Thursday, 25 October 2012

Cho Dumpling King, Haymarket

Cho Dumpling King
8 Quay St Haymarket NSW 2000
+61 2 9281 2760

First Impression
A crowd is hovering outside the front of the restaurant. I'm not sure if they are waiting in line or just browsing. Upon venturing closer to the entrance, a waitress comes out and hands us the menu, asking us to order whilst we are outside.

Although the restaurant names itself "Dumpling King," this appears to be a misnomer as I can not find any dumplings on the menu. There are many side dishes displayed along the windowsill but I still do not see any dumplings. This isn't a problem though as my dining companion who speaks highly of this place says the chicken wings and bento boxes are the way to go.

We order a fried chicken bento box each ($7.50) with an iced green tea ($1), a side of salt and pepper tofu and chicken wings. Having ordered, we are ushered inside to a table. The table is tiny and I observe with skepticism as how all the food we ordered will be able to fit on it.

Fried Chicken Bento (Clockwise): Fried Chicken, Pickles, Rice, Orange Slices, Bean Sprouts, Chilli Tofu ($7.50)
Iced Green Tea ($1)

At $8.50 for a bento and iced green tea, it is fantastic value. You get your meat, plenty of vegies, drink and even fruit. The iced green tea is awesome, one of the best iced teas I've had. Refreshingly smooth. I could drink this all the time. The fried chicken is good however being a chili wimp, I found the tofu a tad on the spicy side.

My dining companion sent me off to find some side dishes. The specialty of this joint. $3.50 each and they are lined up along the window in a stunning display of food.

Crispy School Prawns $3.50
We loved these crispy school prawns. At $3.50, an absolute bargain. I've paid $20 for these things at a bar. They are deep fried to crispy golden goodness such that you can eat it shell and all. Saves all the hassle of peeling prawn and you get all the nutritional goodness of the shell (or so I'm told).

Bamboo Shoots+Preserved Vegetables+Soy Beans+Pork Mince $3.50
I ordered this plate of bamboo shoots, preserved vegetables, soy beans and pork mince out of nostalgia for the exact same dish my mother makes. After one taste, I was amazed at how a dish with exactly the same ingredients, and looked rather similar, could taste so different under two different chefs. The same dish my mother makes is a lot better. So much so that we only picked at this dish and left most of it behind.

Salt and Pepper Tofu
I wasn't sure how much this plate of tofu was. On the menu, one page said it was $5.50, another page said it was $7. I gave up trying to figure it out. They arrived piping hot. Unfortunately, the tofu was tasteless. I tentatively tried the sauce it came with only after my dining companion confirmed it wasn't spicy and decided I wasn't a fan of the sauce. I dipped the rest of the tofu lightly in soy sauce. It wasn't bad, but not great.

Chicken Wings
The star of the show: the deep fried chicken wings. These were fantastic. Deep fried to golden goodness. All 4 pieces were mid-wings, my favourite and the best portion of the chicken wings. These were good sized and tasty. Again, due to ambiguity, not sure how much these cost.

Once all the food had arrived, I felt like I couldn't make large sudden movements at the fear of knocking anything over. In fact, I barely moved at all. These were seriously tiny tables, but can't really blame them given the inside seating area and kitchen is tiny.

Bill came to $40.50 for 2 according to the waitress. I wasn't really sure how they came to that figure but the food wasn't bad and overall it was still good value.

Final Thoughts
- Could definitely come back here for the chicken wings and iced tea
- Good value for the food and serving size
- Always a crowd hovering about
- Table space is tiny

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