Friday, March 11, 2011

A Chinese treasure at the gallery

The First Emperor: China's entombed warriors exhibition at the Art Gallery
of New South Wales, Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney
Following a busy Sunday at the Art Gallery of NSW for The First Emperor exhibition (seriously impressive terracotta warriors and other previously entombed treasures – ends 13 March 2011), we marched down south towards Chinatown in search of more treasures – this time to fill our stomachs rather than rampant imaginations of Chinese history and narcissistic emperors.

One of the bronze treasures upstairs that you are allowed to photograph

Most the paint and decorations have worn away - but still amazing bronzework
From one gallery to another. Chefs Gallery is fast becoming a regular favourite of mine, helped by the fact that I haven’t yet had to wait for a table there. Service is also highly efficient with drinks and food at the table before grumbling stomachs start to eat themselves.

Chinese beer Tsing Tao is available by the bottle and goes down easily, helping along any excessive addition of the fiery chilli oil.

Handmade noodles with prawn and pork wontons in a double-boiled chicken soup
from Chefs Gallery, Bathurst Street, Sydney
The lai mien soup comes in a very large bowl, steaming hot and threatening to burn even the waitress who precariously lowers the bowl to the table. The chicken soup is completely clear, making for a very clean dish of white noodles and tortellini-like wonton, folded in a traditional manner.

The wonton dumplings consisted of a big piece of sweet prawn with a pork mince mixture, while the noodles were satisfyingly consistent in width, albeit very long given the double-arms length stretch of the noodle chef.

Wok fried medium-grain rice with prawn and diced Chinese olive
My first fried rice at Chefs Gallery was fun to watch being made, though it underwhelmed somewhat at the table. Watching the dedicated fried rice chef toss his wok to try to separate every grain of rice, I should have expected the dish to be a little oily, but thankfully not in a pooling way.

Whole prawns were the highlight of the dish, which had lots of egg and just a sprinkling of finely diced “Chinese olive”. The latter looked like normal black olives but there just wasn’t enough of it to make any impact on the dish.

Guo tie – lightly pan fried dumplings with cabbage and pork
One of my favourite dishes for its chewy, crisp, pan-fried skin, the guo tie of cabbage and pork appear open-ended with dumpling filling poking out the sides.

The filling is lightly flavoured with ginger, and together with the cabbage, makes for a lighter option than straight pork filling.

Jian bao zi – lightly pan fired pork buns
Lastly and most fillingly, the gorgeously fluffy jian bao zi arrive with our selected pork filling. I should have remembered from last time that these don’t have soup within as these buns from other places often do, so it was disappointment yet again when I really should have known better.

Nonetheless, the ball of pork filling was nicely seasoned as it sat in its oversized home of the soft, white dough, enhanced with a mix of vinegar sauce and chilli oil.

Too stuffed to explore the dessert menu, we happily left that unearthing of treasures to the others still having their late Sunday lunch.

Chefs Gallery on Urbanspoon


susan said...

The pan fried dumplings look sensational. Oh how I love dumplings!

MelbaToast said...

Those terracotta warriors sure worked up my appetite for dumplings too!

sugarpuffi said...

the exhibition is awesomeeeeeee~i was surprised on why u didnt order the piggie desserts at chefs gallery. they are the cutest thing!

joey@FoodiePop said...

Damn, too full for dessert? I never let that happen to me! LOL

I didn't get to see the terracotta warriors exhibit but thanks to posts like yours I've lived it vicariously anyway. Thanks! :-)

Tina said...

Hi Susan - Me too, I would even call it an obsession...

Tina said...

HI MelbaToast - Just something about the Chinese... :)

Hi sugarpuffi - We were too full after the pan fried buns!

Hi joey - No probs :)

Gianna@TheEmptyFridge said...

im desperate to see those warriors and I think our last chance is tomorrow - trust me to leave it too late.

I have been meaning to try Chefs Gallery too - those dumplings look awesome and reasonably priced too!

lateraleating said...

Oohh... the fried rice and pan-fried dumplings look so tasty. I wouldn't mind that the Chinese olives can't be noticed.

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

The guo tie looks so good! I love anything that's pan fried and crispy on the outside =)
Seems to be an ever popular food spot at the moment.

Tina said...

Hi Gianna - Did you make it to the warriors?

Hi lateraleating - Yeah, but I wanted to see what they tasted like... :)

Hi Angie - I love crispy skins too!


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