This is the first time we’ve heard of a Chinese restaurant enforcing two sittings at dinner time. We’re kinda glad they do because otherwise you’d never score a table - even with a booking. Locals have jammed this Eastwood newcomer, dishing up Chinese fare with an emphasis on Shanghai cuisine.
257 Home Kitchen looks more like a hip cafe – exposed brickwork, copper pendant lighting and bentwood chairs – but the menu is serious, with 120-plus dishes proving there’s more to Shanghai cuisine than xiao long bao soup dumplings.
Shanghai-style baked bran $9.80
Take the Shanghai-style baked bran for instance, a sentimental homestyle favourite made from wheat gluten. It looks like a deep-fried tofu puff but is actually a steamed mixture of gluten, bran and yeast. The resultant sponge is perfect for soaking up sweetened soy sauce and sesame oil, braised with wood ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots, dried lily flower buds and peanuts in a combo known as "Four Happiness".
Green onion pancake $7.80
If you’re looking for more familiar territory, the crisp house-made spring onion pancake is a winner.
Deep fried pork chop $16.80
So is the deep fried pork chop in a golden panko crumb.
Pan-seared pork dumpling $9.80
And yes, they do dumplings, everything from pan-fried pork dumplings to fancy egg dumplings, pork wrapped in an omelette skin that arrives in a massive tureen of combination soup.
Combination soup $25.80
with egg dumplings, pork balls, salted chicken, Chinese cabbage and vermicelli
Egg dumplings using a skin made from an omelette
Prawn and pork mini wonton in soup $9.80
Noodle soup with pork and preserved vegetables $9.80
Live barramundi soup with vermicelli $36.80
Stir-fried crystal shrimps $20.80
The ruckus of Chinese families and friends is likely to be hoeing into Shanghai classics rarely seen in Sydney. That means the glossy and tender stir-fried crystal shrimps or the whole raw crab boozed up in Chinese rice wine, “grandma’s style”. We want to hang out with grandma more often.
Crab in Chinese wine Grandma's style $15.80
Rice crust with salty egg yolk $16.80
Rice crust is a new kind of awesome too, a deep-fried rice cake that you can get smothered in salty egg yolk or drenched in a tomato sauce with fish.
Rice crust with fish fillet and tomato $18.80
Live barramundi in sweet and sour sauce $36.80
The live barramundi in sweet and sour sauce is pretty darn spectacular, the whole fish deep-fried so it curves back on itself.
Salt and pepper pork knuckle $18.80
Pork knuckle comes salt-and-pepper style or doused in black pepper sauce.
Pork knuckle with black pepper sauce $18.80
Sweet rice pudding $12.80
Red bean paste inside the sweet rice pudding
Mini sesame rice balls in sweet rice wine $8.80
And we reckon grandma must have a hand in the mini sesame rice balls in sweet rice wine too.
257 Home Kitchen
257 Rowe St, Eastwood, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9874 6118
Open daily 11am-10pm
This article appeared in the September 2015 issue of Time Out Sydney [Read online]
Read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews
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11/13/2015 01:11:00 am