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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Two Sticks at The Quay, Haymarket Chinatown

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Deep fried chicken wings $3.80

If you're going to deep fry any part of a chicken, surely the mid wing is the best cut. Sure there's a little bit of effort involved but isn't that half the fun? The skin crisps up on the edges like a treat, the bones add extra flavour to the meat, and once you prise those two bones apart, you've scored yourself a sweet bounty of succulent flesh in the middle. A general dusting of Danshan chilli powder across the top adds tongue-numbing heat that's wickedly addictive.

It's the perfect simplicity of this finger lickin' snack that has us grinning at Two Sticks in the newly opened $300m development, The Quay. There aren't a lot of retail stores open yet - only Oliver Brown and Tong Li supermarket on the ground floor and a small Woolworths in the basement so far.

This is the second Two Sticks branch to open in Sydney, and the cheap-as-chips menu has made this an instant hit with local uni students. The most expensive dish on the menu is $13.80 but there are 17 dishes available for less than $4.80.

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Bean curd salad $3.80

The bean curd salad is a cool and slippery offering to beat the oncoming summer heat. The bean curd sheets have been sliced so they feel more like noodles, tossed through with shredded carrots, cucumber and coriander and a sesame and chilli oil dressing.

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Hot and numbing beef $4.80

They are out of the deep fried spicy beef jerky when we visit, but the hot and numbing beef is a worthy distraction. Slices of poached beef are served cold but tender. It's laden with a chilli dressing that's heavy on the Szechuan pepper. You'll stop feeling your tongue after a few slices but that won't stop you digging in for more. The rubble of crushed peanuts adds a terrific contrasting crunch.

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Tofu noodle salad $6.80

There aren't a lot of vegetarian main meals on the menu. All of the noodle soups - the signature dish at Two Sticks - contain a meat-based broth. You can console yourself with the tofu noodle salad, a heap of cold rice noodles covered with wobbly scoops of silken tofu.

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Tofu salad mixed into the noodles

There's a bit of everything in here: tofu, carrots, bean sprouts, Yunan pickled vegetables and peanuts. Toss everything around and get slurping. They don't skimp on the chilli oil here either. Tastewise, it's reminiscent of a cold mapo tofu with noodles instead of rice.

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The pass

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Yunnan potato risotto $12.80

And sure I've had this before, but I couldn't resist ordering the Yunnan potato risotto again. Don't be fooled. This isn't really a risotto but more of a claypot-style rice. The best bit is at the bottom - a layer of crispy rice.

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Crunchy rice

There are all kinds of goodies in here: ham, bacon, lap cheong sausage, peas, corns, carrots and cubes of deep-fried potato. It's a massive portion that would easily feed two as a shared dish. We stumbled out of here with a multiple course lunch that cost less than $13. Bargain.

Two Sticks? Two thumbs up.

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Two Sticks on Urbanspoon

Two Sticks - Yunnan China
Shop 7, The Quay, 61-79 Quay Street, Haymarket, Chinatown, Sydney
Open 7 days 11am til late

Cash only 

Also open at:
George Street, CBD - 694 George Street, Haymarket, Chinatown, Sydney


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Chinese: Fujian - Three Lanes and Seven Alleys, Haymarket
Chinese: Hunan - Chairman Mao, Kensington
Chinese: Sichuan - Red Chilli Sichuan, Chatswood
Chinese: Yunnan: Two Sticks, Sydney

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/11/2014 11:50:00 pm


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