Roast duck deboned and topped with minced taro in a light batter $26.80
As much as I'd love to attend the Iron Chef dinner at the Observatory Hotel, the $495 per person price tag is a little beyond my budget, even if it does feature two Iron Chefs.
Instead we head to Iron Chef. There is no Chen Kenichi, no Hiroyuki Sakai, but on 25% dinner discount Tuesday, Iron Chef is packed with patrons who are seeking their own Allez Cuisine!
Complimentary house soup
The house soup is a clear pork broth that includes a sole corn cob dispensed to one lucky person.
The roast duck coated in taro arrives first and is my favourite dish for the evening. The duck fillet is plump and juicy, encased in a starchy cushion of taro mash, then battered and deep-fried. It's a rich dish that is helped along with spoonfuls of oyster sauce gravy and its bed of finely shredded cabbage. It reminds me a little of woo gok, those footballs of deep-fried taro filled with saucy pork mince served at yum cha.
Stewed beef tendon and beef brisket $20.80
with turnip in a traditional bean sauce
Stewed beef tendon and beef brisket is hearty, chunks of gelatinous beef canoodling with cubes of soft daikon in a sweet bean sauce.
Blanched gai lan Chinese broccoli garnished with oyster sauce $16.80
Most tables seem to be opting for the four Chinese vegetables steamed in a bamboo basket ($20.80) but we stick with a simple serve of gai lan that is crisp and crunchy.
It's hard not to notice the constant procession of peking duck orders that trundle past our table - I count seven at least, whole ducks carved at the table, their skins rolled up in paper-thin pancakes by waiters clad in rubber gloves, adding cucumber, shallot and a daub of hoi sin sauce.
Twelve fish tanks out the front are also trawled by unrelenting customers, buckets of flapping fish and crawling lobsters extracted to meet their fate.
The restaurant is busy but we find service a little distracted despite the army of floor staff. We do enjoy our house desserts though: a plate of watermelon and fresh oranges and, after some pointed prodding, bowls of sweet red bean soup flavoured with mandarin.
A surprisingly swish restaurant (high-backed dark wooden chairs, small solid tables, a barbecue prep area lined with calligraphy-cutout wood panelling and flood-lit bamboo installation) in the heart of Cabramatta.
Next time I'm definitely ordering the peking duck.
Iron Chef Chinese Seafood Restaurant
84 Broomfield Street, Cabramatta, Sydney
(opposite Cabramatta railway station)
Tel: +61 (02) 9723 6228
Monday to Friday 10.00am-3.00pm
Saturday to Sunday 9.00am-3.30pm
Monday to Friday 5.30pm-10.30pm
Saturday to Sunday 5.30pm-11.00pm
Current promotions (as at October 2007)
25% discount on Tuesday nights (excludes drinks)
50% discount off mud crab market price on Thursday nights
Please phone the restaurant directly to check validity
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10/22/2007 11:47:00 pm