Archive for the ‘noodles’ Category
The answer to that question, dinner table conversation which could have only come from thatjessho, was of course: no.
We were at China Red, otherwise known (temporarily) as “that new dumpling place in town”. China Red is, I suspect, the first touch-screen ordering Asian restaurant in Melbourne, a trend that’s going to take-off in a big way with the whole iPad thing. Pearl even has those now I think, and it’s kinda cool to browse the menu by pushing on an LCD screen. It certainly cuts out the issue of getting someone to the table take your order, and that’s half the battle in Melbourne’s dumpling houses.
It’s not an iPad, it’s a more serious wall mounted version (harder to steal), but you can order anything you want from the menu whenever you want. You can even summon your waiter with little more than a thumb movement – much better than straining for eye contact across a busy restaurant.
There’s a little picture and description of each dish and they’re all sectioned out in a logical manner. Tea, dumplings, noodle and rice dishes, beer (most important if your day was anything like the one I just had). There’s even a “Melbourne Classic Menu,” aka: stuff white people like. But hey, if it works… it works, and all our requested items came out quick smart.
The stock-standard-green-Asian-vegetable-side-dish (often the only green thing on the table) has been given ample attention here with a range of vegetable and sauce combinations. We chose Stir-fried water spinach and sliced pepper in pickled bean-curd sauce, $15.80, although Jess said it wasn’t water spinach, it was something else. But I couldn’t tell because I’m so anglo. I think $15.80 is pretty hefty, but the dish was huge, and delicious, so no complaints there.
First dumpling round – Won ton in spicy sauce, 6p $8.80. Always a favourite, these were hot, spicy and slippery.
Pan fried dumplings 8p, $10.80, were also excellent, as were the Shao-Long-Bao 8p, $10.80.
This picture of Noodles with shrimp in soup, $12.80, is deceptive. It was really quite huge, definitely falling into the value for money category here. The noodles are hand-made on site and feature in many dishes, including, Stir-fried eel with noodles and soup (I’d love to know if the eel was fresh, $12.80) and Noodles with fungus AND mushroom in soup (must be extra mushroomy, at $11.80).
Like Jeroxie said in her very recent post about China Red, our waiters were also a little eager with the plate clearing. Perhaps they have too much time on their hands without needing to take any one’s order, perhaps they’re a touch overstaffed because they’re such a new venue. But don’t try to take away my last mouthful of beer. They were friendly though, which is more than I can say for some waiters at other dumpling places around town.
It’s pricey, so lean towards soups, noodles and dumplings if you’re after a cheap feed. We spent just over $80 between the three of us, and we only had one beer each. Someone was too full to finish theirs *ahem*. The touch screens make it a little easy to over-order so be careful or you will overspend. The food comes out fairly quickly and you can always order more.
I liked the whole experience, but I reckon anyone with a serious dumpling obsession wouldn’t make too many return visits. There are just too many other options around, and so few meals in a day. The biggest draw card is going to be the novelty factor of the touch screen, I loved that part, but a novelty is only a novelty until it’s…um…not anymore.
It is pretty slick, I’ll give it that, with quality crockery and fittings, lots of space and seats…but some times the new, cool kid in town is just like the all the other kids but in more expensive clothes. Time will tell.
Shop 6, 206 Bourke Street (Where the old Village Cinemas used to be)www.china-red.com.au
Lucy summed it up pretty well. “How could you say no?” she said, “It’s just at the end of the street, and it’s only eight dollars!”
I think my household are the most frequent Hobart Noodle and Tea customers.
Eat in or take-away, get yourself a bowl of steaming hot noodles, made on site daily. All vegetarian, all around the $8.50 mark.
Choose your noodle, green tea, hokkien, udon, among others, with great sauces or soups accompany.
This is a very family business, with the owner’s gorgeous little children popping their heads around to see what is going on at regular intervals, and a clear view from the counter to the living room.
My recommendations are: green curry noodle soup, seven chilli noodle and satay noodle. Actually, I recommend anything on the menu. I have been slowly working my way down the list, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. All for piggy bank change. Bargain.
Hobart Noodle and Tea
Corner of Smith and Letitia Streets, North Hobart
Open Monday to Friday, 12:30 – 2:30 and 5:30-8:30
Hobart’s only dumpling specialty restaurant opened about 18 months ago, with mixed reviews, by Chinese migrants Helen Zhao and Matthew Ma.
However a recent spate of heavy rain caused the roof to cave in, causing extensive property damage. The owners of Dumpling World have been forced to pay for the building repairs, even though they rent the premises, and the repairs are the landlords responsibility. The owner tells me that the landlord refuses to answer her phone or return messages. There was an article in The Mercury about this. Not a lot happens in Hobart, so the weather is pretty big news.
Because of this selfish, shonky landlord (please step forward) poor Hobartians have gone without their weekly (and sometimes twice weekly) meal of superb house-made dumplings. I for one will gladly venture to Collins street for many a lunch break in the coming months. There goes all that money I had planed to save by packing my own lunch.
Dumpling World is also home to the original tea egg ($2 each), which prompted me to learn to cook my own.
Dumplings are available steamed and fried: pork, chicken, vegetable and seafood. I forgot to write down the price but I recall they were quite inexpensive.
There are also some new options on the menu, like a Japanese style chicken curry with rice ($8), Chinese buns ($3.50 each) and shaomai ($5, 3 pieces).
I almost always order the dumpling soup ($9) which comes with your choice of dumplings and either laksa or chicken soup. My soup today (top picture) was excellent, as always. Plenty of dumplings, crisp bean shoots, grated carrot, red onion and a spicy complex laksa, not too creamy or rich, just perfect.
The serves are large, and the ingredients are fresh. I would even go so far as to say that being closed for six weeks has fostered improvement. The owners work behind the counter and in the kitchen, I always like to see a family involvement in a business, it has a nice warm fuzzy feel.
It would be great if the dumplings were available to buy uncooked to take home and freeze for later.
It is unfortunate that the owners of Dumpling World have the landlords they do, but I am grateful they have reopened, even if at their own expense. I hope they take their landlord to court and sue for damages, they deserve better.
3/138 Collins st Hobart
Ph: 03 62241830
Dine in and take-away
Mon- Fri 11.30-10
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