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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet, Market City Chinatown, Sydney

Hot and sour rice noodle with pork mince at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney

Spicy. Initially confusing. And then jaw droppingly addictive. I could be talking about the Chinese dating show If You Are The One or host Meng Fei's new noodle house that's just opened in Chinatown's Market City. There are more parallels between the two than you'd think.

Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet is Mr Meng's second venture in Australia, following on from his Melbourne opening mid- last year. It's part of an international stable of noodle houses (some franchised) that started in Nanjing in 2014.

Sydney's version is slick and efficient, and one of the first outlets to open in the former level 3 foodcourt of Market City, now rebranded 1909 Dining Precinct and set to host a number of casual dine-in restaurants.

Mung bean jelly in chilli sauce at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Bean jelly in chilli sauce $5.80

You'll have to order and pay at the counter but staff will bring your meals to your marked table. It means that random add-ons like another drink or dessert will require another trip to the register but it does avoid the whole bill-splitting nightmare at the end of the night for large groups.

Unlike the sounds of the Melbourne menu, there are no chilli indicators to warn diners about the relative heat of each dish. Suffice to say, be prepared for tongue tingling numbness from a whack of Sichuan peppers in every dish. In a good way. If you're really heat averse, order a soy bean milk as an emergency extinguisher.

Bean jelly in chilli sauce is an ideal place to start. The mung bean noodles are cool to the throat, bathed in a chilli sauce that is equal parts sour, salty, spicy and sweet.

Mung bean jelly in chilli sauce at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Mung bean jelly noodles

There's only a faint hit of tongue-numbing Sichuan pepper here, but it's a great primer for what's to come.

Steamed chicken in chilli sauce at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Steamed chicken in chilli sauce $8.80

Steamed chicken in chilli sauce will set your mouth on fire if you find the right piece. The chicken itself is tender, cooked and served on the bone for maximum flavour.

Chongqing spicy noodle with stewed beef at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Chongqing spicy noodle with stewed beef $14.80

The main attraction here is the mighty Chongqing noodle, thin round wheat noodles served in a fiery broth laced with soy sauce, sesame oil, black vinegar and red pepper oil. You can stick with the plain version for $10.80 or choose variations of toppings that run from $12.80 to $14.80.

Chongqing spicy noodle with stewed beef at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Stewed beef with noodles

Chongqing spicy noodles with stewed beef is a classic, yielding soft simmered hunks of protein against those springy chewy noodles. 

Chongqing spicy noodle with pork intestines at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Chongqing spicy noodle with pork intestines $14.80

If you want to level up, I highly recommend the version with pork intestines. Don't be afraid. The intestines have been rinsed well and have been cooked to an expert softness. They also offer a chicken giblet and chicken heart offering - I'm getting that next time.

Chongqing spicy noodle with pork intestines at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Pork intestine with noodles

Hot and sour rice noodle with pork mince at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Hot and sour rice noodle with pork mince $11.80

Hot and sour rice noodles was one of my highlight dishes. These noodles are noticeably thicker and chewier, with a more glutinous density. You'll have to dig around for the pork mince which tends to sink to the bottom of the bowl. This dish felt like one of the spicier offerings too.

Dan dan noodles at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Dan dan noodle $13.80

Dan dan noodle is another winner, dry noodles covered in a saucy pork mince with peanuts, shallots and vegetables.

Mixing the dan dan noodles at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Mixing the noodles with the pork mince

You'll have to get in there to mix it all together. There's a good, but not over-the-top, hit of chilli and Sichuan pepper in this one as well.

Sichuan style dumplings at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Sichuan style dumpling $12.80 for 10

Still hungry? The appetisers menu has plenty of temptations. Sichuan style dumplings are elegantly silky packages, the thin skins wrapped around seasoned pork mince. There's already a generous dousing of black vinegar and chilli, but if you need more, you can use the supplied table condiments as reinforcement.

Cold beef, beef tongue and beef tripe at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Beef tongue and beef tripe $7.80

The beef tongue and beef tripe is offaly good too. Your tongue may be on fire by this point but that tripe is so soft and tender, you'll be going back for more.

Deep fried crispy pork at Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney
Deep fried crispy pork $7.80

And because they'd run out of the brown sugar rice cakes (noooooo) we end up having the deep fried crispy pork for dessert instead (hello). The seasoning around these pork strips is super addictive but be warned that about a third of these pork strips will be pure fat. Just fat. Battered and deep-fried. Farewell arteries.

Seeking an adventure with thrills and spills? If you are the one, you'll find it right here.

If You Are The One Meng Fei overlooking Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet in Market City Chinatown Sydney


Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet - 1909 Dining Precinct Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mr Meng Chongqing Gourmet
Market City
Level 3 (1909 Dining Precinct), Shop T3
9-13 Hay Street, Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney


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4 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 3/28/2018 02:12:00 am


4 Comments:

  • At 3/28/2018 10:03 am, Anonymous Bianca@forfoodssake said…

    I'm obsessed with Dan Dan noodles!!!!! I had some of the best I've ever had in Houston, TX so I've been on the hunt :)

     
  • At 3/28/2018 10:17 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It's mid morning as I watch these enticing images. Those noodles look like the perfect mid morning snack.. or any part of the day snack..

     
  • At 4/04/2018 2:59 pm, Anonymous Alexa @ Doorstep Organics said…

    Drools all throughout the read. It seems like I stumbled upon the gem. Honestly, these delicacies are worth the money.

     
  • At 4/24/2018 3:06 pm, Anonymous Ariasmith said…

    All food Images look so delicious!!Thanks for sharing the great pics!!

     

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