Bistro Hulu, Sydney

On Friday 27th March, The Food Zoo was invited to Bistro’s Hulu’s first anniversary party. Say what? I have never even noticed this place! Situated on Liverpool St and tucked away in a tiny shop front behind the Three Monkey’s Bar, this little Chinese restaurant has a lot to offer!

After a lengthy chat with restaurant owner Rosetta, we understand that Bistro Hulu is genuinely passionate about bringing the best of traditional Chinese cooking and delivering it to Sydney foodies with a modern and innovative twist. The first year has been slow but they have really started to take off! Unfortunately I don’t have all food photos from the night (stomach was hungrier than the camera this time) but sit back and enjoy the photos that my camera did manage to capture first!

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Steamed chicken with Chilli Oil and Shallots

Super tender and juicy steamed chicken – this was my favourite dish of the night with just the right [light =P] amount of chilli and fresh shallots.

BistroHulu02
Canapés – Duck Smoked in Oolong Tea

One of the better smoked duck’s I’ve tasted in my time. Well and thoroughly smoked but not too overpowering which normally happens when tea-smoked duck is served. This was also highly rated by other foodies that night!

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Canapés – Soft Shell Crab, Aberdeen Style

I am a complete sucker for garlic – and this soft shell crab was just covered in that stuff… Win!! I’m actually not quire sure what Aberdeen style is meant to mean though… Quick search online seems to reveal cooking centered around butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Can anyone please verify this?!

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Canapés – Goji Berry and Osmanthus Jelly

Last but not least, what would a meal be without some dessert or something sweet?! I loved the light fruity/floral taste and the solid jelly texture. Seems healthy too! Double win for the night.

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Live music – Thanks Danielle!

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Congrats again and Happy Birthday Bistro Hulu! Wishing you the most success for the future. And some news for you North Shore-ans: Bistro Hulu is coming to Crows Nest in May 2015!

Hope you all enjoyed the post and sorry if you’ve seen them on Instagram already (@thefoodzoo).

Bistro Hulu

2/88 LIverpool St,
Sydney (Chinatown)
Bistro Hulu Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Pu’er, Waterloo

Located in the yuppie populated suburb of Waterloo, Pu’er is a contemporary Chinese tea house serving unique dim sum and share dishes along with exceptionally high quality tea imported from China.

Tonight was our first visit and we were shown to our table by Quinton, our charming host for the evening. The first thing that caught our eyes were the beautifully crafted ceramic tables, each hand painted and imported from China. They were to provide a nice backdrop to the beautifully presented dishes to come that night.

1995 Loose Leaf Premium Yunnan Pu’er, $9

First order of business, the entrees and they came with 3 sauces; soy, dark vinegar, and Sriracha chilli.

            Mushroom Pot Stickers, $7

These didn’t look like traditional pot stickers, more like softly pan fried mini glutinous buns. Taking a bite into them, they had the texture of savoury mochi balls filled with a perfectly cooked mixture of 3 kinds of mushrooms (shiitake, champignon and straw). They went beautifully with the dark vinegar and a dab of sriracha.

Gyoza, $10

Our second entree arrived shortly, Gyozas with a serving of 6 along with pickled ginger. They were very much like Gyozas you get from any good Japanese restaurants, and they were delicious.

From the Street Food section, we ordered 2 plates.

Hong Kong Mini Burgers, $15

The Hong Kong Mini Burgers were very unique. A small piece of pork schnitzel with house smoked chilli paste, hoisin sauce, and baby cress were wedged between two pieces of mantao, deep fried to a golden brown.

 BBQ Duck Tacos, $16

More a bao than a taco, but we aren’t complaining, just trying to discover the secret ingredients to their ‘secret mayonnaise’, that went so well with the duck, shaved cucumber, and spring onions. Probably the highlight of my night!

The shared plates were to follow, and dislike for the dishes is bound to happen when you let your guests pick them!

       Caramelised Berkshire Pork Belly, $24

There’s nothing like some Pu’er and spice infused with tea eggs that reminds me of home, and mother’s cooking! The pork was not too fatty served with a sticky, sweet sauce. It really wasn’t as heavy as a dish as it looks!

Twice Cooked Shandong Chicken, $29

Admittedly the chicken was more than just a little bit dry. Perhaps we would have more readily wolfed the dish down if it had been served near the start of the meal, but being the last dish served, we really expected a little bit more from it to really end the night well. In saying that however, we did manage to still polish off the dish, despite the generous portion of half chicken!

Berry Sling, $17

Something for me to wash it all down with, after a recommendation from Quinton, and a good recommendation it was!

No meal is complete without desserts!

Coconut & Kaffir Lime Leaf Sorbet, $10

The sorbet was served in a young coconut, with coconut water, and black sticky rice. We were told that this is the most popular dessert, and the best they had on the menu and it was definitely a good choice. Apparently the order is to start on the right, and move left, but we found that creating a gigantic mash of everything together also worked well. The sorbet was light and refreshing and mixed perfectly with the black sticky rice, with the coconut water helping to wash it all down.

Red Bean Donuts, $10

With the coconut and kaffir lime sorbet being the most popular, we were also told that this was probably the least tastiest of the four choices on the menu. Determined that our initial choice was the correct one, we went ahead and ordered it, but alas, we were proven right, yet again! Lucky for me though, as I am not that big of a fan of red bean. There was a tiny amount of red bean in the centre, that any lover of it would have been disappointed by. Not a bad way to end the night!

 The Food Zoo dined as guests of Pu’er

Pu’er
20a Danks St,
Waterloo, NSW 2017
Puer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chef’s Gallery, Sydney

Chef’s Gallery – Piggy buns. Chef’s Gallery – Piggy buns. Okay, so they do have other food but when Chef’s Gallery first opened late last year, I saw same dish, uploaded by ten different people on facebook…. I think it’s a sign to check it out!

Wok fried medium grain rice with three types of eggs (chicken egg, salted duck egg and century egg) $13.90

Exactly as the menu states “a must try dish”. The salted duck egg yolk gives the fried rice this amazing thick grainy texture. If you’ve seen a similar dish anywhere else, please let me know!

Cucumber served cold with a hint of chili oil – $3.90

Yummy crispy cucumber. A little to0 chili and dry for my liking but somehow couldn’t stop eating it… Scrumptious!

Spinach noodles wok fried with seafood $16.90

I think this was another recommended menu dish… Wasn’t a huge fan of the spinach noodles since my mum also makes it fresh… Guess I just have high (or warped) expectations!

Steamed sesame ‘piggy-face’ bun $5.90

The famous chef’s gallery dessert. I thought it was a hard sesame paste inside but it was a runny sesame sauce when I tried to pull it apart! Loved the sesame taste but proceed with caution!

Steamed pumpkin pastry dumpling filled with lotus paste – $5.90

Interesting appearance but a little bland to eat. I would recommend sticking to the piggy buns!

Red bean paste delicately rolled in fine sticky rice flour pastry – $5.90

I never really knew what sticky rice flour pastry was like but according to my friends, it wasn’t really what they were expecting. Actually it tasted rather dry and had a faint red bean taste. Once again, stick to the piggy buns if you wanna be safe!

Chef’s Gallery
501 George St
Sydney, 2000
T:
(02) 9267 8877

501 George St
Sydney, 2000

501 George St
Sydney, 2000

Chefs Gallery on Urbanspoon

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

Flavours of Peking on Urbanspoon