take a photo of it, but it did look a little tacky.
The menu is vast, beautifully photographed and heavy-bound. Everything looked good and was described in details.
S and I were here for one thing – PEKING DUCK so got half for the two of us. I thought one whole duck would be an over kill!
The duck I really enjoyed, it wasn’t too fatty and was quite meat-y. The pancake was thin and served warm of course. I have to say, it was a pretty good duck, probably one of the nicest in the city.
There’s also duck soup, which was wonderful.
We also ordered cold tofu with salmon sashimi mixed with sweet soya sauce and wasabi. I love tofu so this was good. However, S and I are not sure about the salmon sashimi. I know at Din Tai Fung it is served with pork floss and we both LOVE that. I do like the sauce though, it had a nice spicy kick to it and quite refreshing.
The noodle pancake sounded interesting, it was pan-fried, and a little sweet which I thought was a bit weird. More like a dessert I thought, however, it wasn’t too bad, I did like the texture of the noodles compressed together.
I was told that their signature dishes are the handmade noodles and authentic Peking duck which we had. We were full and didn’t try the handmade noodles, but will definitely be back to try their other dishes.
I think total meal came to about $50, we were both stuffed, and although dessert was tempting we both could not fit anything else in. Service was friendly and food came out relatively quickly. Reservations is recommended, we did pre-order our Peking Duck when making the reservation.
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
710 George Street
Ph: +61 9211 1112
Menya Noodle Bar can be found on Quay Street, Prince Centre, Haymarket. I have known of its existence for a while now but have not had the chance to go there. The dumplings next door is always inviting and busy but it is not a part of Chinatown that I go very often.
So on a cold Saturday evening, I was catching up with my brother, F and sis-in-law, O who was craving for ramen so I suggested this place. At 7pm the place was starting to get busy, you order near the door, take a seat and food will be delivered to you.
I have been to the Menya Noodle Bar on Sussex Street many times now, and usually alternate between the Tori-katsu ramen or the tori kara-age ramen or the Menya Curry and tori kara-age. However, that evening, I wasn’t really hungry so thought I would try something different. The agedashi tofu ($6.00) – 3 big pieces of deep fried silken tofu swimming in a pool of sweet soy sauce broth. I love agedashi but I don’t particularly like it drenched in sweet soy sauce. The tofu was soft and silky and although drenched was still quite tasty.
The mini rice bowls ($4.50) was hard to resist. I have never ordered the rice bowls before so opt for the buta mubashi bowl – sliced roast pork with shallots and mayonnaise. The pork was tender and had the right amount of fattiness. It was good!
F ordered the tori kara-age ramen, shoyu ($10.90) – I was secretly hoping that he would order the kara-age so I could steal a piece of chicken! I think I would have preferred the kara-age chicken on the side, so it doesn’t become soggy, but it was still quite tender. The soup was warm, thick, rich and GOOD!
O loves soba, so opt for the tempura soba ($13.90), again the tempura was a little soggy, better on the side I think so it remains crispy. However, I didn’t try this, by the time I was ready to try some, it was gone – she completely demolished it! I can safely say that she truly and utterly enjoyed this dish.
The place was busy by the time we got there, but turnover is quite quick. Menya doesn’t only have ramen dishes, they also have soba, udon, Japanese curries and many more. Food is good and reasonably cheap. As winter is approaching, I can envisage lots of comfort food which involves ramen and Japanese curry.
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
Menya Noodle Bar
8 Quay St Shop Tg8
Ph: +61 2 9212 1020
Prior to my work trip, I had a serious craving for Korean Food. I was catching up with the lovely S and T, and suggested Arisun which is located on Dixon Street (between Goulburn and Liverpool Street), in the heart of Chinatown, Sydney.
I have been here a couple of times, usually really late at night after a night of drinking to have KFC – not the Colonel Sanders type but Korean Fried Chicken, still finger licking good but healthier in my books!
The KFC arrived and we were all in awe, geez, how are we going to finish all of it? I can’t believe we all doubted ourselves, between the four of us, we demolished and polished the KFC and could have probably gone for another serving. Crispy skin, tender meat, what more can you asks for? It was good but I have to admit though, I do prefer the KFC at Madang. It’s just slightly better, not sure if it’s because we ordered the plain fried chicken instead of the chili one. Regardless, it did satisfy my cravings for fried chicken!
The bimbimbap (without the raw egg, as both S and I can’t have anything raw!) served in a stone bowl was good but I have definitely had better.
‘The Mother’ wanted some sort of soup, so we ordered a serving of ‘hot pot’ – I can’t for the life of me remember the name of this dish! It was a coolish evening, so this was good. However, I thought the soup was a little bland.
The last dish was probably the most disappointing. We wanted something on the lighter side, didn’t think the above was enough. In hindsight, we should have probably ordered another serving of KFC. Alas, we ordered, beef in black bean sauce with rice topped with egg. It was extremely ordinary and I would probably never order this dish again.
I have had the seafood pancake here before and although it is good, it is not as great as Madang. A week later, I dragged the family to Madang to get another fix of KFC and Korean food in general. I personally prefer Madang, but I don’t like the queues, so Arisun is a good alternative. Stick to the KFC I say, and the chop suey and pancakes. At this hour as I am writing this, I have a serious craving for KFC!
GA’s ratings: 6.5 / 10
1 Dixon Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: +61 2 9264 1588
I’ve had many meals at BBQ King, mainly at some godly hour after a night of drinking and dancing. Mind you, this was in my younger days, as I no longer dance or drink the night away – it is a sign of OLD age! I have many fond memories of this place, at uni for a quick lunch, or for a midnight snack. I seemed to have enjoyed the midnight snacks more, being drunk, everything just taste so much better!
‘The Mother’ and I weren’t drunk when we went, it has been a VERY long time since my last visit to BBQ King, four years maybe? The last time I was here, was probably after drinks with the boys and MG, one of our friends who love Chinese food suggested we get peking duck at BBQ King.
The place hasn’t changed really, the 1980s decor, the tanks of fresh seafood (not that I have seen anyone take a fish out of there!), the tables and chairs – it’s all pretty much the same!
We started with the complimentary pork soup. It lacked flavour, but then again, I wasn’t expecting much.
‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the soy chicken – one of his favourite dishes and I have to say, it was pretty darn good. Tender succulent chicken with the right amount of sweetness to it. I have to admit, it wasn’t as good as the one in Hong Kong, but it did hit the spot! We both pretty much demolished this.
The fried whiting wasn’t too bad either, crispy, and not oily. Generous serving as we definitely couldn’t finish it.
We really wanted the snow peas but ran out, so opt for the spinach, it was good but nothing special and from memory expensive for what it is!
Overall, it wasn’t too bad, but on the pricier side! From memory, the whole meal costs $70+!! Service very minimal, staff needs to ‘smile’ more but food did come out quite quickly. Not a place I would go every day, I think there are better Chinese restaurants around, but I have to say, I’ve had some pretty awesome drunken meals here!
GA’s ratings: 6.5 / 10
18 Goulburn St
Ph: +61 2 9267 2586