If hidden hole in the wall joints are your kind of thing, then Shanghai 18 is one for you. A small Shanghainese restaruant located in the quite corner of Sussex street, its dim lighting which makes it looks like it’s not even open means it’s easily missed.
So it’s not surprising that it’s fairly quiet when we visit.
The menu consists of a variety of dumplings, buns, noodles and your typical Chinese stir fries.
Growing up in a heavily Indian populated neighborhood, I’m no stranger to Indian food. And I’m talking tiny little joint, with barely any decor, but ridiculously good food sorta Indian food.
But for the uninitiated or something a little more hipster, I’d recommend Don’t Tell Aunty.
Balls of Happiness ($16)
Balls of Happiness are little fried dough balls, filled with a delectable mixture of yoghurt, tamarind and other tasty additions which I obviously didn’t pay attention to. But it’s a quite moment of happiness as we’re told we have about 10 seconds to eat it. The delicate thin crisp ball doesn’t last long before the moisture from the fillings get to it! But each bite is an explosion of delicious flavours, and we’d have to say that Balls of Happiness is a pretty accurate description!
Unauthentic Butter Chicken ($21)
Of course we had to go for the butter chicken, which might be unauthentic but is oh so tasty! The yogurt-marinated chicken is tender and we’re loving the sauce that’s made of tomato, ginger, garlic & fenugreek.
Chana Masala ($16)
But it’s the Chana Masala where the flavour really packs a punch. The garam masala, pomegranate & mango powder make for a nicely balanced curry, which go well with chickpea.
Naan Basket ($12)
Naan is our choice of vehicle to mop up all the tasty curry sauces, and we’re not at all disappointed by the naan basket, which comes with a variety of plain, garlic & chive as well as sesame & onion seed naan varieties. Soft and fluffy, we’d easily have these on their own.
Back in my uni days I used to take a ‘dumpling tour’ in the Sydney CBD on weekends, and one thing I learnt is that, everyone loves dumplings. Lots of them too!
So it’s not surprisingly that Harajuku Gyoza, a cute little gyoza joint in Potts Point, is quite the popular spot for a quick dumpling fix.
Pork and Prawn Gyoza with Ginger and Spring Onion Dressing, Grilled ($9.8)
The menu is mostly filled with different gyoza varieties, as well as some izakaya share plates. Pork and prawn gyoza are like your typical Japanese style gyoza, with soft a soft wrapper encasing a delicate prawn and pork filling. The ginger and spring onion dressing is light and tasty.
Beef with Shiso Gyoza, Grilled ($8.3)
Beef is a much less common choice of filling, but the beef with shiso gyoza is surprisingly tasty, the shiso imparting an unusual but delicious flavour.
Mozzarella Cheese with Semi-dried Tomato Gyoza, Crispy Fried ($9.2)
For someone completely different we also try the mozzerella cheese and semi dried tomato gyoza which is super crispy, with stretchy cheese in each bite.
Tempura Eggplant ($8.5)
Tempura eggplant is fried in a light, crispy batter, the eggplant itself silky smooth.
Our visit to Yummy Chinese BBQ was a little unintentional. We were infact looking for an all you can eat hotpot joint in Chinatown, but these seem to be very scarce these days so when we saw the sign at the door for all you can eat skewers and hotpot, that was about the closest we could find!
It’s a nice setup, and much tidier and cleaner than most other Chinese skewer/AYCE places we’ve visited in Sydney, and there’s a vast spread of pre-skewered meats, veggies and sides on display. We’re sold instantly!
The idea is that you get a large charcoal bbq in the middle of your table where the meats rotate themself to cook- minimal effort involved! You also get a small hotpot on the side for the best of both worlds!
We start with the sides where there is a large selection of chilled veggie dishes.
Then we move onto the meats where there is everything from your typical chicken, beef, lamb to offal.
We find somethings work well on the rotating bbq, other things not so much. Like the sausages which were so soft they fell off the skewer, or the unbalanced chicken which would not rotate. All part of the fun I guess!
You’re also given a net where you can grill unskewered items like enoki mushrooms, corn and garlic bread.
The hotpot selection comes with your typical options of veggies, fish balls, mushrooms etc. Beef and lamb slices are ordered and brought out from the kitchen.
There’s also soft serve for dessert and on the day we visit there’s vanilla and matcha on offer.
You’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re looking for Korean restaurants in Lidcombe, but for something a little different, try PR Korean.
Specialising in chicken BBQ, there’s hot plates filled with chicken cooking in red sauce on every table when we visit. Of course, there’s you usually Korean classics, but if you’re at PR Korean, you’re here for the Chicken BBQ.
Octopus Chicken BBQ ($22pp)
Most are here for just the regular spicy chicken but we went for something little different with the octupus chicken bbq, which arrives as a mass of chicken and veggies. It’s a raw mountain of food that it cooked by staff, which is totally part of the fun!
Cook time is around 10 minutes and we almost thought they forgot about the octopus, but it is added at the end.
Octopus Chicken BBQ ($22pp)
It is definitely on the spicy side so it’s not for those who are sensitive to spice but it’s a super satisfying feed otherwise, with plenty of chicken, cabbage and other additions like rice cake. We eat ours with the side of lettuce, but there’s also optional add ins like rice (which is mixed in to make fried rice once you get to the end) but the pot itself is more than enough for the two of us.