We came here because:
We had heard there was a new Chinese restaurant that didn’t look anything like a Chinese restaurant, and were curious.
The décor was:
Japanese-Zen. It is all the rage in China at the moment for new eateries to emulate the calming, minimalistic aesthetic of Japan. Think big glass frontage and delicate, blonde wood framing, and a long communal table running down the middle of the room. You can watch the chefs working tirelessly in their pristine fishbowl.
The food was:
Simple but tasty. There are just 12 items on the menu to choose from, which is both refreshing and irksome (“Are we even in a Chinese restaurant?” I found myself asking). My friend Wei and I ordered the spicy cold noodles ($9.80), dan dan noodles ($13.80), pork buns ($10) and prawn shao mai ($12). Both noodle dishes featured perfectly bouncy noodles, the cold noodles lightly dressed in a spicy sauce with crunchy peanuts, spring onion, and preserved mustard greens that lent a salty, tangy bite. The dan dan noodles were pretty similar but served in a soupier sauce with lots of chilli oil and the addition of fried pork mince. The sauced pork buns were authentic tasting, umami-rich packages of minced pork but the filling was a touch on the oily side.
The prawn shao mai were “not shao mai” as Wei aptly put it. A light and delicate open-faced dumpling of minced prawn and pork, but nothing special, and hilariously topped with a garnish of frozen carrot, pea and corn (shao mai are usually topped with caviar or fish roe).
The beautiful, bright fit out and that the food arrived lightning fast. The walnut soybean milk ($5) is delicious, if you’re a fan of the Chinese style of soybean milk that is. Warm, nutty and sweet.
If I could change one thing it would be:
Removing the frozen vege off the top of the shao mai.
Cheap, efficient and visually appealing.