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
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
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.
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 $2 for a small box
Fried gluten with mushrooms
Taiwanese fried chicken
Plated lunch boxes ready to be picked up
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.
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.
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 $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 $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.
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 $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.
Giant woks in the kitchen
Taste of Cho
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
22 comments - Add some comment love
4/12/2015 06:21:00 pm