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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Silk Road Chinese Restaurant, Haymarket Chinatown

Egg wrapped meat in spices with special sauce $11.80

There are two things that linger in my memory after eating at Silk Road, a cheap eats noodle house festooned with hanging carpets and under immiment attack by plastic grape vines.

The first is the smiling service by our gracious hostess. She is pleased when we show an interest in the grape vines, in the cuisine, in her culture, in her home town. She leads us to a map on the fridge and points out her village in Xinjiang, in the north-west of China. "Very beautiful, my home" she says with an air of wistfulness, her eyes shining. "Famous for jade and grapes and oil."

The other memory is one of lamb, and lots of it.

Fried pancakes with Chinese spring onion $4.00

The egg-wrapped lamb in spices [top pic] is an unusual dish, the lamb is soft and springy in texture, almost reminiscent of a lamb yeeros. There's plenty of cumin in this dish, and the egg wrapper is denser than I'd expect. It's a strong flavoured and rich dish, designed specifically for Mongolian winters, one suspects.

Fried pancake with Chinese spring onion is light and crispy. The spring onion is relatively mild in flavour (although perhaps our tastebuds have already been overwhelmed by lamb and cumin). We're happy about the portion size (six pizza wedges) and impressed by its non-oiliness too, all things considered.

Cucumber salad $3.00

Side dishes always provide a welcome palate cleanser, especially at $3 per serve. The cucumber salad is sweet and crisp, and mixed through with tomato slivers. Shredded potato salad is cool and surpisingly but deliciously garlicky.

Shredded potato salad $3.50

Fried hand-made noodles with lamb $8.50

The fried handmade noodles with lamb is the last dish to arrive. It even arrives with a pair of scissors so we can cut the long strands into more manageable lengths.

The noodles are wonderfully chewy, doused with an aromatic sauce and strewn through with plenty of lamb, onion, red capsicum, celery and green vegetables.

There's plenty of lamb and plenty of smiles too.

Silk Road Chinese Restaurant
QG13 Prince Centre
(street level on the Quay Street side, near Thomas Lane)
8 Quay Street, Haymarket Chinatown Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9281 9658

Open 7 days 10am-9pm

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Handmade noodles and dumplings
Haymarket -China Noodle King, May 2005
Haymarket - Chinese Noodle Restaurant, Jun07 and Oct04
Haymarket - Daily Noodle Fastfood
Haymarket - Da Niang Dumpling
Haymarket - Uighur Cuisine
Ashfield - Shanghai Night
Burwood - Sea Bay Handmade Noodle
8 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/07/2007 10:17:00 pm


  • At 10/08/2007 12:09 am, Blogger sundownprince said…

    ok i wish i came accross your blog earlier. was in syd around mid sep. anyway there's this dessert bar called el sweetie in strathfield that you should go check out it has a wide range of arabic deserts and its really authentic.

  • At 10/08/2007 11:03 am, Blogger Terri @ A Daily Obsession said…

    alright, sydney here i come!(helen, r u not awarded some sort of medal yet for promoting sydney food??)

  • At 10/08/2007 5:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    so there's ANOTHER restaurant in the Prince Centre with ugly tapestries and grapes hanging from the ceiling? Do you think perhaps there might have been a decor special?

    we had our regular pilgramage to the Chinese Noodle Restaurant (which I notice you've also reviewed a couple of times) on the weekend... 7 people stuffed themselves for $49.60! Is this place better? worse?

  • At 10/08/2007 6:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Lovely post once again! Haven't been here in awhile and shall go back some time -thanks for the reminder Helen!

    There's a new Uighur restaurant very close to MarketCity and I've heard great things about it -it's called Taklimakan Uyghur Restaurant.

    Address: Level 1, 94 Hay St
    Haymarket NSW 2000

    I will probably give it a visit with friends once our exams/assigns are over!


  • At 10/09/2007 9:54 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The Silk Road restaurant is a favorite of mine, I have taken most of my friends there and all have enjoyed the experience. This is very interesting and flavorsome food, I love the chilli sauce mixed in with some handmade noodles.
    They do great noodle soups and dumplings as well, I have been eating here for several years, this place is a gem.

  • At 10/09/2007 11:41 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Sundownprince - I've heard of El Sweetie but yet to get there. Thanks for the reminder :)

    Hi Terri - lol. I think the medal may be lost in my ever-expanding stomach!

    Hi MissP - I wouldn't call the tapestries ugly :) Chinese Noodle Restaurant recently replaced theirs with vivid new ones that have plenty of red and crimson. And apparently in Xinjiang, restaurants are usually set up beneath the canopy of real grape vines, hence the decor.

    I think Silk Road has more menu options than CNR. It also has a lot more room and you're not pushed to leave asap. On the other hand CNR has the live noodle show! Same same but different :)

    Hi Jenny - I have noticed Taklimakan but had yet to go there. Last time I walked past I think they were in the process of re-locating to Dixon Street? Just around the corner, I believe.

    Hi Anon - It's taken me a while to get there but I agree, Silk Road has plenty of charm :)

  • At 10/10/2007 1:09 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Excellent! You finally made it there!

    I'm in Prague at the moment, eating dodgy wurst sausage thingos that my Prague friend is worried will kill me... :)

  • At 10/13/2007 1:59 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi aptronym - Prague? Lucky you! I have fond memories of the nutella sandwiched wafers you could get from the carts on the street :)


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