Chefs Gallery 中厨 – Sydney CBD

The dramatic giant glass tank on Bathurst Street with big letters ‘CHEFS GALLERY‘ written across the whole wall glowing so bright, it definitely makes a few pedestrians stop on their paths and aroused a few curiosities. While I am waiting outside for Helen, I notice a countless of passerby having a double take, leaning over so close with their noses almost touching the glass panel, observing what the chefs are doing behind the kitchen. But not all of them are having a looksy, there is also a constant flow of customers slowly pouring into the restaurant and filling up the space in no time. Question: Is it Chefs Gallery or Chef’s Gallery? Despite the annoyance of missing apostrophe, Chefs Gallery is the newest and most talked about dumpling/noodle house in Sydney CBD. Housed inside the Regent Place, the restaurant is located right behind KFC on George Street, where formerly occupied by Bonta Vita. The ‘fish tank’ kitchen seems to be a trend these days, Chefs Gallery has an even bigger open kitchen after Din Tai Fung and New Shanghai, a troop of kitchenhands in chefs white behind the glass tank with each busy manning their own station. We are seated at the chef’s table which provides us the perfect view platform of all the action behind the kitchen. The boys at the front row of the kitchen are delegated to noodle making and preparing noodle dishes, while the girls at the back are responsible for dishes that need the delicate touches such as dumplings and desserts. Every staff member is wearing a plastic mouth-guard which we presume is for...

Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋節) – Win 1 of 3 'Over The Moon' mooncake deluxe box

[Competition is now closed. Winners announced here.] 中秋節. I know is spring time in Australia, but there is no reason why we can’t celebrate mid-autumn festival (中秋節), especially when there is food involved, right? One of my favourite Chinese festivals has to be mid-autumn festival, and it falls on 22nd September this year. As you can see, I have blogged about it every year and of course there is no exception for this year. It is a very typical Chinese thing to do during the festival to have a reunion dinner with families or friends and share some mooncakes after meal over a cup of Chinese tea. This year, ATFT has teamed up with Amyson again and 3 ATFT readers will be the lucky winners of these gorgeous ‘Over The Moon’ Mooncake deluxe boxes. Each box consists of four mooncakes inside with four different flavours – pumpkin taro, pandan with 1 yolk, jade custard, and macha red bean. Read on and find out how to win. For those who never heard of mooncake, it is a Chinese pastry that traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is usually in round or rectangular shapes with a soft pastry skin while inside is a thick filling usually made from lotus seed paste and sometimes may contain a salted duck egg yolk inside. But these days, mooncakes come in different shapes and sizes and flavours. Just go to Chinatown or Cabramatta this weekend and you will be overwhelmed by different types of mooncakes stacking up high in metal tins and some are in unique packaging like these by the brand Casahana (Hei...

Chinese Five Spice Roast Duck

Masterchef Australia season 2 is finally over, and I have to congratulate Adam Liaw for making this far and claimed the title. Time flies, I still remember my Masterchef Audition in September last year and what a coincidence to be in the same group as Adam and Alvin, and both Malaysians. Well, I shouldn’t be surprise, just look at the number of Malaysian food bloggers in Australia: ChocolateSuze Citrus And Candy Raspberri Cupcakes One Bite More Vue de cuisiner Iron Chef Shellie The Raw Noodle Are you hungary Almost Bourdain brunch lunch munch the food pornographer My Wey of Life Nommy nom nom Cinnamon Pig (Alvin from Masterchef) Adam Liaw (Masterchef’s winner, even though he hardly blog since audition September last year) (I am sure there are more, let me know and comment so I can add you to the list) And what does that tell you? Yes, Malaysians do love food, we even greet each other by saying “Have you eaten yet?” (Sek Bao Mei?) instead of the usual hello, how are you. Just go and hang out with a Malaysian for one day, you will know what I am saying. Friends still asking me whether I will give Masterchef another try. As much as I hate the padded dramas, the crying and the personal life stories, the fire balls and all the unnecessary suspense; I do think Masterchef is a great show that has really made a big impact on the eating habit of this nation, and why wouldn’t I want to be part of it if my cooking skill can really inspire the others who watch...

