#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

« Home | DMBLGiT winners » | Macchiato, Sydney » | Kura, Haymarket » | Sydney Food & Wine Fair » | Spring on a plate » | Wagamama, Sydney » | New York on a Fork » | Golden Century, Haymarket » | Billingsgate Fish Bistro, Randwick » | Faheem Fast Food, Enmore »

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Mother Chu's Taiwanese Gourmet, Haymarket

chicken noodle
Chicken fillet with stir-fried noodle $7.50

There's something about Mother Chu's that always fascinates me. For a start there are the dumpling dames.

A huddle of women in the open kitchen work constantly as tourists and students on Dixon Street pass on by. Hour after hour the women knead their dough; they roll out perfect circles, and then, within a blink of an eye, a dumpling is made and the next one begins with a sigh.

I am always tempted to stand there watching, mesmerised by the furious pace at which they work. But then I am distracted by the crowds of students, families and couples eating inside and along the corridor, a long row of diners underneath the parade of red lanterns. Lunch is always busy, and I am always trying to peer over their shoulders, as they hunch over steaming bowls and laden plates.

Mother Chu's interior

Each time I eat here I am always bemused by the service. Or lack thereof. Sure I am happy to forgo a few niceties in exchange for a lower price point, but the waitresses here often appear harangued and just, over it. Once your order is taken a droll voice states the price payable, and whilst you suddenly rummage through wallets and pockets, an outstretched palm twitches impatiently.

Within a few minutes though, our plate of dumplings is shoved onto the table by a whirlwind waitress. The skins are a little oily but the bases are satisfyingly crispy.

Fried pork dumplings $7.00 for 12

We also order the yu tiao in egg pancake. Freshly made Chinese bread dough is deep-fried and then wrapped in a thin blanket of egg. The yu tiao is a golden hue of crispiness, the inside light and airy.

yu tiao
Egg pancake with yu tiao (deep-fried bread) $3.50

The glutinous rice roll is a firm favourite of mine and I cannot resist its starchy charm. It arrives wrapped in clingfilm, protecting the precious package from drying out too much.

Pre-cut in half, the cross-section view reveals a yu tiao bread stick coated in pork floss (dry-fried shredded sweet pork jerky) and then clothed in a thick wadding of glutinous sticky rice.

The rice is slightly sweet and chewy, the bread stick is crisp and crunchy, the pork floss provides sweetness and salt. It is indeed a thing of beauty.

rice roll
Glutinous rice roll with pork floss $2.80

We also share a plate of stir-fried noodles with chicken (see picture at start of post). The noodles aren't hand-made but the sauce has a pleasant garlic oyster-sauce flavour, and the serving is enormous for the price.
There are quite a few dishes on the menu here which are not easily found elsewhere. The freshly fried yu tiao is certainly a highlight, and the savoury soy bean jelly (like a savoury version of the sweet tofu dessert served at yumcha) is also refreshing.

Fast food with plenty of starch. Just make sure you have your lunch money ready.

Mother Chu's exterior
Mother Chu's Taiwanese Gourmet
Shop 1, 86-88 Dixon Street, Haymarket, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9211 0288

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Mother Chu's, Apr 2007
Mother Chu's, Nov 2004
3 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 11/03/2005 11:59:00 pm


  • At 11/04/2005 6:59 am, Blogger Joycelyn said…

    hi ag, here in singapore at the hawker stalls, the better the food (and longer the queue) the surlier the service...

  • At 11/04/2005 2:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been here once before - I went with someone who spoke an asian language though (so sorry i have no idea what language it was!).

    Anyways he just ordered for me without looking at the menu and asking for variations and they were more than happy to oblige him. It was such fun and i had never had glutinous rice sticks or deep fried bread before!

    Anyways the secret is that you need to speak the language i think! :-)

  • At 11/04/2005 6:11 pm, Blogger santos. said…

    i'm rather intrigued by the egg and pork wrapped yu tiao, i've never seen that before. if i ever do, i'd pounce on it, i'm sure.

    funny about what cheekyvixen said about getting better food if you speak the language; we used to joke that we could rent ourselves out as token asian people to groups of caucasian foodies, as we would "unlock" the secret stuff off the menu, or possibly get better service. not always true, but hey, for the price of a good meal, it was worth a try.


Post a Comment

<< Home

      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts