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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lynn Shanghai Cuisine, Sydney

Peking duck at Lynn Shanghai Sydney

Peking duck for less than half price? It's the reason we're here at Lynn Shanghai on a Monday night. Two courses of Peking duck will normally set you back $59.80, but on Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays you can load up on duck skin pancakes for a poultry paltry $28.80. Bargain!

The Castlereagh Club Sydney
The Castlereagh Club - home to Lynn Shanghai

I bet you've walked past Lynn Shanghai several times without even realising it. It does a good job of hiding itself inside the Castlereagh Club, on the Castlereagh Street block between Park and Bathurst Streets.

You won't need to sign in. Ignore the signs for the gym and head straight on in. Only a few carpeted stairs stand between you and Peking duck central.

Lynn Shanghai dining room
Lynn Shanghai dining room

The dining room feels like a fancy Club bistro, with Oriental-style wooden furniture, cherry red walls and a fuschia pink bar lining one wall. A fish tank brimming with barramundi sits at the front entrance and there's a view into the glass-fronted kitchen, however you can only see the chefs from the shoulders up - no food prep action here unless you press your nose up against the window.

Green sprouts with mushrooms at Lynn Shanghai Sydney
Green sprouts with mushroom $16.80

The $28.80 Peking duck special comes with two conditions: you have to order at least one main dish from the menu, and all payments are cash only. We end up ordering far too much food for four people, which ends up arriving in haphazard order from the kitchen.

Green sprouts with mushroom is the first to emerge, fat satisfying slices of braised king brown mushrooms served on a bed of snow pea sprouts in an oyster sauce gravy.

King prawns with salty egg yolk at Lynn Shanghai Sydney
King prawns with salty egg yolk $24.80

King prawns with salty egg yolk arrives hot on its heels. If you haven't had salty egg yolk, you're missing out. It's eggy, buttery, salty and rich, and slathered generously over peeled prawns which are quickly deep-fried. You'll need to eat this with steamed rice to cut through the decadence of this dish.

Unlike other restaurants which serve this dish, this version isn't overly oily but you may start to feel your arteries closing in after you've eaten four or more.

Steamed pork buns xiao long bao soup dumplings at Lynn Shanghai Sydney
Steamed pork buns $8.80 for 8

There's a mad scramble for room when our steamed pork buns, or xiao long bao soup dumplings land on the table. Generally I would have preferred to have these served first, but the bamboo steamer insulates the heat rather well.

The skins are thin, the pork mince filling is sweet, and the soupy surprise inside is sweet if a little greasy. To eat, transfer one carefully to your ceramic soup spoon, bite open a small hole to drink the blistering hot soup, and then savour the rest of the dumpling in a mix of soy, black vinegar and chilli. Glorious.

Peking duck with pancakes at Lynn Shanghai Sydney
Peking duck (2 courses)  normally $59.80

Peking duck is the finale to our meal. Pancakes in a bamboo steamer, batons of cucumbers, slivers of green onion, a bowl of hoisin sauce and a plate of peking duck skin and flesh.

Peking duck skin and meat at Lynn Shanghai Sydney
Peking duck skin

The duck skin glistens as we advance greedily with chopsticks in hand. Even between the four of us, there's plenty of duck to go around. The centre has the crunchiest bits, and we pile the duck generously onto our pancakes.

The duck meat is relatively lean yet juicy and the skin has an irresistible crispness.  If you run out of pancakes or condiments, they'll happily oblige with more.

Peking duck meat and bones at Lynn Shanghai Sydney
Peking duck second course

Most other places offer san choy bow as the second course for Peking duck, but they don't faff around with things like that here. You get the rest of the duck chopped up and served on a plate, somewhat eerily arranged so it resembles its former self.

Getting this kind of follow-up is a godsend to every my Asian mother who remains convinced that duck san choy bow is an elaborate kitchen ploy to give you much less duck than you paid for. All the evidence is here, with a fair amount of duck still available or gnaw-able off the bones.

Or you can do what we did, and get the leftovers packed up to take home. It'll make an awesome duck soup for dinner.

Steamed pork buns xiao long bao soup dumplings at Lynn Shanghai Sydney

We've ordered way too much food to even think about dessert, but there are ridiculously cute panda face buns if you have room. They also have crispy red bean pancakes, apples with toffee and mango pudding. And yes. Of course they have deep fried ice cream too.

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Lynn Shanghai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Lynn Shanghai Cuisine
199 Castlereagh Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9267 7780

Opening hours:
Open 7 days 11am - 3pm and 5pm - 10pm

Check the Lynn Shanghai website for current daily specials.

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Peking duck - Waitan, Haymarket, Chinatown
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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 1/19/2014 11:54:00 pm


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