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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Taste of Cho at Market City, Haymarket Chinatown

Taiwanese deep fried chicken at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown

You know which one I'm talking about. There's a food kiosk in Market City that always has a queue of people twenty-deep no matter what time of day. There's a good reason. Taste of Cho doesn't just cater for homesick Taiwanese uni students. It's freshly cooked. And cheap.

Constant queue at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Constant queue at Taste of Cho

It's often hard to get a look at the window of available options for the day through the mass of people lined up in front. Dishes vary each day, and I've noticed that some don't make an appearance until late lunch time - cereal prawns, I'm looking at you.

Frying chicken in the onsite kitchen at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Frying chicken in the onsite kitchen

There's an impressively large kitchen onsite, equipped with deep fryers and several wok burners. You can spy on the kitchen staff as you wait.

Canteen-style service at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Canteen-style service

Join the queue and try to work out what you want to order before the far-too-efficient staff have a chance to intimidate you and you end up pointing wildly at the closest item in a panic. Most people order a meal box with rice (two choices for $7.50, three choices for $9.50) or you can skip the rice and get the dishes on their own.

Cold marinated ox tongue at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Cold marinated ox tongue

Deciding what to have is the hardest part. There's a wide range of hot food - Taiwanese fried chicken, three cup chicken, braised pork belly and more - as well as all kinds of cold cut meats dressed with chilli and vinegar. Pescetarians get a look-in with prawn omelettes and spicy fish cutlets, and vegetarians always get a good selection of fried gluten options, vegetables and tofu.

Fried anchovies with chilli at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Fried anchovies with chilli $2 for a small box 

Fried gluten with mushrooms at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Fried gluten with mushrooms

Cereal prawns at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Cereal prawns

Taiwanese fried chicken at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Taiwanese fried chicken

Plated lunchboxes at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Plated lunch boxes ready to be picked up

Taiwanese fried chicken, pork belly and three cup chicken lunchbox at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Taiwanese fried chicken, pork belly and three cup chicken $9.50 for three choices with rice

The three choice lunchbox gives you a chance to try a little bit of everything. The three cup chicken (so named because the original recipe allegedly called for a cup each of soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil) has a balance of saltiness with sweet, and the braised pork belly is soft and inviting with its layers of fat between tender flesh.

Taiwanese marinated beef shin at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Marinated beef shin with coriander and chilli $2 for small box

The side dishes are tasty too, adding a little pep between each mouthful of your main. The marinated beef shin is cool and refreshing, with a tangle of fresh coriander and sliced chilli.

Taiwanese marinated ox tongue at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Marinated ox tongue with cucumber and chilli

I also dig the marinated ox tongue, tumbled with crisp wedges of cucumber.

Braised pork belly with bamboo shoots at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Braised pork belly with bamboo shoots $4

Eliminating the rice component gives you more room to focus on the good stuff. Four bucks for a small dish is unbeatable value. You can see why so many people end up getting takeaway for dinner.

Spicy fish cutlets at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Spicy fish cutlets $4

I'm impressed when I score two spicy fish cutlets for $4 too. They've been deep-fried then drenched in a spicy marinade that is sweet and sticky.

Taiwanese deep fried chicken at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Deep fried chicken pieces $4

And you know I couldn't resist the deep fried chicken. I get this every time. The chicken fillets are lightly floured and then plunged into the deep fryer until golden. They're ridiculously addictive although they tend to make you thirsty later on.

Taiwanese pickled vegetables at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Taiwanese pickled vegetables $2

The Taiwanese pickled vegetables are a great replacement for rice, allowing you to refresh the palate and then continue to plough through the deep fried bonanza.

Good times for less than $10? No wonder there's always a queue.

Taiwanese deep fried chicken at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Giant woks in the kitchen

Lunchtime queue at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown
Lunchtime queue

Dine-in seating at Taste of Cho, Market City Chinatown


Taste of Cho on Urbanspoon

Taste of Cho
Market City
Level 1, 9-13 Hay Street, Haymarket, Chinatown, Sydney

Open daily 10am-7pm (til 8pm on Thursdays)


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Market City - Poporo
Taiwanese - Cho Dumpling King, Haymarket
Taiwanese - Taipei Chef, Artarmon
Taiwanese - TeaPlus, Burwood

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 4/12/2015 06:21:00 pm


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