Archives For The Rocks

On the weekend I was honoured to be part of a celebration of a friend’s mother’s (Mrs C) big birthday. Mrs C has been part of my life since early high school days, more years than I care to remember.

We dined at Mr Chow’s Peking Restaurant, in the Rocks, in the area close to Hickson Road. It’s upstairs at the Captain Cook Hotel.  Mr Chow’s does have food from a variety of regions in China, but it specializes in northern Chinese cuisine, which is why we were there, for Mrs C, originally from Shanghai.

The people there were a collection of family and friends. Much laughter. Much discussion about good food. And then there was much eating of great food.

What We Ate

Dish after dish kept on arriving from the kitchen, so much that the last few dishes ordered had to be cancelled. Several of the dishes were ordered beforehand, so they could be specially cooked for us. So here’s what we ate:

Shallot Pancakes

Shallot Pancakes
The shallot pancakes are flaky pastry discs, fried until golden in colour. The crispy, crunchy pancake exterior holds in the tasty shallots.

Jellyfish and Assorted Seafood Combination Vegetable and Cold Noodles with Mustard Sauce

This next one was a surprise in that on first bite we discovered that it was cold! It was a mountain of noodles on a mound of veggies, such as cucumber, on another mound of seafood, including prawns, scallops, jellyfish, and who knows what else, with a mustard sauce. All that seafood felt luxurious, with a marvellous array of textures.
Jellyfish and Assorted Seafood Combination Vegetable and Cold Noodles with Mustard Sauce

Peking Fried Egg Rolls?

After eating the food, I’m now trying to match up what we ate with the official name on the menu, but as some things were specially ordered this is a challenge. This was a roll with shredded veggies inside. The roll was made with a pastry with layers and layers, soft and flaky. Inside that was finely shredded vegetables, including carrot, bean sprouts. Tasty.
Mr Chow's Rolls

Dumplings

There were two versions of these dumplings, both with green vegetables, and one with prawns.
Mr Chow's Dumplings

And then we had some gorgeous soup dumplings:
Mr Chow's Soup Dumplings

Love it when the soup just oozes out and it’s so moist. Then a special order was delivered, beef dumplings with lots of coriander, giving it a light, fresh taste.
Mr Chow's Beef Dumplings

Peking Duck

Now, the waiter brought out the tea-smoked duck, one of the specialties of Mr Chow’s, tearing it up in pieces in readiness for us to eat with the pancakes, with scallions, cucumber, and hoisin sauce.
Mr Chow's Peking Duck

Mr Chow's Peking Duck

The pancakes were light. And the duck! Wow. Somehow it’s cooked so that it’s not fatty, but just a rich flavour.  The skin and many of the smaller bones were so crispy that they were crunchy. Oh so good.  That was quickly devoured, leaving just the bigger bones.

Wonton Soup

The wonton soup had been cooked in a pot, with a whole chicken, a variety of elements added to bring flavour, such as cabbage, and goji berries .  Slurping the soup was like being in heaven.  The ultimate comfort food dish.

This was another dish ordered ahead of time, because it would have been cooked slowly over a long time.

Mr Chow's Wonton Soup

Salted Egg Yolk Prawns

Next was delivered a plate with more huge prawns, deep fried in a light batter (similar to tempura but crunchier), with salted egg yolks.  They had that lovely salty, eggy, taste, without it overwhelming the prawns.

Mr Chow's Salted Egg Prawns

Peking Shredded Beef

The southern China version of this dish is quite sweet, made with a sweet and sour sauce.  This northern China version was similar, but more savoury, saltier.  It still had the deep-fried shredded beef, shredded carrot and other shredded vegetables (daikon?).  The sauce included just enough chilli to add another layer of flavour without making it too spicy.  I believe it’s made with hoisin sauce, mirin, tomato sauce and some brown sugar, only enough for adding complexity to the flavour, not sweet.

Mr Chow's Beef

Longevity Soup

Several more dishes had been ordered, but as the eating had slowed right down, they were cancelled. There was one more dish we had to have, though, in celebration of Mrs C’s birthday, a longevity soup.  Of course everything in there was long: noodles, shredded chicken, finely diced long veggies, bean sprouts.  This had a delicate, gentle flavour.

