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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Two Sticks at The Quay, Haymarket Chinatown

Deep fried chicken wings $3.80

If you're going to deep fry any part of a chicken, surely the mid wing is the best cut. Sure there's a little bit of effort involved but isn't that half the fun? The skin crisps up on the edges like a treat, the bones add extra flavour to the meat, and once you prise those two bones apart, you've scored yourself a sweet bounty of succulent flesh in the middle. A general dusting of Danshan chilli powder across the top adds tongue-numbing heat that's wickedly addictive.

It's the perfect simplicity of this finger lickin' snack that has us grinning at Two Sticks in the newly opened $300m development, The Quay. There aren't a lot of retail stores open yet - only Oliver Brown and Tong Li supermarket on the ground floor and a small Woolworths in the basement so far.

This is the second Two Sticks branch to open in Sydney, and the cheap-as-chips menu has made this an instant hit with local uni students. The most expensive dish on the menu is $13.80 but there are 17 dishes available for less than $4.80.

Bean curd salad $3.80

The bean curd salad is a cool and slippery offering to beat the oncoming summer heat. The bean curd sheets have been sliced so they feel more like noodles, tossed through with shredded carrots, cucumber and coriander and a sesame and chilli oil dressing.

Hot and numbing beef $4.80

They are out of the deep fried spicy beef jerky when we visit, but the hot and numbing beef is a worthy distraction. Slices of poached beef are served cold but tender. It's laden with a chilli dressing that's heavy on the Szechuan pepper. You'll stop feeling your tongue after a few slices but that won't stop you digging in for more. The rubble of crushed peanuts adds a terrific contrasting crunch.

Tofu noodle salad $6.80

There aren't a lot of vegetarian main meals on the menu. All of the noodle soups - the signature dish at Two Sticks - contain a meat-based broth. You can console yourself with the tofu noodle salad, a heap of cold rice noodles covered with wobbly scoops of silken tofu.

Tofu salad mixed into the noodles

There's a bit of everything in here: tofu, carrots, bean sprouts, Yunan pickled vegetables and peanuts. Toss everything around and get slurping. They don't skimp on the chilli oil here either. Tastewise, it's reminiscent of a cold mapo tofu with noodles instead of rice.

The pass

Yunnan potato risotto $12.80

And sure I've had this before, but I couldn't resist ordering the Yunnan potato risotto again. Don't be fooled. This isn't really a risotto but more of a claypot-style rice. The best bit is at the bottom - a layer of crispy rice.

Crunchy rice

There are all kinds of goodies in here: ham, bacon, lap cheong sausage, peas, corns, carrots and cubes of deep-fried potato. It's a massive portion that would easily feed two as a shared dish. We stumbled out of here with a multiple course lunch that cost less than $13. Bargain.

Two Sticks? Two thumbs up.


Two Sticks on Urbanspoon

Two Sticks - Yunnan China
Shop 7, The Quay, 61-79 Quay Street, Haymarket, Chinatown, Sydney
Open 7 days 11am til late

Cash only 

Also open at:
George Street, CBD - 694 George Street, Haymarket, Chinatown, Sydney

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Chinese: Fujian - Three Lanes and Seven Alleys, Haymarket
Chinese: Hunan - Chairman Mao, Kensington
Chinese: Sichuan - Red Chilli Sichuan, Chatswood
Chinese: Yunnan: Two Sticks, Sydney
27 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/11/2014 11:50:00 pm


  • At 11/12/2014 2:26 am, Anonymous Padaek said…

    Love the look of Two Sticks, and so awesome - the food looks excellent and so affordable too! The crispy potato risotto looks yummy, and love the look of the noodle salad too. Great photos - the pass - classic! :D

  • At 11/12/2014 8:52 am, Blogger Jacq said…

    Fried chicken mid wings are the best - definitely worth getting your hands dirty for!

  • At 11/12/2014 9:13 am, Anonymous john | heneedsfood said…

    Hot & numbing beef sounds pretty fab, even though I'd be bound to suffer the consequences. May have to check this place out when I'm next in that part of Chinatown.

  • At 11/12/2014 9:59 am, Anonymous Martine @ Chompchomp said…

    Love your description of the fried wings, had me visualising them in detail!

