Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Use your noodle and choose

Knowing when to fold them can be quite a virtue. Particularly in poker but also in the case of choice overload, origami, and letting go of niggling and nagging of things you know will never change. You fold and move on. Sometimes it's actually the brave thing to do rather than wasting time pretending you know what the hell it is you're supposed to be doing.

We arrive in Kingsford for a late lunch, where dining choices spoil us aplenty. I'm thankful for a seasoned opinion in selecting from the extensive menu at Dong Dong Noodles, which zips through the usual meat and vegetable categories, and the more lunch-friendly rice and noodle dishes - all at extremely reasonable prices in an unmemorable interior.

Soup, ginger and shallot, and chilli sauce with Hai Nan chicken
from Dong Dong Noodles, Anzac Parade, Kingsford

I'm advised that my second choice in mind is the better so it's Hai Nan chicken and rice for me while others stick with noodles. I have mid-level expectations as I'm a big fan of chicken rice, especially if it has a strong ginger fragrance. Things look promising when my side soup and additions of minced ginger and shallots in oil and chilli sauce arrive. Despite the pretty floating fresh shallots, the soup's flavour is painfully 'enhanced'.

Hai Nan chicken and rice

Choice satisfaction goes down another notch when the chicken and rice arrive flanked by a simple cucumber garnish. I think the chicken had seen better days, as too the rice, both looking a little dry and tired. The pale yellow hue of the rice fails to deliver any promise of flavour - no chicken hints, no ginger hits - but much improved by adding copious amounts of the ginger and shallot sauce. The chicken is mostly the breast section, with a few random thigh pieces hidden underneath, veering closer to dry than moist but still reasonably satisfying with the mildly spiced chilli sauce.

BBQ pork and wonton noodle soup

The bowl of wonton looks a much more impressive choice: huge plump wonton balls sitting atop choy sum and noodles next to, no doubt, one of the best looking displays of barbeque pork I've ever seen. Pale pink rounds edged with a deep red crust, what they lack in tenderness and flavour they make up for in appearance. These are also undoubtedly the largest wonton dumplings I've seen; slightly flattened balls full of bouncy and pink pork mince. The soup is, however, disappointingly another few ladles of the 'enhanced' liquid.

Hokkien noodle with beef and black pepper

The fried noodle dish also comes out with a bit of a flourish: vibrant yellow noodles glistening and caressing fillets of beef and onion slices with a liberal addition of cracked black peppercorns. The beef is predictably soft against the crunch of the onions; the overall dish a little unexciting but doing the job of filling empty stomachs.

We head home satiated and exhausted from all the day's choosing, but fuelled and ready to admire new impulse purchases, attack the carton of light caramel swirl ice cream in the freezer, and seriously think about choosing to fold in this round.

New Dong Dong Noodles on Urbanspoon

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