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Monday, October 22, 2007

Iron Chef, Cabramatta

Roast duck deboned and topped with minced taro in a light batter $26.80

As much as I'd love to attend the Iron Chef dinner at the Observatory Hotel, the $495 per person price tag is a little beyond my budget, even if it does feature two Iron Chefs.

Instead we head to Iron Chef. There is no Chen Kenichi, no Hiroyuki Sakai, but on 25% dinner discount Tuesday, Iron Chef is packed with patrons who are seeking their own Allez Cuisine!

Complimentary house soup

The house soup is a clear pork broth that includes a sole corn cob dispensed to one lucky person.

The roast duck coated in taro arrives first and is my favourite dish for the evening. The duck fillet is plump and juicy, encased in a starchy cushion of taro mash, then battered and deep-fried. It's a rich dish that is helped along with spoonfuls of oyster sauce gravy and its bed of finely shredded cabbage. It reminds me a little of woo gok, those footballs of deep-fried taro filled with saucy pork mince served at yum cha.

Stewed beef tendon and beef brisket $20.80
with turnip in a traditional bean sauce

Stewed beef tendon and beef brisket is hearty, chunks of gelatinous beef canoodling with cubes of soft daikon in a sweet bean sauce.

Blanched gai lan Chinese broccoli garnished with oyster sauce $16.80

Most tables seem to be opting for the four Chinese vegetables steamed in a bamboo basket ($20.80) but we stick with a simple serve of gai lan that is crisp and crunchy.

It's hard not to notice the constant procession of peking duck orders that trundle past our table - I count seven at least, whole ducks carved at the table, their skins rolled up in paper-thin pancakes by waiters clad in rubber gloves, adding cucumber, shallot and a daub of hoi sin sauce.

Twelve fish tanks out the front are also trawled by unrelenting customers, buckets of flapping fish and crawling lobsters extracted to meet their fate.

The restaurant is busy but we find service a little distracted despite the army of floor staff. We do enjoy our house desserts though: a plate of watermelon and fresh oranges and, after some pointed prodding, bowls of sweet red bean soup flavoured with mandarin.

A surprisingly swish restaurant (high-backed dark wooden chairs, small solid tables, a barbecue prep area lined with calligraphy-cutout wood panelling and flood-lit bamboo installation) in the heart of Cabramatta.

Next time I'm definitely ordering the peking duck.

Iron Chef Chinese Seafood Restaurant
84 Broomfield Street, Cabramatta, Sydney
(opposite Cabramatta railway station)
Tel: +61 (02) 9723 6228

Monday to Friday 10.00am-3.00pm
Saturday to Sunday 9.00am-3.30pm

Monday to Friday 5.30pm-10.30pm
Saturday to Sunday 5.30pm-11.00pm

Current promotions (as at October 2007)
25% discount on Tuesday nights (excludes drinks)
50% discount off mud crab market price on Thursday nights
Please phone the restaurant directly to check validity

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Cabramatta--Duc Thanh
Cabramatta--Hung Vuong
Cabramatta--Thanh Binh

Chinese--Crystal Seafood
Chinese--East Ocean
Chinese--Friendship Oriental
Chinese--Golden Century
Chinese--Hung Cheung
8 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/22/2007 11:47:00 pm


  • At 10/23/2007 10:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You're not the only one bemoaning the Iron Chef price tag... and Sakai is my favourite Iron Chef!

    The duck looks amazing, and I have never seen duck done like that before!

  • At 10/23/2007 1:01 pm, Blogger red bean said…

    Do you think they do red carpet appearances? Like fans can wait outside screaming and taking photos, and they'll saunter up out of limos in the colourful chef outfits.. and just catching a glimpse of the iron chefs would bless us with culinary inspiration.

  • At 10/23/2007 6:27 pm, Blogger Julia said…

    I would have loved to have gone to the Iron Chef dinner too (and taken my dad, who adores Iron Chef) - but whoa Nelly isn't it expensive!

  • At 10/24/2007 1:15 am, Blogger Christy said…

    the roast duck with the minced taro looks really good. makes me want to travel all the way to sydney to try all the different restaurants!

  • At 10/24/2007 9:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This is probably the most expensive place in CAbramatta to eat,BY FAR!! I wish to use my entertainment book voucher to get a discount but i cant find friends to come pay price tag, thanks for the review!!

  • At 10/25/2007 5:42 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Jackie - The price is rather steep but I am sure there will be no shortage of willing diners (with lots of money of course).

    The duck was quite a treat. Apparently this is not an uncommon way to serve duck at decadent banquets. I certainly appreciated the expertise involved!

    Hi Red Bean - I am guessing that the Iron Chefs wouldn't be caught dead in those silk outfits these days :) And they'll probably take the back entrance, although your idea sounds like much more fun!

    Hi Julia - Me too. Every year I think about going, and then sigh about 10 seconds later.

    Hi Crispy Crust - Sydney has plenty of great feeds. Perhaps one day you'll be on your way :)

    Hi Anon - Iron Chef is probably more expensive than the restaurants around it, but then the decor inside is signifcantly more upmarket too. We were pretty happy with the portion sizes too - very generous and substantial.

  • At 11/12/2007 9:20 pm, Blogger Rojo said…

    Iron chef, ive just been told by my two chinese friends (im chinese too) that this is the best place to eat in cabramatta, then why didnt they tell me earlier!!
    Lucky me, my entertainment book discount card can be used here so im going there soon!!

  • At 11/20/2007 9:47 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Rogerho - We have the City Ent Book but alas Iron Chef isn't in that version :( Hope you enjoy your meal.


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