Mr Chow's Longevity Noodles

In summary

Where’s the rice? There was no rice, seeing that in northern China noodles are eaten instead.

What a meal.  With most dishes I could have just eaten that dish for the next week and been happy.  With each one arriving, I kept on thinking “this is the best”. Stand-outs were the cold noodles with mustard sauce and all of that seafood, the Peking duck, the wonton soup, and the shredded beef, and… well I could list them all, but I’ll leave it at that.

Thanks so much to my friends (you know who you are) for being part of this special occasion.

It helped having people ordering who knew the dishes well, and ordering ahead of time.  There were not many in the restaurant, and we received the best of service from all of the staff.

May I please go back and eat this all again next weekend?

Details

Here are the details about Mr Chow’s Peking Restaurant, The Rocks, at time of posting. Please check their web site for more current details.

Web site / Facebook http://www.mrchowspeking.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/mrchows
Address 33 Kent St, The Rocks, NSW 2000
Phone 02 9252 3010
Open Every day except Monday:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday
Lunch: 12:00pm to 3pm
Dinner: 6pm to 10:30pm

Friday, Saturday
Lunch: 12:00pm to 3pm
Dinner: 6pm to 11:30pm

Menu Menu
Mr Chow's Peking Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 

Where’s your favourite place for Northern Chinese food? For those who were there, what did I miss / get wrong?

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My introduction to Baroque was as part of the Gourmet Safaris (French). Since then I’ve been back many times for their macarons, but never for a meal. Finally I recently made it back there to see what that was like. I wasn’t disappointed.

Baroque

The food

Hors d’œvres

House-made charcuterie and condiments: Thirlmere duck & orange terrine, Burrawong chicken galantine,  pork and pistachio terrine, pork rillettes, wagyu bresaola

House-made charcuterie and condiments: Thirlmere duck & orange terrine, Burrawong chicken galantine,
pork and pistachio terrine, pork rillettes, wagyu bresaola

Each component of the hors d’œvres was superb. Almost worth going there just for that for a snack, of course along with the Laurent-Perrier Brut champagne.

Entrée

Grilled South Australian sardines, pickled red onions, tomato and basil sorbet

Grilled South Australian sardines, pickled red onions, tomato and basil sorbet

One of my group had the sardines, and I didn’t try them, but they sure looked good.

Plats principaux

Herb crusted albacore tuna, asparagus, snow pea salad, seaweed consommé

Herb crusted albacore tuna, asparagus, snow pea salad, seaweed consommé

Poisson dur Jour: Barramundi with grilled leeks, potato espuma, lime beurre noisette

Poisson dur Jour: Barramundi with grilled leeks, potato espuma, lime beurre noisette

New word for me: “espuma” means foam. Rolls eyes.

And here’s what I ordered:

Angus onglet , triple cooked potato chips, watercress, eschalot, béarnaise sauce

Angus onglet , triple cooked potato chips, watercress, eschalot, béarnaise sauce

It had been a while since I had a steak, and thought that it should be good at Baroque.

Along with the steak I ordered the Paris Mash. Silly me didn’t take any photos. And that was almost the best part of the meal 🙂 I hate too think how much butter was in there, but it was so smooth and creamy and buttery, and melted in your mouth. A perfect accompaniment for the steak. The potato chips served with the steak were herbed, and quite good, but paled in comparison to the mash. Oh so good.

Les Desserts

After the rest of the meal I just wanted something light for dessert, so just chose the macarons with coffee:

Macarons: salted caramel, strawberry, and passionfruit

Macarons: salted caramel, strawberry, and passionfruit

The vanilla crème brûlée was perfect I understand, with the right amount of toffee on top, and a gorgeous brûlée. Not sure that the ice cream was needed.

Vanilla crème brûlée, pistachio ice cream

Vanilla crème brûlée, pistachio ice cream

So, a good meal was had by all. No need to add more words: I think the pictures tell the story better than I could in words.

I’ll be back.

Details

Here are the details about Baroque at time of posting. Please check their web site for more current details.

Web site http://www.baroquebistro.com.au/
Address 88 George St, The Rocks, NSW 2000
Phone 02 9241 4811
Open Lunch every day.
Dinner every night except Sunday.
Menu
Baroque | Bistro Bar Patisserie on Urbanspoon

 

Have you discovered any good French bistros / restaurants lately? Where?