Flavours of Peking, Castlecrag

When you mention Peking food, the first thing that comes to my mind tends to be Peking duck and dumplings. It’s not exactly boring, but a lot of people tend to overlook all the strong flavors and variety that Chinese cuisine has to offer. If you’re looking for one of the best and most authentic Chinese restaurants on the Lower North Shore then Flavors of Peking is the place to be! It’s tucked away in a little shopping village at Castlereagh where there’s plenty of parking conveniently located under the restaurant.

Jelly Fish ($28.80) : pre-order

Unfortunately it was difficult for me to capture a picture of the dish as the waitress immediately started dividing the food for us. Anyway, this is a nice cold dish that we always order called “jelly fish” (according to the menu… strange since the dish has no jelly fish at all!).  A combination of sea cucumber, chicken feed and lightly cooked scallops mixed in a mustard sauce topped with spring onions. I’m not a fan of chilli or mustard but I can never resist having a hefty portion of this dish!

Shredded chicken with bean flat vermicelli ($17.00)

Another cold dish – cucumber, shredded chicken and vermicelli – also another one of my favourites. It comes neatly plated but once again I was too slow with my camera and the waitress had already poured the sesame sauce and mixed the dish for the table.

Peking style thick soup with fish fillet ($70.40) : pre-order

Exactly as the name suggests – fish soup with a whole bunch of tender fish fillet, tofu, vegetables and herbs.  The soup base is light and you definitely feel like you’re getting a hefty does of  fish and vegetables! Once again, requires pre-ordering  based on the number of guests.

Smoked duck ($55.80) : pre-order

As the duck is placed in the centre of the table I can already smell the smoky flavour from my chair. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of this dish but I can never ever resist having a piece as the meat just looks so tender and perfectly cooked. The dish may seem pricey but don’t forget, it is quite a significant portion (too much for 10 people!)

Beggars chicken ($60.80) : pre-order

Beggars chicken, not my cup of tea but the boy insisted after reading some reviews online. Such a strange name! So one does what one must do… Google it the moment I get home! Legend has it that a homeless, starving beggar had a chicken but didn’t have a stove to prepare it. Desperate for food, he came up with an idea. He killed the chicken and covered it with mud and baked it with fire… For more information, click here.

It’s a shame that they ran out of space to present it at our table (due to the overwhelming amount of food we ordered) because apart from the presentation, the food itself was underwhelming though I think it’s because I was already too full! The first layer (bread dough shell) is MASSIVE but once removed, you’ll find a juicy chicken stuffed with pork and seasoning and wrapped in lotus leaves.

Fried fresh meat buns – 10 pcs ($24.80) : pre-order

Always recommended by staff when you’re trying to make a booking though I don’t really see what the fuss is all about. Sure it looks nice and perfectly pan fried on the outside but the thick bun exterior and lack of soup inside made me quite the unhappy eater =(

Radish pastry dumplings ($8.80 each)

ANOTHER pre-order dish and at $8.80 each don’t be fooled… They’re pretty much the size of your palm! I was a bit confused though that it didn’t seem to taste sweet or savoury despite those little shreds of bacon… But the crunchy radish shreds were nice.

Chrysanthemum fish ($58.80)

Delicious friet fish then fried with vegetables in sweeet and sour sauce. If you’re not a big cooked fish lover (like me), this dish is relatively easy to eat and I’m sure kids would love it too!

I must apologise but I actually have no clue what this dish is called (in english anyway). Basically, the bowl at the back is a thick seafood soup with some vegetables and at the front, it’s similar to this light crispy pieces of rice crisps. The waitstaff are usually quick to divide the dish but I would recommend adding the rice crisps just as you are about to eat the dish so that they don’t go soggy before you finish.

Quick fried soft-shell crab with salty egg yolk ($35.80)

By far one of the best dishes during dinner and according to all guests that I have ever dined with, the best soft-shell crab to be served anywhere in Sydney! A must try!!!

Peking toffee apple – 6 pieces ($14.80)

Fried apple, coated in toffee syrup then dipped in ice-water for the toffee to harden. A delicious famous Peking dessert with super sweet toffee coating and then balanced with a big chunk of hot apple.

Crispy red bean pancake ($11.80)

I had an absolute blast and almost passed out from being so full after dining. Flavors of Peking is best dined with large groups of people as the servings are so big and as they say, the more the merrier! Just remember, all the awesome stuff needs to be pre-ordered which makes it really difficult since there’s no online or take-away menu (for pre-order items) but hopefully this entry would’ve helped! Enjoy~

Flavours of Peking
100 Edinburgh Rd
Castlecrag 2068
T: (02) 9958 3288

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Taste of Shanghai, Sydney

Coming from a chinese background, my friends – and sometimes even my family – are not too keen to eat at a chinese restaurant. It’s probably because we have rice and chinese dishes almost every day at home. So when my family decided to go to Taste of Shanghai, the reputation must’ve already been pretty good.

The restaurant is in World Square Centre (closest station Town Hall) on lower ground level diagonally across from Coles. We arrived for a late lunch on Saturday around 2pm and the restaurant was still quite packed! It’s quite difficult to get a waiters’ attention and even then, you are often referred to someone else. But hopefully the food was worth it…

Shanghai Style Style Hot and Sour Soup

A lot of people are suprised that I can’t handle any type of chilli food – I guess I just don’t have that asian gene in me haha. Anyway, although hot and sour soup technically doesn’t have any chilli (it’s mainly pepper as my dad tells me), I loved it. I found it really really chilli but I couldn’t help going back for more even though my lips were burning!

Garlic Bamboo Chicken

One of the more popular dishes, I thought the dish was quite standard. The chicken was a little dry but being swamped in garlic kind of saved the dish for me.

Live Mud Crab with Salted Duck Egg Yolk

If you don’t care about your health and rocketing cholesteral (not that is should be a really big issue for younger readers), this dish has a huge abundance of egg yolk and that orange stuff above (can someone please tell me what it is? Crab brain? Crab roe?) which is absolute gold from a chinese diner’s perspective. Loved it!

Shanghai Pan Fried Pork Bun

I firmly believe this is a must have if you dine at a shanghainese restauruant. Best eaten when hot but be careful, it’s super hot inside when served! Recommended to eat with a spoon as when you take the first bite, all the soup from within will come pouring out!

Radish Pastry

I first discovered this dish in Hong Kong many years ago when dining with an uncle of mine. The contrasting texture of the pastry with the hot crispy white shreds of pastry inside was de-li-cious!!

Black Sesame and Red Bean Leisha Dumplings

A dessert combining some of my favourites: black sesame, red bean and the glutinous rice-ball texture. I think it’s unique to Taste of Shanghai as these glutinous dumplings usually just contain one filling. The only disappointing part is the presentation: it comes out looking flat like someone just threw it on the plate to be served =(

Honeydew milk frappe

If you like easyway, or any type of sweet sugary asian drink, you’ll really enjoy the selection at Taste of Shanghai. You can choose from frappes, milkshakes or just flavoured milk teas. The honeydew milk frappe had too much flavouring but the icy cold drink was perfect to quench my burning lips (from the hot and sour soup)!

Taste of Shanghai
Shop 9.07, World Square
644 George Street
Sydney, 2000
T: (02) 9261 8832

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