  • At 11/12/2014 10:02 am, Blogger Cassie | Journey From Within said…

    I still have not been to their first one! but how I agree with your fried wings!! and reading it made me drool so much! :D

  • At 11/12/2014 4:08 pm, Anonymous ChopinandMysaucepan said…

    Dear Helen,

    I like the mid wing too with its succulent strands of meat. A chubby chef in a singlet spells delicious food to me.

  • At 11/12/2014 4:58 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    I'm such a sucker for fried chicken wings! Especially if they've got a good crunch!!

  • At 11/12/2014 5:56 pm, Anonymous samanthawxlow said…

    Yum yum yum great photos and write up. I've gone past this place countless of times since they opened since I go to uni around here. May try it today actually after my study session!

  • At 11/12/2014 9:57 pm, Anonymous Amanda @lambsearsandhoney said…

    Ooh, lovely pics, Helen. I'd be up for that hot and numbing beef - sounds wonderful.

  • At 11/12/2014 10:17 pm, Blogger Maddie Loves Food said…

    That tofu noodle salad has me salivating already, and the potato risotto sounds like an unusual winner!

  • At 11/13/2014 8:42 am, Anonymous Sarah vs Carbs said…

    I like the look of that tofu noodle salad! I really like their 'risotto' and their crinkle cut chips obviously hehe :)

  • At 11/13/2014 12:41 pm, Blogger Ramen Raff said…

    I so gotta try the bean curd salad & deep fried wings!

  • At 11/13/2014 2:30 pm, Anonymous Hotly Spiced said…

    I do like the sound of the chicken with the tongue-numbing chilli powder. How amazing to have such affordable prices here in Sydney. And nothing over $13.80? I can just imagine how popular this will be with poor and starving uni students xx

  • At 11/13/2014 3:05 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    Wowsers, Lunch & snacks for less than $13 per person, in the Sydney CBD no less! Amazing & yes, the mid wing of the chicken is absolutely the best!

  • At 11/13/2014 4:28 pm, Blogger Milktea Eats said…

    those wings look really tasty and crunchy!

  • At 11/13/2014 8:52 pm, Anonymous Olivia @ mademoiselleinsydney said…

    Wow! the bean curd salad looks noodle like :) Fried chicken wings are the best comfort food ever :)!!

  • At 11/13/2014 9:29 pm, Anonymous Amanda @ Gourmanda said…

    Love the idea of the cold tofu noodles, I think I'll have to keep something like that in mind for my summer 'make at home' dinners.

  • At 11/13/2014 10:06 pm, Anonymous Nagi@RecipeTinEats said…

    I saw the fried wings and literally felt weak in the knees. And I am obsessed with hot and numbing anything!! This is gold. I MUST GO!!

  • At 11/14/2014 12:03 am, Anonymous Felicia @ Next Stop: Food said…

    oh my gosh! Your chicken wings description makes me want to have that whole plate (or two) by myself!!!!

  • At 11/14/2014 12:14 am, Anonymous Sara | Belly Rumbles said…

    Mid wings all the way! Definitely cheap and tasty grub. Can't wait to see what else moves in to Quay.

  • At 11/14/2014 12:38 am, Blogger Von said…

    I walked past here a couple of weeks ago and was surprised to find Two Sticks (and also the woolies that I never knew existed)! I don't think many people know of it yet though since it was really really quiet eventhough it was lunch time (quite different to their other store!).I thought the bend curd salad was noodles at first :O And haha risotto is an interesting way to name clay pot rice! ;)

  • At 11/14/2014 8:00 am, Blogger Sarah said…

    Ooh the new Two Sticks looks fancy schmancy!

    I want that potato risotto, bad! I have a weakness for carb on carb action! ;)

    xox Sarah

  • At 11/14/2014 11:01 am, Anonymous Foodsaurus said…

    I love chicken wings... these ones look crunchy & tasty!

  • At 11/17/2014 10:42 pm, Anonymous Amanda@ChewTown said…

    Ooo I love the sound of the bean curd salad.

  • At 11/18/2014 3:24 pm, Blogger Mel said…

    I'm so out of the loop, I had no idea there was a new building in Chinatown...looks fancy. Food here looks good. The crunchy "bottom" of the risotto looks SO good!

  • At 11/18/2014 7:00 pm, Anonymous All You Do Is Eat said…

    Wow! This place looks so good - I'll have to check it out ASAP!

  • At 11/20/2014 4:52 pm, Blogger Choc Chip Uru @ Go Bake Yourself said…

    That tofu noodle salad is so lovely, I really want to try this :D

    Choc Chip Uru


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