Chinese noodle restaurant – Haymarket, Chinatown, Sydney CBD

Sadly soggy, oily, yucky. A disturbingly oily pork mince pastry is the last dish to arrive at our table and no one dares to touch it. I brace myself and pick a slice up with my chopsticks, its soggy bottom threatens to split and the filling inside almost become a table wipe. With quick thinking and a fast maneuver, I pick up my bowl to fetch it instead of dragging it across the table, thank god I manage to save it from a total disaster just by the second. Mr P follows suit, but Helen refuses to touch it. Don’t you just hate when friends ask you to bring them to restaurant where you had some great food in the past, and then when you go back with them and it turns out to be totally shit? I’m not just losing my credibility, the friendship possibly also in jeopardy. That’s what happened recently, when Helen and I catching up with Mr P, a freelance journalist who we met at Tasting Australia in Adelaide for a cheap dinner in Chinatown. I overruled Mr P’s suggestion of Mamak since I just came back from Malaysia and suggested to go to Chinese Noodle Restaurant where I had some great meals many moons ago. But this time is shockingly horrendous. Chinese noodle restaurant on Thomas Street, Haymarket has been a long time favourite among Sydneysiders. With its cheap and cheerful menu of Northern Chinese handmade noodle and dumplings are particularly attractive to uni students and more recently frequented by young hipsters I’ve noticed. Make no mistakes, there are actually two northern Chinese noodle...

Marigold Restaurant Yum Cha – Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney CBD

“Ewww….!” She squeals. But we are not taking ‘no’ for an answer and keep prodding, “Eat it! Eat it!” She squeals some more and simply won’t barge. Betty eventually takes her drink away and says, “If you are not going to eat it, you won’t get your Coke!” And it worked. Karen slowly picks up her chopsticks, pokes a tiny cube of pigs blood jelly we have placed on her plate. “Ewwww…”, she puts it in her mouth, chews, quickly grabs the can of Coke, takes a big sip and swallows. By now, the whole table of food bloggers are cackling in tears, we are so cruel on someone’s expense. Pigs blood jelly (Ju Hoong) – – Love it or hate it, I am the former. Cubes of blood are already set on its own before cooking, thanks to the plasma inside the blood and no gelatins were used. Once steamed, it will transformed into a firm chocolate brown of iron goodness that crumbles easily with the touch of the chopsticks. A slight metallic taste like the liver, but it is simply divine braised in chili soy sauce, topped with garlic chives for the crunch. Delicious! But of course, the pigs blood jelly is not the only dish we ordered at the yum cha. Helen and I just hijacked a group yum cha outing (Sorry, Leona!) and push forward to 11am instead of 1pm as planned to avoid the rush hour crowd. Especially the venue chosen is one of the more popular yum cha haunts in Chinatown at the Marigold Restaurant, it will be almost impossible to get a...

Two long lunches at Melbourne Food & Wine Festival – World's Longest Lunch and Viet Lane Sunday Lunch

“Melbourne is the Lady, Sydney is the …” …jests by one of the guests during a “Melbourne vs Sydney” conversation at the world’s longest lunch. Helen (GrabYourFork) and I, two Sydneysiders are already stirring the pot once touched down in Melbourne. We both are very fortunate to be invited by Tourism Victoria to spend a full weekend indulging ourselves at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Despite our flight was cancelled, then another 40 minutes delayed on the flight we are assigned to; we eventually arrived at Melbourne three hours late in high spirits and we are hungry. But thank god we travelled light and only have hand luggage with us; we decided to skip checking in to our hotel and head straight to the our first event of the festival. The World’s Longest Lunch The World’s Longest Lunch is always one of the highlights of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, and this year a 400 meter long table is snaking along St Kilda road, in front of the NGV and the Arts Centre. Some 900 diners include ourselves, will be part of this Chinese-inspired delectable spectacle and enjoy a three-course lunch under the beautiful warm sunny day in Melbourne. ” class=”size-medium wp-image-10898″ src=”http://www.atablefortwo.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/long-lunch-a6-214×300.jpg” alt=””> After many emails and phone calls back and forth with the event organiser trying to coordinate when and where to meet up, we eventually arrive at the NGV forecourt 30 minutes after the lunch has already started and missing out on the entree. (“Damn you Virgin Blue!”) We’ve been told they actually just finished the entree 5 minutes ago as the waitress are...